We have collectively asked our experts at Shulman Weight Loss Clinics what they think the #1 "game changing" health tip a person can make in 2018 is? Here is what they said:
My health game changing tip is to try to be a little more mindful every day. Whether it is drinking more water, avoiding sugar, not eating past 7pm - it all takes mindfulness. But...I find mindfulness is a habit. Once you begin to bring more awareness to how you are eating, moving, drinking, thinking - it all improves. So....in a nutshell - simply paying a little more attention and putting yourself on your own priority list will always pay off in the end.
Schedule some “you time” into your week. Life can get busy and with so much to think about, we sometimes forget about ourselves. Build some you time into your week and do something you absolutely love – start reading a new book, go to a great yoga class, go on a date night, or go see a movie with some friends.
My best health tip is to create rituals. This means creating healthy, and easy to accomplish, daily rituals around wake up and bedtime that instills healthy habits, sets the tone for the day, and encourages restful sleep. So, for example, when I wake up, I journal my gratitude and make sure to get in a large glass of water with lemon in it. In the evening I do an at home yoga flow, make a dinner that is loaded with veggies, and journal 3 amazing things that happened that day (even if it wasn't the best day). So get started by picking one ritual to incorporate into your morning or night, and build on those healthy habits from there. Wellness does not happen overnight, but rather is built upon brick by brick.
My #1 game changing health tip a person can achieve in 2018 is to focus on simplicity. Prioritize what you can introduce into your diet rather than what you have to remove. It reinforces a positive attitude towards eating clean and provides the body with optimal nutrients. Finding alternatives can be easy and remember the more practice you have the easier it will become. Follow some of the ideas below to begin your successful journey.
- Making sure you add vegetables to each meal and in between, at least 1cup per meal.
- Playing around with spices and herbs can add flavour and enhance digestive properties.
- Finding alternatives for cravings: unsweetened apple sauce (place it in the freezer and enjoy it as frozen "yogurt"), fruit infused water or herbal teas, Skinny Chews etc.
- Surround yourself with healthy foods and snacks to avoid temptations.
In starting the New Year, one of my top health tips is to incorporate movement whenever (and wherever!) possible. We don’t always have the time to get a workout in or to take that long walk, but we can always find an opportunity to add in a bit more activity throughout the day. For example, try a couple 30 second planks after you wake up, do some leg lifts while brushing your teeth, go up and down the stairs a few times on your lunch break, or even try some calf raises while cooking dinner. Anything works – and some sort of movement is always better than nothing! You will likely find that over the course of the day this extra activity can help boost energy, improve mood, and will eventually build some strength too. Over time this can become a habit and this additional movement will help get you in the mood to do a longer workout when you do have the time!
My health tip is water! Water is so important for a whole host of reasons. The body is primarily made up of water, we all need water to survive and thrive! Drinking 8 glasses of water per day will only replenish the water that has been lost throughout the day. We suggest drinking minimum 10 glasses of water per day! A few benefits of drinking water:
- Increased energy – Water is the vehicle that carries oxygen and fuel to our cells in turn giving us more energy.
- Healthy Skin – Your skin is the largest organ in your body, dehydration will turn your skin dry. Proper hydration will help clear the skin, making you look fresh and glowing.
- Helps with headaches – headaches are a common symptom of dehydration; drinking water can help in relieving headache symptoms and preventing future ones.
- Digestive Issues – Water aids in digestion to break down foods as well as keeping bowels moving preventing constipation.
- Cleansing - Water helps both the kidneys and liver flush out toxins and any other by-products from metabolism that are no longer needed in the body.
Do your cells a favour and keep yourself hydrated!
My game changing health tip is to disconnect. We often think about making changes to our diet, and activity levels, but many of us underestimate the importance of a good night sleep. The average adult needs 7 to 8 hours for good health and I will be the first to admit that I need closer to 9 hours to feel my best. Sleep is a time for our bodies to rest and repair and should be made a priority. Disconnecting for me involves turning off electronic devices including televisions, tablets, and cell phones 1-2 hours before bed. Why? Because blue light emitting from these devices can trick the brain into thinking its daytime, suppressing the secretion of melatonin (a hormone produced at night that prepares the body for sleep), impacting both quality and quantity of sleep. Disconnecting is a great way to spend quality time with your family, catch up on a good book, journal, or even try some gentle stretching. Take time for you and your body will thank you!
My health game changing tip is to focus on moving forward from the past. Everyday is a new day and it's very important to not dwell. Say to yourself, I am going to reset my body by setting 3 goals for the week, i.e. drinking more water, signing up for a work out class, going on a walk with a friend or eating more vegetables. The goal is to move forward, everyday is a new day!
As I have gotten older, I've found strength-building exercise has been a "game changer" for helping maintain a healthy weight and feel strong, healthy and vibrant. As we age, Estrogen declines and can contribute to a loss of 2-3% of our muscle mass per year, on average. Since muscle requires more calories to maintain, losing it means consuming less calories just to stay at the same weight-not good news for girl like me who loves her food! I now focus on increasing muscle and reducing body fat through a regular strength building program rather then trying to see a lower number on the scale. Muscle is denser tissue, so it weighs more but takes up less space. Having more muscle means my clothing fits better, my body feels stronger and my weight is easier to maintain even with the occasional indulgence. Strength training also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis by improving bone density. Eating to ensure muscle is built and not burned during a strength training program means lean proteins at every meal plus lots of veggies to help absorb all the nutrients needed to build muscle. Energy from high quality grains,vitamin and mineral rich fruits plus anti-inflammatory fats are also essential for stamina. You don’t have to invest tons of time or lift super heavy weights either. Pump classes, pilates and yoga are all great options. At home; planks, squats, pushups, sit-ups and lifting even small weights can make a huge difference. The important thing is to move your body and to try challenging different muscle groups on a regular basis.
Good fats! Fats (good fats) in your food don’t equal fat on your body. Good fats are essential for your health (and weight loss too.) Good fats satiate you, balance your blood sugar and hormones and boost metabolism. Fats give you beautiful skin and stimulate your digestion too (keep your pipes lubricated.) Fat in food taste great! Incorporate good fats into every meal: cold pressed oils, coconut oil, butter, ghee, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, seeds, natural nut and seed butters, avocado, olives etc.
My game changing health tip for 2018 is to work on being present in the moment! It is so easy to go through a day, a week, a month and feel as if the time has just flown by. We may not be able to stop time, but we can certainly try our best to slow it down by enjoy the littlest of things. It may sound silly, but feeling the fresh air on your face, hearing the sounds of the environment around you, or noticing the facial expressions of people on the street. The opportunities are endless! Moments with our environment, with others, with our thoughts, and with our bodies. One of my favourite 'present in the moment' tips for health is regarding a decision we make every day, multiple times per day! The choice of what to eat. Next time you are deciding what to eat, stop and remember that in that very moment you have an opportunity to nourish yourself. Where that single choice you make can bring you closer to your health goals, or further away from it. Some of my personal 'being present in the moment' game changers.
- When taking the time to eat a meal, sit down, chew, taste the flavours and actually enjoy it.
- When with friends and/or family, put distractions (like my phone) away, out of sight and listen to the person in front of me.
- Simple enough right? Yet this one is a work in progress for me. I find I can best remind myself to 'check in' with my breathing while i'm driving. Being present in the moment also means having your mind be present with your body!
Realistically, we can't be present with absolutely every single moment. But choosing even one can impact the quality of our day!
Sleep more/better. Sleep affects all aspects of your life, from energy to play with your family, productivity at work, emotional joy, self esteem, ability to cope. Sleep will help you stay healthy during germ season and will help you heal faster if you DO get sick. Lack of sleep can prematurely make you look older as well. Sleep is a game changed for your entire life. It's no wonder when you haven't gotten adequate sleep, that life feels like it's falling apart. Take a second and really evaluate how to get those minimum 7 hours daily. You will honestly be amazed at how your days feel.
My game changing tip would be getting digestion in tip top shape. Don't let gas, flatulence, bloating, constipation or diarrhea get in your way in 2018! Find out what your body needs: digestive enzymes? probiotics? more greens? more water? more fiber? more healthy fats? more movement? Better digestion means increased nutrient assimilation, more energy, better skin, improved immunity, and weight loss.
Organization and planning! Meal plan for 3 days - buy the groceries, precook and prep for those 3 days at a time.