Small changes in your lifestyle can equal big benefits in your health. All you need to do is adopt some healthy tricks. Pick the ones you like, stick with them, and you’ll slim down and tone up—for good.
GO FOR THE GRAINS:
Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of wheat germ or oat bran to a healthy cereal you already have. Work up to 3/4 cup of low-sugar whole-grain cereal with at least three grams of fiber per serving, and you’ll pass on that Danish. Still feel like a little sweet on it, add coconut shavings for a healthy addition
EXERCISE WHILE YOU WAIT:
As your coffee or tea drips, stand sideways, put one hand on the counter, and lift the outside leg straight out in front of you, keeping it extended. With upper body straight, hold for a few seconds and move it to the side; hold and extend it behind you. Do five to 10 times on each leg. Tones outer thighs, hip flexors, and quadriceps.
SQUAT INSTEAD OF SITTING:
At your chair, pretend you’re going to sit but don’t—stop and come back up without using your arms. Always start squats by lowering your hips, not bending knees forward, and keeping your weight on your heels. Repeat the motion throughout the day for 10 to 15 total. Strengthens quadriceps.
WALK WHILE YOU TALK:
Every time you grab the phone, stand up and pace around. Heavy people sit on average two and a half hours more per day than thin people, according to the Mayo Clinic.
PICK A PITA FOR LUNCH:
Use one mini whole-wheat pita instead of the usual two slices of white or refined wheat bread for your sandwich.
WEAR SOME WEIGHT:
When you’re grocery shopping or running errands, wear a light ankle weights. As time goes on your legs, hips and lower back will become stronger. Adding weights will also help with balance.
PAT DOWN YOUR PIZZA:
Blot your slice with a napkin to get rid of the grease—and calories.
SHOPPING BURNS CALORIES:
At the mall, try on at least 10 outfits, both pants and shirts. No need to buy!
MAKE YOUR MEALS MINI:
Some experts suggest eating that eating six healthy smaller meals a day can help minimize blood sugar swings and curb your hunger throughout the day, meaning you won't overeat at any one particular meal. If instead you prefer eating three meals a day, make sure you pick smaller portion sizes.
No, you don’t have to give up the real deal—instead of a tablespoon of stick butter, use a tablespoon of whipped and cut half the calories.
START WITH SOUP:
Order a clear soup instead of a salad soaked with two tablespoons full-fat ranch and you can save twice the calories. Plus you’ll feel fuller, so you’ll eat less when the entrée comes.
SCULPT WHILE YOU SIT:
After dinner, while you’re still sitting at the table, extend your right leg out and slowly bend it up and down, squeezing and holding in the up position for at least five seconds. Repeat on each leg five times. Sculpts quadriceps.
CLIMB THE STAIRS FOR TWO MINUTES:
Taking the stairs for a total of just two minutes, five days a week, gives you the same calorie-burning results as a 20-minute walk.
SING A SONG:
Spend Sunday morning belting it out in the church choir, or even just in your car! Besides burning a few calories, you will feel good singing
GET UP DURING THE GAME:
Attending your grandkid’s sports event this weekend? After every quarter of the game, get up from the bleachers and take a lap around the gym or field. Four or five times around a typical field is about a mile.
ADD FUN ACTIVITIES:
Spend even just half an hour tossing a ball or Frisbee with your grandchild or your pet. Both will enjoy the activity - especially that doggy!
CONSIDER YOUR DRINK:
Choose beer or wine instead of a frozen drink: A glass of regular beer has 140 calories and a serving of wine has 126 calories, while a strawberry daiquiri has about 300 and a margarita 340.
SCREAM FOR SORBET:
Indulge in chocolate or fruit sorbet instead of chocolate ice cream.
SWITCH-OUT THE BEDTIME SNACK:
Instead of a bowl of ice cream as a bedtime snack, snuggle with your spouse.