Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that make the most sense. We try all these fancy diet schemes and crazy workouts, often to no avail.
Today’s tips come from JACKIE VANOVER, who is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She reminds us to take a moment, connect with our bodies and focus on important things (like sleep). Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream…Oh, and Jackie bakes, too.
- Rediscover your body: I find the vast majority of us have lost our connection with our body, which leads to overeating because we don’t recognize when we’re full. To reconnect to your appetite spend two minutes before each meal simply breathing. This allows your body and mind to connect and will help you register signals of fullness and satiety. I call this process “active eating,” where we focus on eating with a presence rather than including eating with other activities.
- Eat greens: Forget the packaged meal replacements, shakes and bars. Fresh whole food satisfies our body like no other substance. Leafy greens are the most important real food to work into your diet. Start by including them in at least one meal a day. Leafy greens include broccoli, kale, salad greens and even brussels sprouts, so there’s a lot to choose from, which prevents boredom.
- Respect your need for sleep: We tend to under-appreciate the benefit sleep has on our health. When we’re tired less likely to work out, our cravings are increased (especially for sugar) and we’re more likely to submit to those cravings and eat whatever is available. The idea that you only need 4-5 hours of sleep a night is a myth. So is the idea that you can catch up on sleep over the weekend. We all need at least 6 hours of sleep at night and that requirement increases when we’re under stress. To figure out how to work that much sleep into your schedule, look at what time you must get up in the morning and then work backwards to set a bedtime. Then consider what time you go to sleep now. Go to be 15 minutes earlier each night until you’re getting a full six hours. If you have trouble going to sleep or sleeping through the night, consult a health coach or other professional who can identify possible sleep interruptions in your diet or lifestyle.
Jackie Vanover, founder of the Real Life Healthy program, helps women rediscover their bodies, reignite their energy and revitalize their life through her proven system for eating simply and with confidence. Jackie is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, a certified Pilates instructor and holds an MBA from the Stern School of Management in New York City. Jackie lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and daughter. When not coaching, Jackie loves to spend time baking and running on the trails near her house. An accomplished athlete, Jackie has completed over 85 endurance sport events including four marathons, Disney’s Goofy Challenge, four 70.3 triathlons, and the 3-mile Swim Across the Hudson. Visit her at www.jackievanover.com.