Everyone wants to stay beautifully thin and healthy. Unfortunately, for many, time and gravity plays a part in our lives, causing our waists to expand and our chests to sag.
Unfortunately, most of us are looking for a magic pill to take care of those pesky problems such as the proverbial spare tire and flabby upper arms.
What few people know is that you can actually keep yourself slim and younger looking, not to mention healthy, by simply following a few tips.
Keep reading to find out just how easy it is to stay healthy, sexy, and thin by practicing a few simple rules most days of the week!
- Follow the 80 percent Rule
Most of us love to eat, and why not? It is one of life’s true pleasures! Unfortunately, we tend to eat too much most of the time. You can still enjoy all the food life has to offer, every delicious morsel, and still stay thin. How? Stop eating when you are about 80 percent full. This means you can eat a healthy meal, enjoy a glass of wine, even chocolate cake for dessert! You just need to stop eating when you feel almost full. Slowdown while you are eating and you will feel when you are just about full. This is the time to stop.
- Keep a Lookout for Oversized Portions
Too many of us feel that we must clean our plates when we are served as we don’t want food to go to waste. While no one should waste food, keep in mind that by giving yourself smaller portions, you won’t feel forced to finish everything. Remember that you can always serve yourself more if you are still hungry.
When eating out, choose lunch entrees over the dinner sized portion if possible or simply ask for a doggie bag right away and put half (or more) away for tomorrow’s lunch. Eat a salad first and drink a glass of water before you eat anything else.
- Cut Back on TV and Video Games
We spend far too much time watching television and playing video games. While these are entertaining pastimes, they are not meant to be indulged in for hours at a time. In fact, you can easily moderate your pastimes with exercise by making a schedule that for every hour you watch TV or play video games, you must spend 1 hour doing exercise or some other type of chore, such as walking the dog, playing outside with your children, cleaning the house, or helping out at a soup kitchen. You can do almost anything during that hour, but you have to make it something where you aren’t sitting or lying down.
- Cut Back on Fast Food
Let’s face it; cooking at home from scratch is time consuming and not that much fun for most people. However, the other side of that coin is that fast food is expensive, fattening, and not at all good for you.
Work at making fast food an occasional treat or to be used in a true emergency when you can’t get home and don’t have time for a restaurant. Fast food can be a particularly nasty habit to break, but it can be done.
Mark on a calendar, over a 30 day period every time you eat at a fast food restaurant. For example, let’s say you discover that you are eating at Mickey D’s 3 times a week. During the next month, work at cutting it back to twice a week. The following month, once a week. The next month, make it only 3 times per month. This is a fairly easy way to withdraw from the fast food addiction blues.
- Control Stress
Uncontrolled, ongoing stress is as dangerous to your body as getting drunk every day. Find ways to reduce and manage stress in your life. You can start by removing people who cause you stress, or at least limiting the amount of time you spend with them. Then learn ways to manage your stress through relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.
- Be Sun Safe
Although the human body needs a bit of sunlight, it doesn’t need much. Try to get 30 minutes of sun exposure on your bare skin most days. Early morning sun is best. After that, avoid the sun during the hours of 10AM and 3 PM when the sun is at its strongest. Wear sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and other protective clothing or seek out the shade as much as possible. Be especially careful with your face, unless you think sunspots, wrinkles, and leathery looking skin is beautiful.
While you might feel that you don’t have time to exercise, almost everyone can squeeze in 30 minutes most days. Try taking three 10 minute segments if you must. Walk as fast as you can for 5 minutes, then turn around and walk back. If you do that 3 times a day – you’re finished! Some weight training and other exercise would be extra beneficial, but if this was all you could manage, you would be far ahead of the crowd.
- Get Your Rest
Americans tend to think of sleeping as something that the elderly and “weak” people do a lot of. This is not true and can be detrimental to your health. Your body needs time to reset, to heal, to repair, and to build everything from new muscle to new brain cells. It can only do this when you are asleep. Most people need 7 to 9 hours each night to feel their best. No, sleeping in an extra 4 hours on the weekend won’t make up for it. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each and every night.
- Be Social
Study after study has found that people who stay in contact with friends and/or family are happier, healthier, and live longer. This doesn’t mean you have to be best buddies with your in-laws, but stay in touch with people who make you feel good and those that make you laugh. People who have a positive outlook on life are also healthier and live longer than those negative Nancy’s. Find people who you have fun with and those that make you feel good about yourself. Yes, it really is that simple.
- Everything in Moderation
This really is the key to life. Everything in moderation, including moderation. This means that it’s OK to stay out really late every now and then, to eat a big piece of cake on your birthday, and to lie in bed watching a 6 hour Breaking Bad marathon. It’s NOT ok, however, to do this every weekend!
Of course, if you only followed these tips and you continued to smoke or drink to excess on a regular basis, don’t be surprised if you find yourself flabby and not-so-fit. These are simply tips to help you stay on the healthy, positive side of life as much as possible. The real work, however, is up to you.