It's a new year, and that means it's time for making resolutions. Though many people end up straying from their goals, Dr. Melissa Lem shows us some simple health resolutions that are easier to actually keep!
1. Chew your food thoroughly
This can be a very effective way to lose weight. In fact, a recent study shows people who chew each mouthful 40 times, as opposed to 15, ate 12 per cent less food.
One major reason this works is that your brain takes 20 minutes to get the signal from your stomach that you're full. If you eat slower and more mindfully you'll have wolfed down fewer calories by that 20-minute mark!
2. Learn how to take catnaps
Research shows that catnaps have many health benefits, from improving memory and reducing stress to reducing your risk of heart disease. A 2007 study from Greece reveals regular power nappers are a whopping 37 per cent less likely to die of heart disease!
Tips: Limit your catnap to 10 - 20 minutes (naps longer than 30 minutes usually leave you groggy). Take your daily nap between 1 and 3 p.m. Choose a dark room, lie flat, grab a blanket and set an alarm.
3. Keep fidgeting
One study from the Mayo Clinic shows that lean people tend to fidget more than obese people, burning up to 350 extra calories per day. Fidgeting and just moving around more in general increase your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), or the calories you burn through everyday activities. If you make this a habit, you could lose an extra 30-40 lbs in one year!
Tips: Pace while you're on the phone. Bounce your leg while you're sitting at your desk. Hide the TV remote so you have to get up to change the channel. Keep moving, every little bit counts!
4. Schedule in time for happiness
Keep your spirits up by officially planning into your daybook 15 - 30 minutes of an activity that make you happy at least twice per day, like reading a few pages of a book, stretching or going for a quick walk outside. And remember to take your "me time" as seriously as you would other commitments. It's great for your mental health!
5. Remove toxic foods from your diet
We usually think of foods containing high amounts of sugar and saturated fat as "toxic." But did you know there are foods you might think are good for you that can actually harm your health? Take a look at these five foods here.