GQ Magazine had a recent article with 10 tips for better health. Nothing earth-shattering, but each gentle tweak to the daily grind can make a difference in the long run. Some ideas are easier than others to implement, but we can all benefit from most of them. How many can you adopt?
The GQ tips break down into four topic areas: eating, drinking, working and playing. OK, so they call the fourth area walking, but I like to think of it as playing so that I’m more likely to do it. Walking is a means to an end, but playing; that’s something that I can make time for!
Skip the butter when you cook. Don’t melt a pat of butter in the pan, use a cooking spray. You’ll get the same non-stick effect, great flavor, and far fewer calories. Plus, olive oil is less likely to burn if you get distracted for a second.
While you’re thinking about cooking, consider replacing your heavy sauces with spices. That cream sauce is loaded with calories and fat. Consider a cayenne pepper or turmeric highlight to your dish instead. In addition to the avoided calories, you get a lot of metabolic benefits, too!
So, your dinner is cooked, it’s time to plate. Don’t get out those enormous plates that deserve their own zip code. Use small plates, to make your portion control easier. And instead of boring white, choose a lively red or blue. Research has shown that you eat less with red or blue plates.
Drink a lot! Water, of course, what did you think? Start each meal by drinking a glass of water. Besides the benefits of hydration, this will also help you feel full more quickly so that you eat less.
Your other beverage of choice, coffee, has essentially no calories. The problem comes when you add the creamers and flavorings and the syrups and the whips. Go back to basics and drink your coffee straight!
Speaking of drinking, that TGIF beer might just contain a whole lot of calories. The lighter the color of the beer (in general) the lighter the calorie load. So think “pale” and maybe your stomach will think “flat” a bit more.
Work is work, yes, but you can adapt your work to help your body. Many employers will now provide a “sit-stand” desk upon request. That means that you can spend at least part of your standing, which is much better for your body and burns calories a lot quicker. Take a break periodically and walk around your local cubicle farm. You can keep up human contact while you get your blood pumping again.
Work strategies can also extend into your unpaid work: chores. Instead of hitting the gym, why not push your lawn mower. Don’t have time for a Zumba class? How about pruning your roses? A half hour of yard work can make a world of difference to your paunch and your neighbors’ view of your yard!
OK, so it's your day off and you really don't want to work out. But what about taking a walk? Walking for 30 minutes can help you lose a dozen pounds a year. The cardio benefits are equally compelling. It almost makes owning a dog a good idea! Get out of the house and walk around the block. The fresh air and new scenery will brighten your mood and put a spring back in your step.
These few, simple strategies can add up to a real difference in your physique and your outlook on life. Don’t wait! Start making these changes today!