10 Tips for a Heart Healthy 2010

Lisa Nelson Health Pro
  • Are you ready to achieve your health and wellness goals this year? You can do it!


    Here are ten tips to get you started on the right path this year:


    1. Commit to Monday makeovers.


    If you want to successfully change your habits you have to take it one step at a time. Trying to change everything all at once will set you up for failure. This year focus on one new goal each week. Remember, slow and steady will win in the end!


    2. Focus on nutrient dense foods.


    Select nutrient dense foods to promote overall health and weight loss. The nutrient density of a food is measured by the amount of nutrients a food contains versus the number of calories. For example, fruit is very nutrient dense while potato chips have a low nutrient density.

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    3. Lose the diet mentality.


    Diets typically backfire. If you lose weight by following a diet it's very likely you will gain the weight back. Studies even show you will gain back more weight than you lost. Following a diet may lead to obsessing about food and eventual binge-eating patterns. Instead of "going on a diet", focus on healthy new eating habits.


    4. Eat well-balanced small meals.


    Keep your metabolism high by eating 5-6 small well-balanced meals everyday, instead of the standard 3 large meals with no snacks. This allows your body to burn calories efficiently versus storing extra energy as fat. Shoot for a small meal or snack every 3-4 hours.


    5. Think your drink.


    Liquid calories add up quickly and they do not produce a feeling of satiety (fullness), so it's important to be aware of what you sip all day. Soft drinks, sweet tea, lemonade, and lattes are full of sugar with little nutritional value. Wise beverage choices include water, flavored water (with no added sugar!), fruit spritzers, and unsweetened herbal teas.

    6. Start packing a lunch.


    Taking a lunch to work is good for your wallet and your health. If your mornings are hectic prepare you lunch the night before so you just have to "grab and go" during the morning rush. Prepare a large dish or two on the weekend you can portion out and freeze for your lunches.


    7. Eat more meals at home.


    You already know restaurant meals are high in calories with double or triple portions that contribute to weight gain. However, preparing meals at home can be difficult when you are juggling a busy schedule. Overcome this hurdle by planning ahead. Pick one day each week to plan out your meals for the upcoming week. Use this plan to write your grocery list. You'll have ingredients on hand and you won't have to think about "what's for dinner?" Just refer to your plan. Stick it on the fridge!


    8. Increase daily movement.


    With the recent financial strains a gym membership may not fit in your budget. The good news is you don't need a fancy gym to get the activity you need everyday. Look at your daily routine and identify where you can add more activity. For example, can you walk or bike to work? Can you park your car further from buildings when you go to work or shopping? Can you take stairs instead of the elevator? Can you devote 15 minutes of your lunch break to a walk outside or around the building? These small additions will add up!


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    9. Make Family Time Fit Time.


    When you spend time with your family what do you do? Watch TV? Have a family meeting and discuss fun activities the whole family can do that will promote fitness. Could be some friendly Wii boxing matches, trips to the zoo where you log a few miles walking, hiking adventures to enjoy nature, or simply a game of tag at the local park. Be creative so family time is a healthy and enjoyable part of your life.

    10. Make sleep a priority.


    You need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. How many are you getting? Not enough? Look at your bedtime routine and identify where you can make changes to "wind down" earlier to add an extra hour of sleep each night. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends. This will make it easier to fall asleep and improve your overall quality of sleep. Also, there is nothing wrong with an afternoon nap when you need one!


    Receive regular heart healthy weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson at

    http://www.hearthealthwithlisa.com. You'll also receive access to the special report How to Make Heart Healthy Changes into Lifelong Habits!


Published On: January 06, 2010