Healthy Habits

Getting Started

Your physical health is important, just as your spiritual health is important. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (III John 2).

Losing weight can be a long and laborious process. Losing one to two pounds a week is a healthy way to lose weight. There are several things that you can do for yourself to help this process along. One of the best ways to keep yourself from cheating is to keep a food and exercise log. Write down everything that you eat, and the exercise you do. This can be time consuming, but there is no better way to realize that in the boredom of the day, you ate a third of a pack of Oreos.

For the first week that you keep your log, I want you to do something else as well. I want you to write down why you ate what you did. Were you bored, stressed, depressed, hungry, not yet full, watching TV, or is it just habit? Understanding why you eat is part of the key to losing weight. For example, I eat when I manage to convince myself that there’s absolutely nothing to do, even when I have homework from every class and just don’t want to do it. I have to watch when that happens, or I end up eating half a bag of pretzel sticks.

Another thing you can do is increase your physical activity level. When I first started to lose weight, all I did was increase my activity – I didn’t change what I ate, when I ate, or how much I ate, and I still lost weight. One of the main reasons I kept that up was the compliments – people around campus began noticing that I had lost weight and were complimenting me! Forming a support group is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Having someone there helping you when you don’t want to get up and exercise, encouraging you, and helping you through the setbacks can mean the difference between sticking with your plan and not. Tip: If you’re one of those people who likes to walk, jog, run, ride a bike, etc. outside, be careful. Don’t take the same route everyday at the same time – it creates a pattern that predators could take advantage of. Exercise with a friend or two, or exercise where there are always people around.

Another way to lose weight is to watch your portion size. Almost all restaurants provide larger portions than the recommended size. Most of the time I end taking part of my meal home to have as another meal. Tip: It takes about 20 minutes to fill up, regardless of how much you eat in that time. Eat slowly and drink water – you’ll fill up just as fast and on fewer calories!

Snacks are where I tend to struggle the most. I have to watch carefully, because if I don’t, I end up eating too much. I also tend to overeat when watching movies – buttery popcorn and soft drinks! But there are several things you can do to curb overeating urges and channel them into something else.

  • Change your surroundings – get out of the kitchen and away from the refrigerator and pantry. This can change your mood and keep you away from temptation.

  • Take five minutes – doing something—walking, skating, breathing exercise, playing an instrument, etc.—that isn’t related to what you were doing can have a positive effect.

  • Fake out your mouth – try eating something healthy that is opposite of what you are craving – if you want something sweet, have something that isn’t (ex. pickle or pepper instead of a cookie) – and see what happens.

  • Reward yourself – treat yourself to a relaxing activity you normally wouldn’t do: a warm bath, a movie marathon, or uninterrupted reading of Christian magazines.

  • Get physical – exercise!!! The endorphins released can offset your cravings (they make you feel happy!).

  • Sit with your feelings – rather than stuffing negative or uncomfortable emotions like fear and anger by stuffing your mouth, try “being” with those feelings for five to ten minutes – write it down and try to sort it out. If you can understand what kind of moods make you crave snacks, you can learn to recognize them and take control of your cravings.

The interesting thing about these exercises is that most overeating triggers only last 15 minutes – if you can outwait them, or outwit them, you can beat them. You’ll be amazed (and happily surprised) at how different you’ll feel later. You can find all of this and more on the AOL Health. Each of us has the freedom to stand out and make a difference. Remember that applies to every area of our lives – including our health!!

Look at these two pictures and decide which one is a better example for you to follow. I can give you some tools to help you along the way, but you must decide how you are going to live your life.

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).

Food of the Month: Corn

Corn is a good source of vitamin B, which supports heart health. It’s also rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, which can reduce your risk of getting lung cancer by as much as 27 percent. (Other sources of beta-cryptoxanthin include pumpkin, papaya, red bell peppers, tangerines, oranges, and peaches.) Thiamin supports memory – it can reduce your risk of age-related impairment in mental function (senility) and Alzheimer’s disease. The fiber has been shown to reduce your risk of colon cancer.

If you’re watching your weight or your blood sugar levels, choose blue corn chips and tortillas. Corn comes in a rainbow of colors, including violet, blue, and black. Darker varieties contain greater quantities of antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins. Blue corn tortillas contain about 20 percent more protein and 8 percent less starch, giving them a lower glycemic index than the more common version made with white corn. Plus, blue corn tortillas have a softer texture and sweeter flavor than those made with white corn. To find out more about corn and other healthy foods, visit WHFoods.

By Megan Skinner

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  1. This is awsome advice on how to loose weight!So thanks alot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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