3 Healthy Habits for the Lazy Girl in All of us
Put your vitamins/supplements aside for three weeks at a time.
I know that taking vitamins and supplements makes a difference. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest almost ten years ago, my vitamin D levels started to decline. My doctor told me that anyone who lives in the PNW needs to supplement on vitamin D3 for life. I started taking supplements daily and on my next check up, my vitamin D levels were normal.
One of the healthy habits I wanted to incorporate into my life was to take my vitamins daily, but it’s a pain and an inconvenience to open multiple bottles and figure out how many to take from each bottle. Right now I take a liquid B12 (since we are vegan at home), a probiotic (for digestive health), calcium/magnesium/zinc (for bone health and immunity), flaxseed oil (for healthy omegas), D3 (not enough sun in PNW), and a prenatal multi-vitamin (I’m trying to get pregnant). That’s a lot of vitamins to keep track of and take on a daily basis.
What I’ve learned about sticking to healthy habits is that most of the time it’s the difference between something being convenient or inconvenient that keeps us on track. I got the idea from my favorite podcast, Happier, to set aside all my weekly pills once a week so that every day, I just have to pop a handful in my mouth, and they are already counted and put together.
I took the idea a step further and now use three of these pill separators and have a note on a to-do list I have on my phone that pops up every three weeks reminding me to refill them. On top of this, I also use a permanent marker and write down the number of pills I need from each container to further make it convenient to refill every three weeks. Now, it’s easy for me to keep this good habit of taking my supplements every day. It’s much less of a pain to fill everything one time, every three weeks than it is to count pills out every day.
Buy 6 inch plates with a wide rim.
Most people know they need to eat smaller portions. No matter what the latest diet craze is, the truth remains that we just need to eat less in general if we want to lose weight, gain or maintain our health, or live long. You don’t see very many obese/overweight 90 year olds. I hate dieting. Dieting is just someone else telling me what I should and shouldn’t eat and when. In the long run, I end up just going back to my old habits.
The best thing I’ve realized is to just make it a habit to eat less. Don’t worry about what you eat. Eat whatever you want. Just watch your portions. I thought if I just ate whatever I wanted, I’d just want desserts and junk all the time. That’s actually not what happened. I ended up wanting a balanced meal and variety. Some protein, some veggies, some kind of carb. I usually want something sweet after. That never changed. But, I don’t want as much of that sweet thing after a meal because I’m already full and satisfied. I don’t know about you, but I hate watching my portions. It pains me to split my meal in half. I had to figure out a way to make this a habit to just eat less at every meal without feeling deprived.
I watched the documentary, “In Defense of Food” and they did an experiment on a group of people. They offered them free pasta lunches. They all went through the line to get their portions and when they sat down, the people conducting the experiment apologized and said, “So sorry, we forgot to warm up the pasta. Please leave your plates and grab another plate and go through the line again.” They all went through the line again and served themselves pasta. This time, the plates were smaller, but they didn’t realize it. They filled their plates as they did the first time around.
The researchers measured the first portions on the larger plate and the second portions on the smaller plate. The difference was a significant amount of calories just because the plate was a little smaller. They concluded that just this one small, unnoticeable change in using smaller plates could mean a significant difference in weight over the span of a year.
I wanted the convenience of making smaller portions a seamless part of our healthy habits. Our plates were 9 inches with an almost two inch rim. My solution was to scale that back to 6 inches with an almost two inch rim. I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself or even eating less eating from smaller plates. I think the wide rim is significant because it doesn’t feel like I’m eating from a snack/salad/dessert plate even though I am. The plate would feel tiny and I’d feel deprived if it wasn’t for the wide rim. I know this because I’ve tried using smaller plates in the past that didn’t have a wide rim and I still felt deprived. Funny how that works. It’s almost like I need to trick my eyes so it doesn’t feel like a small plate. Here’s what I use at home now.
Do a 20 minute HIIT workout on youtube in your underwear at home first thing in the morning 3-5 times a week.
You know, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I don’t like to exercise. I like how I feel after a good sweat. I like what it does to my body and my mood. But the actual process of exercising, while I’m doing it, is no fun for me. From all my research, I’ve found that HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercises do the most. You get the most bang for your buck. You get cardio, strength, fat loss. It’s the best exercise for fat loss actually. Studies have even shown that it helps in preventing Alzheimer’s. It also really sucks to do it. You push yourself really hard and then have a short break. You do that again and again and again. Because it really sucks to do it, I’ve found that 20 minutes is my magical number. It’s short enough so I can muster enough motivation to do it 4 times a week, and long enough to get a good sweat in. To make it even more convenient, I’d recommend skipping the gym altogether ( no driving to the gym, no changing into gym clothes, no driving back). I recommend waking up and doing it while you’re still a zombie and half asleep. When you wake up, undress but keep your panties on, and shimmy into a sports bra. Grab a pair of ankle socks and put on your work out sneakers. It doesn’t get any more convenient than this guys. Get it over with before you can muster up enough energy to make excuses for not doing it. I flip on my Apple TV, go to my favorite Youtube channel, FitnessType and press play. After 20 minutes I’m drenched in sweat and glad I did it.
Well that’s it! If you incorporate these three healthy habits into your life, I know they will make a huge difference in your well-being.
Where you can get items similar to what I’m wearing
Navy knee length leggings with a fun side print. I think knee length looks better on an apple shape than pant length leggings.
Want more inspiration for healthy habits?
Secrets of longevity and my favorite smoothie recipe.
A healthy fridge makeover.
Some tips on eating healthier, plus a yummy watercress sandwich recipe.