Backyard barbecues are a real minefield when you”;re trying to lose weight and stay healthy. First, most of them are a carnivore”;s delight–;lots of steak, burgers and bratwurst sizzling irresistibly on the grill. Second, cookouts redefine salad as “;something soaking in high-fat mayonnaise.”; And the desserts? Fuggedaboutit, even if you do have room after that outdoor feast.
But if you choose to step away from your diet plan to take in the festivities, you can till successfully stay on track at the BBQ by making good choices and doing a little prep. First, know which foods to stay away from (or at least to keep to a teeny tiny portion size). Click here to get our list of the 5 Worst Calorie Bombs at the BBQ. Then, be smart about the food choices you make while there. Here’s how to keep winning at weight loss without missing out on the fun:
1. Volunteer to Bring the Apps
If you don”;t want your only choice to be chips and high-calorie onion dip or a cheese and sausage tray, offer to bring a gorgeous cut veggie plate with low-fat dip, or baked chips with salsa or hummus.
How to Get Your Grill BBQ-Ready
2. BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat)
Easy enough to do when you”;re hosting and much appreciated by your hosts when you”;re not, since meat is the most expensive part of the meal. Check first that your host is okay with it. If he or she is planning a gourmet feast of kobe beef or individual quail, you may just want to exercise portion control. But it”;s just as easy to throw a turkey or veggie burger or hot dog on the grill when the grillmaster is cooking regular burgers and brats. Friends are usually happy to accommodate you.
If you have the choice, go for grilled chicken, fish or lean beef. Even a regular hot dog is less fatty and calorie-laden than other kinds of sausage. Save a load of calories and carbs by saying no to the bun and cheese. Avoid mayo. Stick to mustard, dill relish or a little ketchup (just a little since it”;s full of sugar which can stimulate your appetite).
3. Take a Small Scoop of Coleslaw
Even if it”;s made with high-fat mayonnaise, one serving (around three ounces) is only about 172 calories and has two grams of fiber (thank you cabbage!), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Better yet, make your own–;just substitute low-cal mayo for the regular or do a vinegar-based dressing and you can cut the calories by as much a two-thirds.
4. Have Some Baked Beans
Stick to half a cup or less because they”;re high in calories. One cup has more than 300 of them, depending on the brand. But they”;re high in satisfying fiber–;half a cup of Bush”;s Original, for example, has five grams of fiber for only 150 calories.* Be sure to opt for low-sodium varieties if you’re the bean-bringer.
5. Load Up on Green Salad
This time of year, produce is abundant. Bring your own green salad (add lots of low-cal veggies) to share as well as bottle of low-cal dressing. Or, opt for grilled veggie kebabs, which are full of fiber and go light on calories.
6. Have Whole Wheat Pasta Salad
The chances of someone making this? Pretty slim. But you don”;t have to be much of a cook to throw together an awesome pasta salad. Pick a fun shape, like corkscrew (fusilli), wagon wheels, bowties or gemelli. Add some veggies, like halved cherry tomatoes, fresh peas, snapbeans (blanched a little to soften them), grated carrots, edamame (soybeans), corn, scallions, peppers, onions or whatever you have fresh. Punch up the flavor with fresh herbs, like basil, oregano or mint or even shavings of ginger with a light dressing of olive oil and balsamic or flavored vinegar with a touch of Dijon mustard to bind it. A sprinkling of fat-free feta adds some protein with very few calories.
7. For Dessert, Think Fresh or Frozen
End your meal with a slice of watermelon, a scoop of fruit salad or fruity sorbet, or a healthier frozen fruit bar like Outshine brand*, which has 60-80 calories, depending on the flavor, and contains no high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener research suggests may put you at risk for obesity and diabetes.
The post 7 Simple Ways to Stay on Track at the BBQ appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Summer may be coming to an end but our social giveaways are just getting started! Win big this September with fun contests by Nutrisystem. We’re giving back to our amazing community by doing two separate giveaways in the month of September. Be sure to follow us on social media for a chance to win!
Win big with our end of summer social media giveaways! Check out our September schedule below to participate:
1. Nutrisystem Slim Down Superlatives Giveaway
When is it? This giveaway will kick off on September 4, 2020. All entries must be submitted by September 27, 2020.
Where do I go to enter? You can participate on the Nutrisystem Facebook page. Be sure to like our page so that you can stay updated!
How do I enter?
This giveaway will consist of three separate Facebook posts with three different opportunities to win.
Each post will ask you to comment with the Nutrisystem menu item that you feel best matches the post description (Most likely to succeed at curbing a sweet craving, etc.).
We will randomly select one comment on each post to win.
All entries must be submitted by September 27, 2020.
What can I win? Each winner will receive a $50 gift card. Winners will be contacted through Facebook messenger by September 28, 2020. We will also update this article with the list of winners on or about October 5, 2020.
Click here to like our page on Facebook! >
Check out the official giveaway rules here! >
10 Ways Following the Nutrisystem Facebook Page Will Help You Lose Weight
2. Nutrisystem Healthy Hydration Giveaway
When is it? This giveaway will kick off on September 4, 2020. All entries must be submitted by September 11, 2020.
Where do I go to enter? You can participate on the Nutrisystem Instagram page.
How do I enter? To participate in the giveaway, you must complete these four tasks:
Follow us on Instagram (@Nutrisystem).
“Like” our giveaway post on Instagram.
Comment with your best tip for drinking enough water.
Tag three friends.
What can I win? You’ll have the chance to win an ergonomic water bottle! The winner will be selected by September 14, 2020 and will be contacted through direct message on Instagram. We will also update this article with the winner by September 16, 2020.
Click here to follow us on Instagram! >
Check out the official giveaway rules here! >
The post Win BIG with Our September Social Giveaways appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
People are living longer. Those in their 60s and 70s are enjoying a late “;middle age”; rather than settling in as senior citizens. They want to look and feel good as they take advantage of the increase in free time and decrease in family and work responsibilities that come with retirement. That”;s why so many people in their 60s and 70s are trying to lose weight. But as our bodies change with age, so does weight loss. That’s why our nutrition experts have put together a list of weight loss tips for those living in their golden years.
Achieving a healthy weight is very important for older adults because there are many risks associated with belly fat, says Current Obesity Reports. However, they explain, “approaches to weight loss must be considered critically given the dangers of sarcopenia (a condition that occurs when muscle mass and quality is lost), the increase risk of hip fracture with weight loss, and the association between reduced mortality and increased BMI in older adults.” Always speak with your doctor before starting a new diet, exercise routine or weight loss plan.
10 Ways to Boost a Slowing Metabolism
Here are 10 tips for losing weight in your 60s and 70s:
1. Go to sleep.
If you”;ve been rising early for work or staying up late watching TV for most of your adult life, you might find it hard to spend more time in bed. However, don’t underestimate the power of sleep. According to Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, lack of sleep disrupts your metabolism and interferes with the natural production of the hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. Plus, it increases the body”;s production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Many studies have demonstrated that chronic lack of sleep significantly increases your risk of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
2. Stay hydrated.
As you get older, you might move less and perspire less throughout the day. However, your need for hydration doesn”;t go away. According to Cleveland Clinic, sense of thirst “diminishes” with age. That means that you can be dehydrated without even feeling thirsty.
Dehydration can slow down your metabolism so that you burn fewer calories. “Staying hydrated also helps your body eliminate waste more efficiently, keeps your temperature in a normal range, lubricates and cushions your joints and protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues in your body,” says Carilion Clinic.
On Nutrisystem, we recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily. A good rule of thumb is to try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water spread out throughout the day. If you get bored of plain water, you can enjoy sodium-free seltzer with fresh lemon or lime juice for the same benefits.
3. Limit your coffee.
Plain black coffee is calorie-free, so it can be a fine choice when you”;re trying to lose weight. Just make sure to avoid added sugar, sweet syrups and high-fat creamers, which load you up with extra calories.
We also recommend sticking with decaffeinated coffee varieties. According to AmericanBoneHealth.org, “Some studies link caffeine consumption with negative effects on calcium metabolism, possibly related to caffeine increasing loss of calcium in the urine, and decreasing calcium absorption in the body.” This could eventually lead to bone loss. Calcium is an essential mineral for maintaining bone strength as you get older and it plays a key role in regulating your metabolism.
10 Simple Hacks to Help You Drink More Water
4. Choose nutrient-dense foods.
With your metabolism naturally slowing with age, you may need fewer calories than you did in your younger years. But don’t be fooled: Less calories doesn’t mean less nutrition. You still need to get the vitamins and minerals your body relies on to stay healthy.
The solution is to focus on eating nutrient-dense ingredients: Foods that are packed with nutrition, not calories. The Nutrisystem Grocery Guide is filled with healthy options to choose from. Stock up on lean sources of protein (PowerFuels), such as chicken breast and fish. Fill up your pantry with high-fiber carbohydrates (SmartCarbs), which include whole grain rice, pasta and cereals. Make sure to also grab some fresh, frozen or canned produce to get in your fruits and veggies. Nutrient dense foods like these deliver more benefit per bite as you age.
5. Eat more often.
It may seem counter-intuitive but skipping meals can actually hamper your efforts at weight loss, says Women’s Health. That”;s because when your body is deprived of food, your metabolism slows down, something you’re already dealing with as you age. Instead of skipping meals, try eating healthy between-meal snacks every three hours. The best snacks contain lean protein for energy and fiber to help you feel full long after you finish eating.
How to Cut 700+ Calories without Skipping Meals
6. Beware of empty carbs.
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 25 percent of Americans over 65 years old have diabetes. Your lifestyle and diet can play a major role in the prevention of this disease. In addition to physical activity and weight loss, Mayo Clinic recommends filling up on fiber and sticking with whole grain products.
Many of the most popular snack foods are simple carbohydrates that are full of calories yet low in fiber and other valuable nutrients. We”;re talking about chips, crackers and other salty snacks, as well as baked goods, candies and sweets. Nutrisystem offers a wide selection of delicious and perfectly balanced snacks that are healthier alternatives. You’ll love our Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese Puffs and Butter Popcorn. Not only are they delicious but they’re absolutely packed with fiber and protein. Yum!
7. Dine out wisely.
People in their 60s and 70s often have free time and the financial resources to socialize while eating at restaurants. Meeting up with friends is healthy at any age, but restaurant meals tend to be high in fat and salt. Not to mention the oversized portions!
To stay on track with your healthy diet, consider sharing an entrée with a friend or family member. You can also ask to substitute an extra serving of vegetables in place of the greasy French fries or other unhealthy sides. And do yourself a favor and skip dessert! (Grab a Nutrisystem dessert instead!) Get some tips and tricks for dining out while on a diet in The Nutrisystem Dining Out Guide! >
10 Tips for Dining Out on Nutrisystem
8. Go outside.
According to the Central European Journal of Immunology, vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity. Low vitamin D levels may also lead to higher amounts of belly fat, says Medical News Today. If that’s not enough reason to get your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin, remember that it’s essential for proper bone health.
“Vitamin D is provided by skin synthesis by UVB-irradiation from summer sunshine and to a small extent by absorption from food. However, these processes become less efficient with age,” says the peer-reviewed journal Aging and Disease. Stock up on ingredients that contain the nutrient, such as wild oily fish, egg yolk and fortified foods like orange juice, milk and some breakfast cereals. You should also make a habit of spending a little time outdoors during midday to soak up some sun.
If you think you may be at risk of a vitamin D deficiency, you should consult your physician, who may order a blood test to check your levels or may recommend supplementation.
Are you getting enough vitamin D? Click here to learn more! >
9. Build muscle.
As we get older, we gradually lose some of our muscle mass and gain fat mass, says Current Obesity Reports. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “;Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging.” After age 30, people can lose three to five percent of their muscle mass for every decade of life. Less lean muscle means fewer calories burned.
Walking is a healthy, low-impact form of exercise that you can do every day to keep your metabolism active. You also want to do some strength-building exercise to help maintain as much of your muscle mass as possible. If you don”;t belong to a gym where you can lift small weights, you can pick up basic ankle and hand weights at a sporting goods store or online. You can even use cans of food or water bottles!
“To build muscle, the exercises must be challenging, but they shouldn’t be stressful,” says Harvard Health Publishing. “The idea is to lift a weight you can comfortably manage for eight repetitions and try to keep going until you reach 15 repetitions.” Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
10. Get personalized.
You can lose weight and look your best even when you”;re past your 60th birthday. However, your body and its needs are very different than those of younger people. All-new personalized weight loss plans from Nutrisystem create a diet tailored to you and your unique metabolism. We take your age, body type, gender and other factors into account to give you a surefire path to the healthiest, happiest version of you.
How We Create Your Personalized Diet Plan
The post Weight Loss and Age: 10 Tips for Losing Weight in Your 60s and 70s appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
A weight loss plan calls for fresh and filling dinners. What better way to satisfy your hunger than with flavorful fish recipes? Whether you fry it on Friday or eat it on any other day of the week, putting fish on your dinner plate could help you live longer, get healthier and even lose weight.
Though they”;re not quite as celebrated as they once were for protecting your heart, fatty fishes still have benefits for your ticker: A study, published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, found that higher fish and long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake can reduce the risk of cardiac-related death by 10 percent, says Science Daily. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, fatty fishes also pack in more vitamin D than any other food, activating calcium for stronger bones and boosting immune system function.
Eating fish can also help with weight loss: A study of 481 postmenopausal women, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that eating more fish meant losing more weight. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend eating two servings of fish per week for better health. According to the AHA, fish is a low-calorie source of high-quality protein that”;s the perfect addition to a dieter”;s menu.
Seafood like fish is a wonderful PowerFuel for your Nutrisystem plan and Flex meal recipes. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), three ounces of cooked tilapia delivers a whopping 21 grams of protein and just 108 calories! A high-protein diet has been shown to decrease hunger and appetite while increasing muscle mass and metabolism, says Healthline. It’s a weight loss win-win!
Put that protein-packed power to good use: Schedule a weekly fish night and make it delicious–;and Nutrisystem-friendly–;with one of these nutritious and delicious fish recipes.
7 of the Healthiest Fish to Eat for Weight Loss
Here are 16 fish recipes for a smart and satisfying dinner:
1. Shrimp-Stuffed Fish >
Calories per Serving: 228
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 ½ PowerFuels and 2 Extras
Double your protein–;and your decadence–;with this stuffed fish recipe. It”;s got a flavor that”;s straight out of a high-end seafood restaurant, but oh-so-easy to make at home. Complete with lemon-y flavor and rich creaminess from a homemade cream cheese stuffing, you”;ll never believe this stuffed fish fillet is only 228 calories per serving! Pair it with your favorite SmartCarb for a perfect Flex Meal.
2. Air Fryer Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce >
Calories per Serving: 273
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 ½ PowerFuels and 1 Extra
Air fryer meals and fish recipes belong together. The magic of an air fryer makes these fish sticks as crunchy as anything you”;ll find in the freezer case. The natural tang from nonfat plain Greek yogurt means the homemade tartar sauce tastes better than bottled–;and with more protein and fewer calories. These fish sticks will be a hit with your whole family! At just 273 calories per serving, they”;re a comfort food that only feels like a cheat meal.
3. Miso Salmon with Kale and Beets >
Calories per Serving: 236
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel, 3 Extras and 1 Vegetable
This dinner is a plate filled with superfoods: Salmon delivers fatty acids and vitamin D, kale comes in with filling fiber and beets bring along several vitamins and minerals. Even the miso packs a probiotic punch! The best part? This meal is also loaded with one more thing: Flavor. It”;s great for your health but even better for your taste buds!
Superfood Saturday: Salmon the Great
4. Blackened Fish Sandwich >
Calories per Serving: 302
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Extra and 1 Vegetable
Flaky cod fillets, Cajun spices and crunchy cabbage slaw come together to make this perfect, protein-packed sandwich. You”;ll create your own seasoning mixture for the fish–;don”;t worry, it”;s easy! Plus, you’ll whip up a creamy, yogurt-based sriracha sauce that’s great for many fish recipes. It”;s a colorful, filling meal that you”;ll love to make again and again.
5. Fish Tacos >
Calories per Serving: 363
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 2 Vegetables and 3 Extras
Who doesn”;t love fish tacos? This recipe hits the spot, with spicy flavors from a simple fish marinade, zesty citrus juices and creamy avocado. To top it all off, a secret sauce–;a homemade tomatillo drizzle with onions, jalapeno and garlic. It”;s a salsa that”;s perfect for these tasty tacos and may even become your go-to for chips, burrito bowls and more.
6. Open-Faced Tuna Melt >
Calories per Serving: 293
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb and 2 PowerFuels
This tasty take on a customer favorite transforms a package of Nutrisystem Tuna Salad into a magnificent, melty meal with just five ingredients and a few minutes under the broiler. Just top sourdough with the tuna salad, tomatoes, red onion and a slice of reduced-fat provolone for a delicious dish that”;s perfect for lunch or an ultra-quick, no-fuss dinner. Click here to stock up on our tasty Tuna Salad! >
7 Simple Ways to Make a Healthy Sandwich
7. Sushi Tuna Tower >
Calories per Serving: 295
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras
Sushi calories usually add up quickly: From the sticky rice to sauces on the side, a little meal can put a big dent in your daily diet plan. This tuna tower solves it all–;you get the sushi you love in a portion that satisfies, all for just 295 calories. It”;s not magic…; it”;s math: Swapping in light mayo for full-fat and reducing the amount of rice in favor of high-protein fish saves calories without sacrificing flavor. Just press the ingredients into a bowl, refrigerate for 30 minutes and dig in to this towering treat.
8. Air Fryer Fish and Chips >
Calories per Serving: 391
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 2 SmartCarbs, 1 ½ PowerFuels and 1 Extra
More miracles from the air fryer! This time, it does double-duty: In less than 15 minutes, the little countertop wonder will cook both impossibly crisp fish and crunchy potatoes worthy of any pub. The only difference is the calories–;instead of using oil to add loads of fat to this delicious meal, the air fryer circulates super-heated air to create the same crunchy exterior without any added guilt. Want to make this meal even more diet-friendly? Swap out the chips for veggies–;by itself, the fish clocks in at just 205 calories per serving.
9. 3-Step Tuna Patties >
Calories per Serving: 125
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra
In just three simple steps, you can elevate canned tuna from humble pantry staple to a gourmet meal worthy of fancy dinner. To make these perfect, flavorful patties, you”;ll just mix together drained tuna with some simple ingredients like Dijon mustard, egg and parsley, then pan-fry hand-formed patties for three minutes on each side. They”;re perfect for a sandwich, on top of a salad or paired with roasted vegetables for an easy, low-calorie centerpiece that will make any dinner delicious.
What Your Plate Means for Your Weight Loss
10. Air Fryer Catfish >
Calories per Serving: 230
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 2 PowerFuels and 1 Extra
We”;ve said it before: Our members and followers are geniuses, and this recipe proves it. Barbara, a Leaf reader, created this delectable dish that you need to try ASAP! In just 20 minutes, your air fryer turns catfish, a little bit of oil and some spices into a flavor-packed main course that pairs perfectly with crunchy coleslaw, roasted green beans and your other favorite go-to vegetables.
11. Avocado Tuna Melt Panini >
Calories per Serving: 344
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and 3 Extras
Swapping out mayo for creamy avocado in tuna salad is a calorie-saving, weight loss classic: The avo adds flavor and healthy fats that make the salad even more satisfying. This Tuna Melt Panini cranks it up to a whole new level, featuring melty, reduced-fat cheese and a crunchy exterior created by a panini press. You can also use a countertop grill or even just a frying pan–;by placing another heavy pan on top of the sandwich, you”;ll get the same panini press effect.
12. Salmon Sushi Bowl >
Calories per Serving: 425
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel and 3 Extras
The recipe says “;sushi”; but the fish is cooked–;you can use pre-cooked salmon or bake some of your own to top this protein-packed power bowl. And you”;ll have much more than fish to enjoy: The recipe has crunchy carrots and cucumber, spicy sushi ginger slices and an easy, flavorful ginger soy sauce that comes together with just four simple ingredients. Make two bowls–;one for dinner tonight and another to take for lunch tomorrow for a perfect grab-and-go meal. This is one of our favorite fish recipes for meal prepping!
How to Build the Best Power Bowl Ever
13. Spicy Teriyaki Tuna Steak >
Calories per Serving: 120
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel and 1 Extra
Tuna steak is flaky, hearty and incredibly easy to make well: Just bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees and it”;s ready for the dinner plate. Topping it with a mixture of teriyaki sauce, honey and a few other ingredients gives this steak a tasty bonus–;a sticky, slightly sweet glaze that makes the fish even more delicious. At an astoundingly low 120 calories per serving, it”;s a perfect start to a filling, well-rounded meal. Pair it with brown rice or potatoes and a heaping helping of your favorite non-starchy vegetables for a colorful, flavorful dinner.
14. Crispy Salmon with Pomegranate Salsa >
Calories per Serving: 232
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 2 PowerFuels and 2 Extras
This simply-prepared salmon takes on a unique, tangy flavor from a simple pomegranate salsa that”;s a snap to mix together. Don”;t be intimidated: You don”;t even need to cut the pomegranate yourself. If you haven”;t seen them, your grocery store has pomegranate seeds (or arils) in the refrigerated area with sliced fruits–;so you can get the zip of the antioxidant-loaded superfood without the mess. Mix it with spicy jalapeno, crunchy jicama and a few other ingredients for a salmon topper you won”;t soon forget.
15. Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Mango Salsa >
Calories per Serving: 182
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 PowerFuel and 2 Extras
This homemade salsa will give you a taste of vacation, even if you can”;t leave home: With pineapple and mango mixed with jalapeno, cilantro, red onion and lime, the fruity salsa in this dish is like a trip to a bar with tables in the sand. But you don”;t have to go far–;or be on a cheat day–;to enjoy this dinner. In just eight short minutes, you can get the taste of vacation fast…; and guilt-free.
6 Delicious Ways to Eat Mango
16. Instant Pot Salmon with Chili Lime Sauce >
Calories per Serving: 342
On Nutrisystem, Counts As: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, ½ Vegetable and 3 Extras
Your Instant Pot makes fish recipes easy as can be! This recipe really is almost done in an instant: In just three minutes, the Instant Pot will cook your salmon to perfection, making it ready for the recipe”;s real star: a simple, low-calorie, homemade chili lime sauce. By mixing together a little oil, honey, lime juice and fresh herbs and spices, you”;ll have a simple sauce that goes perfectly with your ready-already fish and vegetables. It”;s a citrusy, spicy accompaniment that loads up the flavor without packing your plate with extra fat or calories.
The post 16 Fish Recipes for a Fresh and Filling Dinner appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
September is all about new beginnings. It’s a new season and many people begin new routines that will carry them through the rest of the year. Plus, September has been officially designated as Self-Improvement Month. We can’t think of a better time to start anew and better yourself! It’s time to think of every day as an opportunity to take simple steps that will help you look, feel and live better. To get you started, we”;ve gathered this list of hints that you can use to build a happier and healthier you this September.
6 Reasons Fall is the Best Time for Weight Loss
Here are 15 self-improvement tips for a successful September:
1. Reset your habits.
We make lots of choices every day. However, we also do many things without thinking, simply because they”;ve become habits. The good news is that not all habits are harmful. There are many healthy habits that can turn your September into a successful start to a new season. Even better, research shows that it can take as little as 66 days to build a new habit that”;s good for you, says University College London. This can include drinking more water, starting a new exercise routine, getting more sleep or even cutting down on screen time.
Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 workday habits of healthy people! >
2. Practice positivity.
You have more control of your inner dialogue than you realize. By making a concentrated effort to think positive thoughts, you can improve your mood and your health. “;People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook,”; says Johns Hopkins Medicine. They also explain that smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations, even if it’s a fake smile. You really can fake it ’til you make it!
3. Give yourself goals.
Every achievement, big or small, starts with a goal. The goals you are most likely to reach are specific and attainable. Simply saying you want to lose weight or stay in touch with old friends, for example, makes it easy to keep putting those things off. Instead, define your goals as “;fitting into my favorite dress for a wedding”; or “;calling one friend every week.”; Click the link below for tips on writing your own goals!
Reach All Your Goals–;Every Time!
4. Accept setbacks.
No matter how motivated and focused we are, sometimes forces beyond our control prevent us from reaching our goals. Too often, that makes us feel like giving up, as if we”;ll never succeed. However, progress rarely goes in a straight line. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that even when we go two steps forward and one step back, we have moved closer to our goal.
5. Try mentoring.
People with experience in careers, parenting and life skills have invaluable knowledge to share with those just starting out. Mentoring can be rewarding for both sides–;mature people get to pass along their well-earned wisdom and younger folks get help in overcoming obstacles. Plus, when one teaches, two learn! Check out The National Mentoring Partnership: They have a “;connector”; database that matches mentors with people who want to be mentored.
6. Widen your circle.
If you have a few close friends, you are fortunate. However, regular contact with a broader range of people is also good for your mental health as you get older. According to research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, “;The midlife wellbeing of both men and women seems to depend on having a wide circle of friends whom they see regularly,”; says ScienceDaily.
Are Your Friends Dooming Your Diet?
7. Make time to read.
We all spend more time than ever looking at the screens of electronics. It’s time to put down your smart phone and pick up a good old book! Taking time to read books helps both our bodies and our minds: Research shows that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent, says the University of Minnesota. Whether you enjoy inspirational self-help, biographies or fantasy fiction, there’s a book out there for everyone. Audio books are also a great option when you”;re on the go! Listen to them on your commute, your daily jog or while you’re cooking up a healthy meal.
8. Try new apps.
Our phones and tablets bring the world to our fingertips and can make our lives easier. You can try apps that help you work on your memory skills, learn new vocabulary, pursue creative ideas, manage your finances, try new workouts and so much more. Want to lose weight this September? Check out the FREE NuMi app from Nutrisystem, available for both Apple and Android devices! It’s the ultimate app for weight loss because it makes it easy for you to track your progress and provides daily information and inspiration. Learn more here! >
9. Learn a second language.
Being able to speak two languages not only allows us to communicate with a wider variety of people but it”;s also good for our brains. According to Annual Review of Linguistics, “research in recent decades has demonstrated that experience with two (or more) languages confers a bilingual advantage in executive functions and may delay the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.” You can learn a new language using one of the many online courses or apps. Solidify your skills by practicing with native speakers whenever possible.
7 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care at Home
10. Fix your posture.
Sitting all day and staring at a screen can cause poor posture. This can damage your spine, cause neck and back pain, decrease flexibility and impact breathing, says MedlinePlus. You can avoid these problems by bearing in mind the basics of good posture throughout the day: Harvard Health Publishing recommends keeping your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders even. You should have a “neutral spine” with your arms at your sides. Be sure to keep your hips level, knees and feet pointing forward and your body weight distributed evenly. Run down that list when you”;re sitting and standing to re-balance yourself and prevent the slumping that pushes us out of alignment.
11. Meditate daily.
Taking a little time each day to clear your mind of your daily cares and concerns can help you enjoy a stress-free September. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to decrease the symptoms of high-blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, sleep problems and more. You can find many apps and online videos to help you get started. However, the basics are simple: sit in a comfortable position in a location that”;s free from distractions. Focus on the rhythm of your breathing and let any thoughts or worries that enter your mind drift away. All you need is 10 minutes to get the benefits of this little break from the rush of daily life.
12. Cook often.
When you prepare your own food, you pay attention to the ingredients and can avoid unhealthy additives like salt and sweeteners. If you don”;t have much experience cooking, start off simple and practice your skills before you take on more elaborate dishes. Don”;t know where to begin? Check out The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for thousands of easy and delicious recipes that fit into your healthy diet! You can also pick up a copy of the book How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It covers all the basics and shares the little tips and secrets that great home cooks learn after years in the kitchen.
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13. Sleep more.
You might not think of sleeping as a way to improve your life. However, so many of us are chronically tired that it actually harms our mental and physical health. Lack of sleep even increases our chances of overeating and makes it harder for us to lose excess weight, says Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. Try your best to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. If you find yourself tired in the middle of the day, taking a 20-minute nap can refresh you without disrupting your night-time sleep.
Learn more about the importance of getting good sleep! >
14. Lose weight.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, being overweight or obese can lead to a wide range of health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. Losing the excess weight can reduce your risk of these problems, as well as promote positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment and better self-image. To help you reach a healthy weight, consider trying a convenient meal delivery service that fits into your new September schedule. The all-new Nutrisystem program provides you with a personalized weight loss experience and perfectly portioned meals delivered to your door. You take a quiz and we provide you with a plan that’s tailored to you. Click here to learn more! >
15. Be grateful, be happy.
Simply being thankful for the most basic things that we have in our lives–;food and shelter, health and safety, family and friends–;improves our sense of well-being. Practicing gratitude is associated with “greater life satisfaction,” according to research, published in the medical journal Psychiatry. What better way to improve ourselves this September than to be happier about all the good things we have? Try starting a gratitude journal and reflect on what you’re thankful for throughout the month. It’s a great way to start your day with a positive mind.
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