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Your journey to healthy living is one that is in a constant state of progress. It’s a process of getting rid of unhealthy habits and incorporating healthier ones and this doesn’t happen overnight, it can take years and patience is key during this time! But there are a few things that you can incorporate immediately that will help you tremendously in your quest! These are things that will help you to feel more energized, organized and motivated to make healthier choices the whole day long!

1. Eat breakfast!

Did you know that the majority of people who skip breakfast are overweight? When you skip breakfast you will inevitably overdo it around lunchtime because you’re starving! Just think, even if you went to bed at 1am, by the time you eat something at around 11am it’s already been 10 hours since  you last ate! On top of that, you probably didn’t eat right at 1am so you have to count from your last meal/snack to when you finally eat the next day, you could be going on 15 hours or more without eating! Not cool, friends! Your body needs to eat every 3 hours or so to keep your energy levels topped up so you can function properly throughout the day! It’s called breakfast for a reason, you’re breaking the fast you’ve been on since you slept!

Eating breakfast every day is known to help with increased focus and concentration, a more nutritionally sound diet, lower cholesterol levels and boosts your metabolism so that you burn more calories throughout the day!

So start eating breakfast! Even if you’re the busiest person the planet you can still whip up a protein shake or have an all-natural breakfast bar to keep you going until you can have something better to eat later on. No excuses!

2. Sleep 1/2 hour longer

If you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep per day, something’s gotta change! Your body needs sleep just as much as it needs hydration, proper nutrients and vitamins and regular exercise!

Sleep is beneficial in a lot of very important ways: it regulates our moods (aren’t we usually crabby and irritable when we don’t sleep enough?), alters our immune function, is linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels and even irregular heartbeat. It’s also a safety hazard! If you don’t get enough sleep you can’t focus or concentrate enough on the task at hand and you could wind up in an accident! Finally, lack of sleep is also linked to weight gain! There have been reports that the lack of sleep affects important hormone levels that can cause overeating, increased cravings and weight gain.

What more evidence do you need? Start by either going to bed a 1/2 hour earlier or waking up a 1/2 hour later. If you think this is impossible, I can dispute it! You can find the time! If you notice that you spend the last hour of your day on the TV or online, cut it out and go to bed! You need between 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day to gain optimal health!

3. Pack dinner leftovers immediately into containers for lunch

When I make a big meal for dinner I always bring out extra containers just when I’m about to plate the meal. I’ll serve dinner and then take whatever’s leftover and divide them into sealable containers. This does two things: 1) It provides an easy peasy lunch option for the next day, and 2) it curbs the temptation to go and get seconds!

If you don’t normally have enough for leftovers start making bigger batches of food. This is seriously a huge timesaver when it comes to bringing your lunch to work!

4. Send a daily email/text to your most motivating friend

On an almost daily basis I am in contact with my best friend, mostly by email. Not only does it keep us in touch as we live in different cities but she’s also one of my biggest supporters and motivators. On days I’m not in the mood to work out, she unknowingly gives me the motivation to do it anyway as she  is an athlete and is normally talking about which marathon she’s training for or which workout is really working for her.

Figure out who in your life motivates you the most and start contacting them more often! Even if you don’t actually know the person, find someone online that you’ve admired from afar and try to create a rapport with them. Allow them to motivate you and get excited! Start following your favourite celebrity personal trainers on Facebook or Twitter, read inspiring books and watching inspiring shows. Make it a plan to absorb yourself in some sort of inspiration every day and you’ll find that the days you’re unmotivated are far outweighed by the days you are motivated!

5. Set a timer for every 50 minutes to remind yourself to get up, stretch and walk around a bit

If anyone has a job that requires them to sit at a desk for long periods of time, it’s so easy to get caught in a slump and feel run down by the time you go home. You’re basically stationary for hours out of your day! Sitting for long periods of time not only makes our whole bodies stiff but it may also increase your chances of developing chronic heart disease even if you are quite active outside of work! Apparently even the buffest person in the world can’t escape the effects of a desk job!

To better help yourself out, set an alarm on either your phone or use your email system for every 50 minutes. When it goes off that’s your reminder to stand up, stretch and/or go for a quick walk. Just for 10 minutes! Take this time to fill up your water bottle, grab a snack, hand deliver a report or whatever. Just make it as often as possible to get the blood flowing and the stiffness out of your body!

Another handy tool is to us an app called Time Out. This app is programmed to grey out your screen at pre-set intervals to remind you to either take a break and look away from the screen or encourage you to get up and move around and I use this daily. I set it to grey out my screen every 10 minutes for 15 seconds to remind me to take a sip of water and look away from my screen. I then also have it set to grey out my screen every 50 minutes for 10 minutes and I use this to get off my butt and get moving!

Photo Credit: Jacques Laurent

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