6 proven ways to improve your health and happiness by Slimming World Consultant.

1. Reduce your stress
Stress has been associated to gaining weight as it can affect lifestyle choices. We tend to pick alcoholic drink or sugary snack when we’re feeling down. Getting stress under control won’t only help with your weight, it can also strengthen your immune system and help prevent health ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, etc.
“There are simple things you can do to help you stress less. The One You website recommends relaxing, exercise, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and talking to someone. Learning to be kinder to yourself, and to cut yourself some slack, can also help. Many Slimming World members find that the support of their group, where they talk through their challenges and make plans for how to deal with stressful situations that may affect their weight, helps them to stay in control.”
2. Eat right
Numerous Slimming World researches show that the key to losing weight is not deprive your appetite, it’s about eating healthy, choosing a healthier option when it comes to shopping, cooking and eating – this way you can still enjoy your favorite meals the healthier way.
“The most important thing is to satisfy your appetite on healthy everyday foods that are low in calories yet filling – foods like lean meat, poultry, fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, fat-free yogurt, pasta and rice are great examples. Basing your family meals around these real food ingredients will soon see the waistband on your jeans feeling more comfortable.”
3. Get physically active
Slimming World supports an active lifestyle with its “Body Magic” activity program. And no, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go to the gym or running miles. Doing more moving than you usually does is a good start and by sticking with it, it will become part of your routine.
“It could be getting off the bus a stop early, parking the car further away from work, or taking the stairs instead of the lift. Every step really does count and you’ll soon notice a difference in how much you can do – and how much you enjoy doing it. Aim to do a few minutes each day until you’ve built up to a regular 30 minutes of activity that makes you sweat a little and gets your heart pumping. Gardening, Zumba, ballroom dancing, walking, running, cycling, swimming or taking part in a game of footie in the park – it all counts. And the more you enjoy it, the more you’ll do it!”
4. Drink smarter
According to Slimming World research, most of us tend to eat and drink more when than intended when we have consumed about four pints of beer or 3 large glasses of wine. It would help to fill up on a healthy, home-cooked satisfying meal before you go out on drinking or prepare a healthy meal when you return home and want to eat anything and everything.
“Good techniques for reducing alcohol intake include having a pint of water before you start drinking, alternating alcoholic drinks with soft drinks or water, and choosing low-calorie mixers such as soda or diet drinks when drinking spirits. Visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk/tippingpoint to find your tipping point and get more tips and guidance.”
5. Do not smoke
Everybody knows that smoking is bad for our health yet some people gets hooked by this unhealthy habit. Quitting can be a tough challenge, just like losing weight is but it can be done.
“Joining a group for support to help you stay on track and share experiences can be invaluable. Learning strategies like setting a target, deciding when you are going to stop, writing a ‘for and against’ list, keeping a diary, working out when your danger times are and developing distraction techniques like going for a walk each time you have a craving are all effective for any behaviour change – whether that’s quitting smoking or losing weight.”
6. Sleep more
Not getting enough sleep can affect our food choices. When we’re tired or sleepy, we tend to reach for quick energy booster like sugary snacks which are unhealthy. We also lack the energy to move around.
“People who sleep the recommended seven to nine hours each day are healthier, fitter, and less likely to struggle with weight or other health issues than those who don’t sleep well. New research from Slimming World shows too that those who are overweight are less likely to get a good night’s sleep. So not only does not sleeping well affect your weight, being overweight affects your sleep too. You deserve a relaxing night’s sleep, so make sleep a priority. Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime and removing distractions, like your TV, computer and phone, from your bedroom can help you to get a good night’s sleep. Being more active can help you sleep too. Start small and try one change at a time. The One You website has some great ideas to wind down and get into a good sleep routine.”
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