Here are ten smaller tasks that you can take on that will result in an overall healthier lifestyle.
1. Cut out the processed foods. Many busy moms tend to rely on pre-cooked, pre-portioned food items to make life easier. But what you usually get along with the convenience is a lot of preservatives, salt and other unneeded and unhealthy additives that your family just doesn’t need. This can even be true of items that you think are healthy – like pre-sliced fruits or pre-packaged salad mixes. These items are often “treated” with something to help them from browning.
2. Lower the amount of chemicals in your home. This can be done by using all-natural cleaners (dish soaps, laundry soaps, body soaps, etc.).
3. Start your new calendar with a block of exercise written in at least three days a week. This will force you to schedule around it and thus leaving time to actually exercise. Probably the most common reason moms give for not getting enough exercise is not having the time.
4. Do not say “I am going to lose 50 pounds this year” say “I am going to lose 5 pounds a month this year”. This is a much more attainable goal and also easier to maintain. If you lose large amounts of weight in a short period of time you are much more likely to gain it back. By spreading it out, you are more likely to have a lasting effect.
5. Drink a glass of water before every meal. This not only helps you to “fill up” faster, it helps you to keep your body working like a well lubricated machine. Water also quenches your thirst much better than soda or juice and has zero calories.
6. Start a food diary on January 1st (or 2nd if you have a large meal on New Year’s Day ;). When you write down everything that you eat in a day, you will really start to see where all your calories are coming from. Also the idea of having to write down that handful of gummy bears can be a great deterrent in deciding not to eat them.
7. Make it a goal for the whole family to get into better shape! While it’s important not to stress the number on the scale to children (especially teens) you can focus on just having a healthier lifestyle by staying active and eating better.
8. Get everyone into get a full physical in January. This is the perfect time to get a baseline for your body’s workings while you are “healthy”. We often only visit the doctor when we are sick and so they never have an idea of your norms. This is also a chance to catch any underlying issues that might be what is preventing you from losing those pounds – like a thyroid issue – or other decreased efficiency issues. By full physical I mean blood work, and stress tests as well as dental and vision checks.
9. Sit down and consider your goals for the year. Are you planning to get out of debt? Are you planning to try to have a baby? Will you be sending a child off to college? All of these things can result in added stress, which can have a negative effect on your body. You will want to plan ahead and think of ways to reduce those stress levels.
10. Remember that Life is to be lived not survived. While you are trying to have a healthier lifestyle remember to keep doing the things that makes your family a unit and happy. You don’t just throw away family pizza night, but rather change it to salad and pizza or pizza with whole wheat crust and more veggies. Making drastic changes will send you on the fast track to failure.