Food & Activity Hacks That Save You Calories

Kids are back in school, the ‘free-pass’ for summer food choices is sadly gone, so what hacks can you utilize to shave calories here and there?  Here are a few of my favorite food hacks and activity hacks.  If you have some of your own, please share in the comment section below.

1. Pack your lunch.  Start with good grains  comprised of whole wheat, high fiber grains that are not over 100 calories per slice.  Read the ingredient list to make sure whole grain is the first ingredient.  Add 2 ounces of lean, low-salt protein and lots of veggies. Reduce the condiments by adding raw horseradish with 1 tbsp reduced fat mayo, or whole grain or yellow mustard. Ketchup is very high in sugar.

2.  Eat a mid-morning and mid afternoon snack to keep blood-sugar levels even. This will help you stay focused and your energy high. Apples with 1 tbsp nut butter, hard boiled egg, 1 serving low calorie hummus with jicama/carrot sticks, or 1% Greek yogurt with fresh fruit topping are healthy choices.

3. Getting enough sleep helps your body run more efficiently, reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and helps you be creative and focused the next day. 41% of Americans report sleeping problems and according to the Humana Healthletter, a lack of sleep can also increase risk of heart attack and stroke. Create a bed time ritual that encourages rest. That does not include electronics that increase rapid eye movement and the LED light from TVs, computers, Kindles and I Pods! Unplug and let your body rest and rejuvenate.

4. Make food swaps. Instead of balsamic dressing use 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and add 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. It can save you 245 calories.  Instead of 2 slices of high calorie bread, us a whole wheat pita or whole grain, low-carb tortilla for a savings of 120 calories or more.  Instead of 4 ounce rib-eye steak try 4 ounce lean pork chop for a calorie savings of 182.

5.  Work out! Not only does exercise help you manage your weight issues and boost your metabolism for the whole day, it helps maintain memory and focus with school work and business work issues.  Weight training helps to build bone density ( by the time you’re 30, that issues is completed and you have to work with what you built), muscle tone, and balance.  Cardio and weight bearing exercises also help reduce risks of health related illnesses such diabetes, What Food or Activity Swaps/Hacks Save You Calories & Help Stay Focused?

Kids are back in school, the ‘free-pass’ for summer food choices is sadly gone, so what hacks can you utilize to shave calories here and there?

1. Pack your lunch.  Start with good grains  comprised of whole wheat, high fiber grains that are not over 100 calories per slice.  Read the ingredient list to make sure whole grain is the first ingredient.  Add 2 ounces of lean, low-salt protein and lots of veggies. Reduce the condiments by adding raw horseradish with 1 tbsp reduced fat mayo, or whole grain or yellow mustard. Ketchup is very high in sugar.

2.  Eat a mid-morning and mid afternoon snack to keep blood-sugar levels even and focus and energy high. Apples with 1 tbsp nut butter, hard boiled egg, 1 serving low calorie hummus with jicama/carrot sticks, or 1% Greek yogurt with fresh fruit topping are healthy choices.

3. Getting enough sleep helps your body run more efficiently, reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and helps you be creative and focused the net day. 41% of American report sleeping problems and according to the Humana Healthletter, a lack of sleep can also increase risk of heart attack and stroke. Create a bed time ritual that encourages rest. That does not include electronics that increase rapid eye movement and the LED light from TVs, computers, Kindles and I Pods! Unplug and let your body rest and rejuvenate.

4. Make food swaps. Instead of balsamic dressing use 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and add 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. It can save you 245 calories.  Instead of 2 slices of high calorie bread, us a whole wheat pita or whole grain, low-carb tortilla for a savings of 120 calories or more.  Instead of 4 ounce rib-eye steak try 4 ounce lean pork chop for a calorie savings of 182.

5.  Work out! Not only does exercise help you manage your weight issues and boost your metabolism for the whole day, it helps maintain memory and focus with school work and business work issues.  Weight training helps to build bone density ( by the time your 30, that issues is completed and you have to work with what you built), muscle tone, and balance.  Cardio and weight bearing exercises also help reduce risks of health related illnesses such diabetes, obesity, heart illnesses, high blood pressure and stroke.

6. Organize your work and home spaces.  You don’t have to go crazy about it, but utilizing organizing techniques (go to my Pinterest board for Paula’s Healthy Living called ‘Organizing‘) can reduce morning stress and losing valuable documents.  Make a designated space or bowl for keys to reduce the time spent looking to get out the door.

7.  Schedule in down and special time.  It may feel self-centered but going to yoga class, having a massage, or haircut or going for a cooking class is time well spent if it reduces your stress, even for the moment.  You come back to your family or to work revitalized and less prone to forgetfulness and anger.

Healthy living changes are difficult,  but a commitment to the process is a great first-step.  Make a chart (I love to write things down) and set your goals.  Use the chart as a guide, reminder and ultimately as evidence that you are worth spending time on, and your long-term health may depend on it.

6. Organize your work and home spaces.  You don’t have to go crazy about it, but utilizing organizing techniques (go to my Pinterest board for Paula’s Healthy Living called ‘Organizing’) can reduce morning stress and losing valuable documents.  Make a designated space or bowl for keys to reduce the time spent looking to get out the door.

7.  Schedule in down and special time.  It may feel self-centered but going to yoga class, having a massage, or haircut or going for a cooking class is time well spent if it reduces your stress, even for the moment.  You come back to your family or to work revitalized and less prone to forgetfulness and anger.

Healthy living changes are difficult,  but a commitment to the process is a great first-step.  Make a chart (I love to write things down) and set your goals.  Use the chart as a guide, reminder and ultimately as evidence that you are worth spending time on, and your long-term health may depend on it.

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