healthy habits

5 Morning Habits That Have Made Me More Successful (and Less Stressed)

If you find your life chaotic, stressful, and unproductive, you may need to rethink your morning routine. Here are 5 morning habits that have made me successful (and less stressed).

Perform the same wake up routine every morning


Personal Trainer Wisdom: This tip is the most important to keep in mind. Chances are that you’ll craft a routine that’s personal for you (which you should). What’s most important is that you stick to it. Not only will you minimize your decision fatigue, but you're also starting your day in a well-structured manner (instead of your typical chaotic run-around that starts your day on a stressful note). The key to your productivity and happiness will mostly depend on your autopilot behaviors…the behaviors that really steer your time. If they are ineffective and anxiety-producing, any positive effort outside of them will be fruitless.

Wake up at the same time every day…without snoozing


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Your body operates on a circadian rhythm. In fact, it depends on it to run effectively and efficiently. Any time you go to bed or wake up at different times, you keep your body guessing. If you wake up at the same time every morning, on the other hand, your body will become accustomed to this habit and efficiently release hormones up to 3 hours before to slowly wake you (while allowing the proper rest your organs need). I repeat an important statement for my snoozers: Efficiently release hormones up to 3 hours to slowly wake you. Moral of the story: Let your body wake you naturally. Snoozing only breaks up your REM sleep and leaves you drowsy (and the REM sleep is the valuable sleep you need for recovery). Any sleep you achieve post-snooze is a tease and a waste since it takes up to 45 minutes to achieve REM sleep again. If you set your alarm for 7:00 am and snooze until 7:30 am, do everyone else in the house a favor and just set it for 7:30 am. Just be sure to run out of bed as if there’s a fire in the house to resist the urge to sleep longer.

Perform the same lineup of getting ready


Personal Trainer Wisdom: Why waste time thinking about everything you have left to do while walking around like a sleepless zombie (yes, I know: redundant)? Take the guesswork out of your morning lineup. You’re less likely to forget to do something and more likely to minimize the frantic run-around before you leave. And you’ll be efficient! Here’s my lineup:

-Shut off the alarm.
-Run to the bathroom with my work clothes as if the bed was on fire.
-Put in my contacts.
-Shave my face.
-Rub on “Make my Face 20 Years Younger” lotion.
-Fix my hair.
-Brush my teeth while starting the coffee maker.
-Etc., etc., etc.,

I perform this lineup every morning (weekends, too). Your list should be just as structured and detailed.

Prepare at least 2 meals for the day


Personal Trainer Wisdom: The healthiest people prepare their meals. Unless you’re Tom Brady or Angelina Jolie, you probably need to wear the chef hat in the morning. If you don’t, you’re taking a chance on takeout or restaurant service. I make 3 meals each morning between 7:10 and 7:25: Meal 1, meal 2, and meal 3. That’s right folks…my eating regiment sounds like a feeding regiment for a thoroughbred. Using a blend of fresh or frozen vegetables, prepared or canned beans, nuts, seeds, and a small ratio of animal protein, I’m able to efficiently make my meals for the day in only 15 minutes (and you can too).

Don't forget that one of these meals must be breakfast. I don’t budge on this rule. You should never start your day on a deficit. If you disagree, ask yourself this: Do you not eat breakfast because...

1.) you never have time?
2.) you’re stressed and lose your appetite easily?
3.) you want to save the calories for overindulges later in the day?
4.) your favorite celebrity does it, or a friend unscientifically happen to lose weight while cutting out breakfast?

You probably answered “yes” to at least one of these questions. Before you say “I don’t do that,” you may want to reevaluate the reasons why. More times than not, the reason is convenience, you're unwilling to adapt, or another intent unrelated to optimal health.

Read a book (not a screen) while you eat breakfast


Personal Trainer Wisdom: I’ve hit a wall here…I’m truly struggling to come up with interesting reasons to sell the act of reading to you. Sadly, most people need to be convinced to read even though it’s pivotal to our learning process, helps us organize our thoughts, and contributes to a greater vocabulary and problem solving ability. Even though the act of reading isn’t sexy, the most successful people in the world are constant learners (and readers). If that doesn’t entice you, reading can also help you create more mental space by narrowing your focus and reducing your stress. Most importantly, it forces you to slow down your life for a moment (you can’t run around and read a book at the same time…although I’ve seen people try on the treadmill).

Photo Credit:
Blog.bookbaby.com–Is coffee the only thing you need to charge your day?

Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness
5 Morning Habits That Have Made Me More Successful (and Less Stressed)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

"40 Ways to Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits" Review

Are you struggling to find ways to teach your kids healthy habits? I've found several easy ways that you can adopt today that will change your kids' health for a lifetime (from healthy habits list "40 Ways to Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits").

MAKE VEGGIES THE BASE OF EVERY MEAL


You wouldn’t build a building without a solid foundation, so why would you make a meal that’s got a less-than-solid core? Making vegetables the centerpiece of your meals means you’ll almost automatically eat fewer calories while loading up on vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This doesn’t mean eating only salad, either — stir-fries, curries, spring rolls, soups, and even enchiladas can all fit into this healthy eating plan.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you train your kids to make vegetables the center of each meal, they will be more likely to do the same. Not only create this type of plate but also discuss the reasons why you should choose these foods (think Popeye and spinach).

KICK SODA TO THE CURB


Soda is one of the worst offenders when it comes to sugar, calories, and high fructose corn syrup in our kids’ diets. Research suggests that soda is among the biggest contributors to our ever-growing obesity epidemic, and all those extra calories provide zero nutritional benefits. Give your kids a healthy start by saying to no soda, whether regular or diet. If they’re eager to enjoy a fizzy drink, give them unsweetened seltzer with just a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice,

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Luckily, kids aren't employed and receive a wage. They most likely would waste their whole paycheck on soda and candy. I grew up with a new 2-liter of RC in the fridge every other day. Let's be honest. If something is in the house, you or the kids are mostly to consume it. Resist the temptation and don't buy it. Instead, teach your kids about a healthy alternative to satisfy that want.

SWAP IN VEGGIES FOR NOODLES


Yes, it’s adorable to hear little kids mispronounce “spaghetti.” However, those white noodles you’re buying at the supermarket may have the not-so-adorable effect of prompting serious food cravings in your kiddos and adding to their risk of diabetes and obesity. Instead, buy yourself a spiralizer and make your own noodles from vegetables like zucchini and yellow squash. Not only are they preservative-free and lower in calories, but they’re also quicker to cook than your regular boxed pasta.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: While this substitution might be a tough sell, it can be convincing...especially if you invite them to help. Call it a nutritious edible art project! Spaghetti squash is also an option.

CUT OUT FRUIT COCKTAIL


Fruit is such a healthy and delicious snack, but somehow, companies have managed to make it bad for you in so many surprising ways. One such unpleasant iteration comes in the form of fruit cocktail, a syrup-laden, sugar-packed treat that’s marketed under the guise of health food. With way more calories and sugar than a fresh piece of fruit, tons of artificial dyes and preservatives, and potentially-obesogenic BPA in the can, you’re far better off giving your kids something else.

INSPECT LABELS FOR HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP


Even if you’re not a family with a shared sweet tooth, you may be eating more high fructose corn syrup than you bargained for. High fructose corn syrup is being added to everything from condiments to whole grain bread these days, so it’s of the utmost importance you read the nutrition labels before you put even seemingly-healthy items in your cart. Research conducted at Princeton University reveals that consumption of high fructose corn syrup caused greater increases in body fat, weight, and triglyceride levels in rats than consuming a greater number of calories in sucrose.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I think we see a theme here. Any food served in syrup or with the word 'syrup' in the ingredients should be taken out of the cart. Why challenge your child's health with ingredients that can lead to obesity and diseases? Always choose the simple alternative (and it doesn't necessarily cost more money).

REPLACE MILKSHAKES WITH SMOOTHIES


Treat your kids to a healthy snack that tastes just like a milkshake, but without the calories, sugar, or fat. Vegan smoothies are a great way to give your kids a snack that feels like a treat, but is actually packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and antioxidants, making it both filling and great for their health.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: With the right combination of fruits, vegetables, and seeds, your child won't know what they're missing. Don't give up when he or she refuses the first! Continue to experiment with different recipes and you may find a favorite (the same applies to you!).

CHECK FOODS FOR HIDDEN NITRATES


Nitrates are just one of the many preservatives that could be wreaking havoc on your gut health and immune system and may even contribute to the risk of cancer. Even worse, they’re found in countless kids’ foods, from pre-packaged lunches to deli meat. Make sure to inspect the ingredients list of your kids’ food for ingredients like sodium nitrate.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: "That sodium nitrate sounds tasty", says no one ever. If it isn't something that you would taste separately, it shouldn't be in your list of ingredients. While you want to find a quick lunch for your child, you don't need to settle for the cheapest or most convenient product (notice that I didn't say food). If you must serve a lunch meat, Boar's Head meats are the most natural on the market.

SAY NO TO MAYO


Bad news for mayo-phobes: even if you’d never willingly come in contact with the stuff, it may still be sneaking into your food. This high-calorie condiment is added to so many foods, from burger buns to salad dressings, that it’s far more difficult to avoid that you might think — and that means it’s in your kids’ food, too. Make sure you’re not contributing to the calorie creep in their foods by cutting out mayo at home and offering healthy, flavorful fats like avocado in its place.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: As you have found in your diet, little amounts of this and that can easily add up to extra weight. Make every calorie count and choose the most nutrient-dense option. Remember that mayo often offers texture not taste. Experiment with alternatives such as hummus, salsa, or avocado (with portion size in mind, of course).

MAKE HEALTHIER COOKIES


Sugar cookies and gingerbread men may be holiday staples, but for your everyday after school snack, there are healthier options to be had. Fruit-sweetened oatmeal cookies are an easy way to get your kids to eat healthier with no protest; simply combine oatmeal, mashed bananas, almond flour, chocolate chips, and baking powder and bake for a delicious cookie that you can’t believe are good for you.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: I love cookies. Still one of my favorite foods in life...next to my Grandmother's brownies (which I later found out were just brownies from a box). You and your kids should always enjoy the best of life without substituting every food choice with a untasty, healthy alternative. If sweets are part of the daily routine, though, something must give. There's a reason why scientists predict that 1 and 3 people will have or be on the path towards diabetes. You don't need to give up everything, but it's time to strategically replace what's necessary.

CUT OUT JUICE


While many juices may claim to be packed with all the health-boosting benefits of fruit, in reality, they’re doing little more than adding sugar and calories to your child’s menu. Instead, give your kids a healthy alternative by offering them whole fruit and water — the combination will fill them up with fiber and none of the sugar and high fructose corn syrup that’s commonly added to juice.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Whether the juice is 100% natural or not, it is a carb explosion that send anyone down the path of diabetes (along with your cookies). Stick to the whole fruits and be mindful of the sugars and grains that you're feeding your child (and yourself).

LEAD BY EXAMPLE


You are your child’s first teacher and, ultimately, the inspiration for their behavior, so make sure you’re modeling good eating habits for them in your life. If your children see you regularly snacking on unhealthy foods, it’s likely they’ll emulate that behavior as well. Likewise, if you’re constantly discussing your weight and opting for diet foods or skipping meals, they may have a skewed outlook of their bodies and eating habits. Research conducted at King's College London reveals that parental modeling can do more to shape a child's risk of obesity than restricting their food.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Modeling great behavior extends beyond the elimination of swear words from your vocabulary. Children are sponges, and they mimic the adult behavior around them. This statement says enough. The habits the develop at an early age could affect them for a lifetime. Sorry, Mom, you were wrong: Children can't eat whatever they want.

What other ways can we teach our kids to eat healthy?

Picture Credit:
Zerobelly.com-Are you responsible for your child's healthy habits?

More to Read:
Check out "The 40 Most Fattening Kids' Menu Meals" Review. This is a list of the most common food items on a kid's menu...and you might be surprised by their stats. Even if you don't have kids you may still want to avoid these foods.

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Article Credit:

Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 40 Ways to Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits " on Zerobelly.com.
"40 Ways to Teach Your Kids Healthy Habits" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.