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13 No-Fuss Ways to Be Healthy All Day Long

posted: 06/02/15
by: Mara Betsch

A photo posted by ZIMRI (@iamzimri) on

There's no magic bullet to weight loss -- in involves making changes to you life. But those changes don't have to involve super strict diets and hours of gym time. In fact, making small tweaks to your daily routine -- from when you get up in the morning to when you turn off the light at night -- may actually help you slim down and live healthier. Try these super simple things you can do to improve your health and lose a few pounds along the way.

1. Add cinnamon/nutmeg to your coffee

Sugar has been proven to cause weight gain, as well as plenty of other chronic conditions. Instead of adding a tablespoon or two to your coffee, try adding in cinnamon or nutmeg. Both add a nice flavor and cinnamon has actually been proven to lower blood sugar levels.

2. Eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice in the morning

Orange juice has plenty of vitamin C, but at 120 calories a cup and 20 grams of sugar, you're better off eating the fruit. One whole orange has just 70 calories, 11 grams of sugar and 3 grams of filling fiber.

3. Exercise whenever you have a minute

You don't like going to the gym, and frankly, don't have the time. So, get your exercise in while you can. Do calf raises while waiting in line, take a walk break each hour (even if it's just around the office), take the stairs whenever possible, park in a far away parking space, clean your home during commercial breaks, wash your car on the weekend. All of these things burn calories, as long as you do them regularly.

4. Top things with hot sauce

Ranch dressing, mayonnaise, and other popular condiments are unfortunately pretty caloric. But just a dash of hot sauce can actually add flavor and help you lose weight. Red chili peppers, found in most hot sauces, contain capsinoids that actually help you burn fat. Another study found that spicy foods like red peppers can actually curb your appetite and help you burn more calories after the meal.

5. Add veggies to everything you eat

Vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients, and are a huge part of any healthy diet. Instead of subtracting foods, which may seem restrictive, try adding veggies to you favorite foods. Top your omelet off with chopped tomatoes, add carrot and celery sticks to your lunch, and saut? mushrooms to top off your chicken breast. As you begin eating more of these healthy foods, you'll probably notice you're not as interested in the other unhealthy options like cheese, chips, and French fries.

6. Upgrade your water

Water is your weight loss best friend. Drinking a lot of it can curb appetite and increase your metabolism -- one German study found that drinking two cups of water boosted calorie burn by 30% in just 10 minutes, and the levels were heightened for up to an hour afterward. Plus, it's calorie-free! Spice it up by adding lemon or cucumbers to your water for a fresh flavor. Berries also make a good option. And if you love soda, try seltzer water. It may not be as sweet as soda, but the carbonation is familiar, and you can add lemon, lime and other fruits and veggies to this type of water, too.

7. Bring your own lunch

Home cooking is a proven way to control what's in your food. A recent Johns Hopkins study found that people who ate home more often consumed less calories and ate healthier. So if you make dinner at home, pack the leftovers for lunches. Popping your healthy lunch in the microwave is a lot easier than avoiding the less-than-nutritious restaurant options. Chances are, even if you pack the same thing you typically buy, you'll probably use less butter or oil than restaurant versions. And you'll save money, too!

8. Shut down tech before bedtime

Several studies have shown that staring at screens messes with your natural sleep rhythms. One 2011 study found that just hours of iPad reading curbed the release of melatonin that tells your body it's time to go to sleep. Lack of sleep is bad for your body and your waistline -- sleep deprivation increases hunger and has been associated with eating more calories.

9. Leave 3-4 bites on your plate

Not quite cleaning your plate can cut about 100 calories --and you probably won't even notice the difference.

10. Eat fruit before every meal.

Have a banana or apple as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. According to a recent Pennsylvania State University study, people who ate apples 15 minutes before lunch consumed about 187 fewer calories during their meal.

11. Wear a fitness tracker

Even if you aren't a big gym-goer, studies show that people who wear a device (a Fitbit, a pedometer, etc.) that tracks their daily steps are more motivated than others to stay active.

12. Spend time outside every day

Not only is this a great way to fit in exercise, but just breathing in fresh air can boost oxygen flow to the brain. Combining the great outdoors and exercise can boost endorphins and give you more energy.

13. But if you do go to the gym, listen to your iPod

Jamming out to your favorite tunes may encourage you to work out longer. A study from Brunel University in London discovered that runners who listened to high-energy rock or pop music ran for 15% longer--and reported feeling more energized. This can go for chores, too. Put on your favorite tunes as you dust or sweep and notice how you don't mind cleaning a little longer.