Healthy Habits e-Newsletter -- HH go beyond nutrition & exercise! + chicken enchilada recipe!

Congratulations! You set your goals, worked hard, and transformed masterfully. You’ve implemented Healthy Habits and are a new, healthier you. One of the next steps on your health journey is optimizing your healthy weight. Here are some keys to success for remaining in your target range:

  • Be mindful about food choices. When confronted with a choice between what looks good and what is good, continue to make the nutritious selection that will be more beneficial for your long-term health.

  • Healthy motion. Burning calories and increasing metabolism are important factors for maintaining a healthy weight. In addition to the physical benefits, it can boost your mood and help combat stress and anxiety. Pick an exercise that you enjoy doing or work out with a friend so you’re more likely to stick with it.

  • Plan ahead. Plan ahead for situations you know will pose a challenge for your healthy eating routine, such as vacations or holidays. Decide your meals in advance to avoid being hungry and making unhealthy decisions.

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water promotes fullness, increases metabolism, and helps burn fat. Try to drink around 64 ounces a day to stay hydrated.

  • Manage stress. Stress stimulates the appetite and is a common trigger for impulsive eating. Utilize techniques to manage your stress such as meditation, exercise, or keeping a stress journal.

  • Use your support system. Reach out to your Coach or loved one for extra motivation. Having that extra support while navigating through difficult situations or simply for encouragement can help keep your goals and accountability in perspective.

  • Track food intake. Keeping track of your food intake enhances awareness of what you’re eating and makes it easier to identify any corrections that should be made to your diet. Try using an app that provides specific calorie and nutrient counts so you can easily pinpoint your habits and make choices in a mindful way.

Living a life with Healthy Habits requires dedication and accepting that old habits should remain in the past. Having a positive attitude and incorporating these techniques will help the changes you made stick in the present and future.

Ask me, your OPTAVIA Coach, about other ways to incorporate Healthy Habits on your journey to lifelong transformation, one healthy habit at a time™.

Sleep plays an important role in physical health, brain function and emotional wellbeing. How you feel when you’re awake is partly due to your quality of sleep. While sleep may seem like a long stream of unconsciousness, your body is actually replenishing nutrients and processing information that your brain was too busy to analyze during the day.

In addition to following the micro Habits of Health such as getting between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, here are some tips to improve overall sleep habits:

  • Stick to a schedule. Sticking to the same sleep schedule helps the body find its natural rhythm and settle into a regular cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up. An irregular sleep schedule can cause irritability, drowsiness, and mood swings. It’s important to stick to the same schedule on the weekends as well—your body has a difficult time adjusting if your weekend schedule is drastically different from your weekday routine.

  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and promotes alertness, so naturally it would make it more difficult to go to sleep after enjoying a cup of coffee. It can also affect the quality of your sleep.

  • Eat at least two hours prior. Just like caffeine, certain foods act as stimulants which can make it harder to transition to sleep mode if you eat too late. Eating right before bed can also cause reflux or digestive discomfort the next morning.

  • Relax before bedtime. Take a bath or listen to soothing music to activate relaxation and prepare your body for bed. Try to avoid electronics, including texting and using the computer.

  • Create an optimal sleep environment. Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and a moderate temperature. Use white noise to mask ambient noises.

  • Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Sometimes the anxiety of not being asleep can make it harder to fall asleep. If you’re still awake after a half hour of lying in bed, get up and do a relaxing activity until you start to feel sleepy.

If you often feel tired during the day or don’t wake up refreshed, it may be helpful to keep a sleep diary to track these patterns and consult your doctor for professional advice. Keep in mind that along with nutrition and exercise, quality sleep is a pillar for achieving Optimal Health.