My health is something that’s always been important to me, but now that I’m getting older, I’ve put many things in place to try to be healthier. I’m focusing on reaching a healthy weight (160 pounds) as well as taking supplements that will support brain function and my overall health. While I’m not a doctor or health expert, my hope is that something I say here will spark you to create your own health goals and go after them.
My Weight Loss Goal
It’s normal to pick up weight as you get older, even if your diet and lifestyle don’t change that much. Many people find that they have to become intentional with their choices to lose or maintain their weight. At this time in my life, my weight goal is 160 pounds…which is a weight I feel my best (I’m 171 pounds as I type this). Also, it’s a weight I think I can maintain long-term, which is important.
My Health Goals
Not only do I have weight loss goals, but I have other health goals I aim for. I want to be able to stay active and have a sharp mind as I get older. To do this, I focus on nutrition, taking supplements, and exercising every day.
The way I’ve determined what I should do for my health has been a combination of common sense, reading, and trying things out to see what feels good. Some foods…like processed food…are just plain bad for you, and they should not be eaten very often. But, when it comes to other foods I try to avoid, like gluten, it’s been because I’ve read studies and watched my brother change his life by cutting it out of his diet.
Here’s a look at what I have discovered works for me as I’ve tried to become healthier and reach my goal weight. You should speak to your doctor about what’s right for you before making drastic changes.
1. Eat More Salads
Eating more salads is an easy addition to your diet. I try to eat a salad for lunch as much as possible to start my day off with a healthy meal. Also, eating a salad for lunch keeps me from eating carbs or processed flour. Instead, I’m eating green and leafy vegetables with proteins and fats like kidney beans, hummus, olive oils, and nuts.
2. Reduce Carbs and White Flour
Since I intermittent fast and make my first meal a day a salad, I’ve been able to cut down on my carbs and white flour. I’m conscious of how much white flour I eat in general, because it tends to cause me to feel bad after. When I am going to splurge on carbs…like pizza or pasta, I do what I can get a gluten-free option. It actually works out well, because some of my daughters are not able to eat gluten, which helps them feel more included in our family when we aren’t eating things in front of them that they can’t have.
I’m in no way perfect when it comes to the amount of carbs I eat, but minimizing what I eat has been do-able. Every meal you eat isn’t going to be perfect, but try focusing on eating as healthy as you can as often as you can.
3. Drink More Water
Every morning, I start out the day with drinking lemon water to help with digestion. I buy organic lemon juice to put in my water. The rest of the day, I just drink plain water to make sure I’m hydrated.
4. Take High Quality Supplements
I am a big believer in taking high-quality, nutritional supplements. Ever since I was in college, I’ve invested in supplements, but what I take has changed over the years. I’m currently taking Total Human, which has a morning and night pack to take every day for maximum results.
5. Make One Sacrifice With Splurge Meals
If I’m going to a restaurant or eating at a party, I try to at least make one sacrifice with the meal. For example, when we were on our recent road trip, we ate out every meal. I tried to get a salad at most restaurants we went to. But, if they didn’t have a salad I could be happy with, I’d swap out french fries for a vegetable. If that wasn’t possible, I wouldn’t eat the whole meal.
I don’t deny myself from going out and having a good time. I just try and make a sacrifice with every meal to keep my mind in check. Besides…each small swap makes a big difference over time.
6. Choose a Healthier Dessert Option
So much of becoming healthier is to train yourself to make better decisions with everything you eat. I REALLY enjoy eating ice cream, so I’ve found a healthier option. Instead of heading to Dairy Queen every week, I’ve switched to Enlightened ice cream. It’s a dairy-free option made with almond milk. It’s high fiber and protein with low sugar and I still like eating it. It’s a healthier option to regular ice cream, so I eat that when I have a craving (which is every weekend).
7. Exercise Every Day For at Least 10 Minutes
I try to get exercise every day, even if it is just a little bit. During my morning routine, I have 10 minutes slotted to workout. For example, I may do a combination of stretching, boxing, push ups, kettlebell swings, or whatever bodyweight exercise I’m into. Whatever I do, I try to move constantly for 10 minutes.
Since I don’t rely on a gym to get in my workout, I was able to keep up my routine while out of town. I’m a big fan of bodyweight exercises for that reason. You can do them literally anywhere…including a hotel room.
8. Reduce or Remove Certain Foods
I do what I can to limit the amount of sugar I eat. I’ve pretty much cut it all out except for ice cream. To do this, I’ve stopped drinking sodas…including diet soda. Another thing I cut out of my diet is red meat. Sure, I miss tacos and burgers, but I feel like it’s best for me to stop eating red meat. I’ve made substitutions (like eating chicken tacos) so I can still get some of the same tastes that I’m missing by cutting out red meat.
9. Intermittent Fasting
This is not right for everyone, but intermittent fasting can have a lot of health benefits, including longevity from what I’ve studied. I have been intermittent fasting since April for the health benefits. While I haven’t seen much weight loss from this change, I do like the idea of giving my digestion a break. Also, fasting leads to autophagy in the body…which is when your healthy cells eat the unhealthy cells in your body.
I usually fast for a minimum of 12 hours, but no more than 16 hours in a day. I do this by skipping breakfast and making lunch my first meal of the day. It is a great way to reduce the calories you consume in a day, which is why it helps some people lose weight.
To curb my hunger, I drink a lot of water and some coffee (black with a little Stevia). I try to avoid artificial sugars and sugars as much as I can, but I feel Stevia is a more natural option.
I encourage you to find out what works for you to lose weight, feel better, get stronger, and be healthier. Ask yourself, “what changes can I make that I will stick with?” Start out small and build your way up to where you want to get. Making small changes will add up if you stick with it.
- Eat more salad and vegetables
- Exercise for at least 10 minutes every day
- Do what works for your body
- Focus on what small improvements you can make to your diet
- Take quality nutritional supplements
- Drink more water
- Consult your doctor before making big diet and exercise changes