So the New Year, 2017, isn’t so “new” anymore, is it? February is more than half gone already – and we suspect some of your New Year’s Resolutions have faded away by now as well. But if one of your resolutions was to lose weight, don’t be discouraged. We have some good news for you: one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off is to make modest, healthy changes in your eating habits and then stick with them over time. The results may not be quick, but for most of us the weight will come off – and best of all, it will tend to stay off.
So if your weight loss goals are still elusive, don’t give up. Instead, we invite you to click on this link for a very recent, very helpful article we found on the website of Time magazine. It’s called “10 Easy Ways to Slash Calories,” and since almost everyone we know is trying to do just that, we expect you’ll find it helpful. In the words of the Time article, “Cutting a few calories here and there won’t show up on the scale immediately, but making consistent changes will.” Best of all, you can implement these ten tips and “sidestep excess calories throughout your day—without missing them at all.” Let’s take a look at what Time recommends.
Tip number one makes sense but might require some adjustment: get into the habit of drinking your coffee or tea plain. The journal Public Health recently reported that leaving out the cream, sugar and other flavorings from your coffee saves about 69 calories a day, and over time that can add up, especially in combination with these other suggestions.
The second tip also begins in the morning: switch to a high fiber breakfast cereal. For starters, fiber makes you feel fuller faster so you’ll eat less. But the benefit lasts way past breakfast: a 2015 study (sponsored, of course, by Quaker Oats) showed that people who ate oatmeal for breakfast consumed almost one-third fewer calories at lunch than those who ate sugary cereal.
What about soda? Nutrition experts are sounding the alarm with ever greater urgency that the calories in those sugary drinks, combined with the effect of the sugar itself, can be a nutritional disaster for those trying to lose weight. Some studies suggest that diet soda isn’t much better. Instead, if plain water isn’t satisfying enough, Time says to try sparkling water (unsweetened). It’s a great choice, refreshing and calorie-free.
Are you getting the idea? Small changes, especially combined with other small changes, can produce big results. Here are a few more. If you eat protein throughout the day, you’re not only less likely to get hungry but you’re also less likely to succumb to the temptation to indulge in mid-afternoon sweets like a candy bar or other sugary snack. Some great sources of protein include nuts, seeds, lean meat, soy and dairy. But be careful with so-called “healthy” snacks like flavored yogurt which – even in low-fat form – is usually loaded with sugar. And when you decide to “go healthy” by having a salad for lunch, beware of the last several items on the salad bar: the bacon bits, croutons, extra cheese and fat-filled dressings. These add-ons can quickly turn your wise choice into a dietary disaster.
We won’t go through all ten diet tips – once again, the link to the Time article is here – but let us summarize a few more that all have to do with cooking meals at home. Did you know, for example, that a cleaner kitchen can cause you to eat less? “When it feels like everything around you is cluttered and chaotic,” Time magazine writes, “keeping your diet under control may seem like less of a priority.” Instead, researchers at Cornell University discovered in a 2016 study that “women who spent 10 minutes in a messy kitchen ate twice as many cookies” than women who spent time in a kitchen that was clean and organized. And speaking of cooking at home, this is one habit that helps you cut calories. “A 2015 study in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that people who cooked dinner six or seven nights a week consumed about 150 calories fewer per day than those who cooked once a week or less, says Time. When you eat at home you not only consume fewer calories but you tend to make healthier eating choices.
So if losing weight remains high on your To Do list, read the Time article and try some of these tips. But maybe your hopes for 2017 are more substantial. Maybe this is the year you’ve decided you need to finally get your retirement plan in place. If that’s the case we have the perfect solution for you: there’s no better way to get started with the process of retirement planning that to attend one of our free AgingOptions LifePlanning Seminars.
LifePlanning is the term we use to describe our truly comprehensive approach to this complex topic. Too many so-called experts think a financial plan is all you need, but they’re wrong. Finances are vitally important in retirement, but so is your need for legal preparation. So is your decision about the right housing choice for you as you age. Your medical coverage is a critical issue, both for the short term and the long term. And what about your family? You need to know that those closest to you are aware and supportive of your wishes as you age. These five facets of retirement – financial, legal, housing, medical and family – need to work together for your plan to be successful, and with a LifePlan they will.
To find out more about LifePlanning, take a few hours and attend an upcoming seminar. There’s no obligation whatsoever. For upcoming dates, times, locations and online registration, simply click here, or call us during the week. We’ll look forward to seeing you!
(originally reported at www.time.com)