As you may know, I have been trying to be more health conscious since the New Year. I’ve made a few (small!) key changes that have helped me to feel better, but there are still a few additional things I want to start incorporating into my routine to help improve my overall health. Consider this my “one fourth of the way through the year check-in”!
Accomplished: Eliminating “extra” sugar during the work day
I’ve mentioned my daily struggle with my candy dish. Bite size Snickers and Twix seem innocent enough, don’t they? It’s so easy to pop one of the small chocolates when I feel an energy slump or am just plain bored. I’ve been able to avoid these by reminding myself of how I feel afterwards. It isn’t that I get a stomachache or feel uncomfortably full or something (of course not, they’re miniature), but I always regret “messing up” a good day of eating by indulging when I wasn’t really hungry or in need of a piece of chocolate.
Of course I don’t always resist the urge to grab a sweet snack, but am I doing much better than I have in past months.
I’ve also cut out my daily packet of fruit snacks. In true 12-year-old fashion, I used to have a packet of fruit snacks every day with lunch. Why? Seriously… why? I didn’t need them. I wasn’t still hungry. It was a habit that I needed to quit cold turkey. While I missed the sugary “treat” at first, now I don’t even think about it!
Accomplished: Cutting out unnecessary snacking
I don’t think I’m the only person out there who mindlessly snacks. I’m most guilty of this post-workout. I usually go to the gym from 5:30-6:30. By the time I get home and start making dinner, I’m ravenous. I’ll start snacking on something random—Popcorners, Wheat Thins, cheese slices, etc.—while I’m making dinner. Then, of course, once dinner is ready, I’m not that hungry for the good, nutritious stuff.
To combat this, I’ve used the same strategy I use for avoiding the candy dish. I always regret filling up on snacks before dinner, so I remind myself of this and that is usually enough to keep me out of the pantry.
If I absolutely need something to eat, I’ll portion something out instead of having an open bag of chips sitting on the countertop. After the serving is gone, it’s time to wait until dinner.
Accomplished: Cutting back on dessert
I feel a little bit fraudulent talking about this since I happened to down several handfuls of Jolly Rancher jelly beans after dinner tonight, but…
While I’m still a choc-o-holic, I’ve gone from eating waaay to much sugar post-dinner to having one small dessert. Maybe it’s a serving of Oreos (the marshmallow ones are amazing), a peanut butter egg, or a VitaCake (my current go-to)… I’m finally starting to learn that just a little bit can go a long way and I don’t have to eat sweets just because they’re there.
Goal: Add in one extra workout each week
Currently, I exercise on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and I’d really like to add in one more day. I think this will be exponentially easier once my gym re-opens (April 12th!). My current plan is to do cardio (I’ve missed having cardio machines at my disposal!) or take a group exercise class depending on what the schedule is.
Goal: Drink more water on the weekend
I am pretty good when it comes to drinking water during the week day, and I usually get in about ten cups, give or take. However, this plummets on the weekend, and I’m lucky if I get one or two cups per day. I’m going to try to implement the same strategy I use at work while I’m at home—always keeping a tumbler or water bottle full and within reach. Even if I can up my intake to five cups, that will be an improvement.
Goal: Get more sleep
Ah, sleep… don’t we all need more of it? I will be exhausted all day and then when it comes time to turn off the lights and go to bed, I easily get sucked into checking Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/etc. and will find myself wide awake forty-five minutes past my target bedtime. I think I’m just going to have to cut myself off cold turkey—no technology after 10:00PM perhaps?
Do you crave sweets after dinner? How do you keep yourself in check? Why did I even buy those darn jelly beans at Target today?!