We are a society on the go nearly all the time – so many places to go and so much to accomplish and we are accustomed to putting our head down and hitting the gas pedal no matter what else may be happening around us. Unfortunately, it is this exact type of thinking that may have put us in the position of facing our own health concerns. Those who are overweight may struggle with their weight because of the amount of food that they consume or the types of food that they consume but in the end it really comes down to a failure to make themselves a priority. To focus on yourself and make yourself a priority may seem like a selfish thing to do. But in reality it’s the most loving thing you can do – for yourself.
If you’re looking to make a change or if you’ve already begun the process of getting healthy and want to make a commitment to maintaining this commitment, then it’s time to slow down and put first things first. It’s time to make your health the priority in your life before anything else. And that takes a big and loving commitment on your part. Here’s what you can do to put yourself first:
Start saying no. You don’t have to be everywhere at all times. When you are rushing around and trying to do too much you put yourself in a situation where overeating or making poor choices can happen very easily. Decide what is important enough for your participation and say no to the rest.
Plan your meals. Taking a few minutes each week to plan out your meals puts you solidly in charge of what you’re putting in your body and takes the guesswork out of your next meal. Put a meal plan together, do your shopping, and begin each week fresh with a commitment to being healthy and successful.
Take time every day for yourself. It can be difficult to slow down and take a breath but it’s important for shifting the focus back onto your own health. Take a few minutes every day to do something for you – whether it’s meditating, taking a yoga class, meeting a friend for coffee, or something else that makes you happy.
By taking it one step at a time and making slow and thoughtful decisions with your health front of mind, you can and will change your life and your future.
If you’ve struggled with your weight over the years then you’ve likely tried the many diets that have come along with being overweight – the counting calories, the exercise, and the countless fad diets that hit the market year after year. If you’ve made the choice to have weight loss surgery and you’re just now getting back to a semi-normal style of eating, then you’ve surely come to find out that there are still many choices for you to make. Yes, the surgery has diminished the amount of food that you are able to eat and still remain comfortable. But it’s up to you to listen to your body in terms of how much you can eat at one time and to make the decisions regarding what you put in your body. It’s still essential to stick to the calorie plan assigned to you by your doctor or nutritionist but it’s also important to realize that not every calorie is created equal.
What does this mean? Simply that each and every food – while assigned a calorie count – also comes with its own nutritional qualities. So eating 100 calories of potato chips, for example, is quite different than eating 100 calories of vegetables. While you may be eating within your range of calories you may not ultimately be doing your body – or your weight loss goals – any good by choosing one calorie count food over another. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when planning your calorie intake:
Limit sugar. Those high sugar foods may taste good and many of them are even relatively low in calories, but they pack a negative punch. High sugar foods increase cravings, destabilize blood sugar, cause a spike and subsequent crash in energy, and put you at risk for weight gain and even the development of diabetes.
Read labels with vigor. It’s best to eat as many whole foods as possible and that means choosing foods with as few ingredients as possible. Reading labels is crucial to staying in control. Sugar comes in the form of ingredients such as sucrose, molasses, corn syrup, corn sugar, maltodextrin, dextrose, and more.
Eat foods of many colors. Filling your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables of many different colors means that you are providing your body with a variety of nutrients that are both filling and adept at providing your body with all the energy it needs.