1st healthy habit: The hunt for more whole grains has begun
The second healthy habit: Get an active break at work
The third healthy habit: Skip processed meats
The fourth healthy habit: Exercise 30 mins a daily
It’s Monday morning on Week 5 and I receive my new inbox challenge. Uh oh, I’ve had vacation and have had too many calories.
What a challenge! I usually do like to enjoy the holiday. Coziness is something that I heavily associate with delicious food, good wine, coffee and cake, candy, etc. So the challenge this week has a special focus on eating and drinking less than we usually do.
Overweight – check you BMI
About 51% of the adult population in the Western world is overweight – a figure that is expected to hit 70% by 2045 – and obesity is responsible for 9% of cancers (Source: Danskernes Sundhed).
Healthcare uses BMI as a measure of whether or not you’re overweight. If you’re BMI is over 25, you’re overweight. In addition to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, there is also a correlation between obesity and 13 different kinds of cancers.
New healthy habits
My first thought is SIGH, come on! Coziness can be so much more than what you put in your mouth, and it’s actually better when you don’t have that heavy feeling in your body. A delightful walk or workout together is, of course, also a nice way to talk and be seen.
I’ve previously written about the extra kilos that come creeping and it certainly has not been easy to restrict myself again as I get older. It’s about finding a happy medium between making peace with your body while also being healthy weight-wise.
It’s not about being on a diet, but being aware of what and how much we put in our mouth. Cooking a healthy meal isn’t enough as there has to be throughout the day. Do you even realize that your hand keeps diving into the office candy dish and sneaking into your mouth?
It is important to think and make conscious choices every day in order to make sure that there is room to splurge on the special day. When the family to gather around the table, so it’s easy to drag pots and pans on the table so everyone can scoop up. It’s just too dangerous because you don’t think about it when you go for your second plate.
The alternative is to find a slightly smaller plate forward and then wreak great portions in the kitchen. It looks delicious and inviting, and then you have to actively choose more food and get up to get it. Smart, right? And the leftovers can quite easily be saved if you don’t want to throw anything out (and here is one of my passions “avoid food waste”). No matter how little leftovers you have, save the boxes and into the fridge for what we call “leftover tapas” at my house. After some days, you put everything together and have your little tapas (appetizers).
Freeze your bigger leftovers in a box. This makes it easy to just pop it out of the freezer to eat after a night shift (so that you don’t have to buy shawarma during the break), or when you are alone at home and don’t really feel like cooking. This is a great way to avoid wasting food.
Replace juice, soda, beer and wine with water. Boring? No, flavor it with mint, cucumber, lemon or orange peel. It both looks great and gives a fresh taste. If you must have soda, take a can instead of half-liter bottle. And order a small latte instead of a large. It’s always about choosing consciously.
What do you do if you have to eat out or get invited home for dinner? Avoid the buffet, where the eye is tempted and let the bread basket to be. Order a delicious served portion and enjoy it.
The private dinner may be a bit more difficult but you don’t have to pick at your food and disappoint your hosts. Just be conscious and create a Y distribution on your plate. At the top of the Y (corresponding to a fifth) you should have your meat, fish, eggs, gravy, etc.) and on the two sides you’ll have your vegetables on one and side and pasta, rice, bread, etc. on the other. And then put away your cutlery between each mouthful. Taste the food, feel the texture and you’ll fall in love with the food and the company.
So how did my Week 5 go during the holiday?
It was hard, admittedly, but I enjoyed every second of it! I was aware of whether I was feeling hungry rather than eating after the bell. I ate until I wasn’t hungry anymore (instead of until I was full). I’m already good at drinking water. I don’t drink soda, so it’s no problem. On the other hand, I had wine and beer for dinner during the weekend. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it. It’s not a cure, but a habit that I’m changing and it won’t change completely during Week 5.
So here I am on Week 6, back on the job, and I’ve downsized on food and drink. And both my body and mind feels great!
Just remember the good habits from the previous week – it has made people at work laugh when I hoist my table and say loudly: “It’s time to stand up and activate my lazy butt muscles.”
It’s more fun when we’re in it together – and the same goes for eating and drinking. How can you inspire your colleagues and family?
10 weeks – 10 healthy habits
In this campaign I follow the Danish Cancer Society campaign for a longer life. I’ve just saw the campaign and wanted to take on the challenge. Neither I nor TOHUMAN has any contract with the Danish Cancer Society. However, I would like to support the campaign as it aims for a healthy life by writing about it here – all seasoned with my own experience. Join the campaign. Share your experiences on here. Feel free to ask me for advice.