I get asked all the time how I live my life. How many times a week do I exercise? What type of food do I eat? In essence, what do I do to be happy? I’ve culled some of the major points below. Do I follow my own advice all the time, um, no … but I do try. What it really comes down to is applying the Golden Rule to yourself.
The Nuts & Bolts
1. Divide up your plate. Eat a meal that’s 50% fruits and/or veggies, 25% starch and 25% protein. This will almost guarantee that you’ll get the right nutrients and not too many calories. Some of my clients have just followed this rule for successful weight loss.
2. Exercise most days of the week. The National Weight Registry, a huge ongoing research study, suggests you move most days of the week. This means light exercise like walking and gardening. More aggressive exercise is strongly encouraged like running, group exercise classes and basketball.
3. If you need to lose weight ~ Journal. You’ll lose weight a lot faster if you write down what you’re eating. It can be as simple as a pen and notebook or as elaborate as an online program like Weight Watchers. Whatever works best for you is what you should use. You’ll think twice about eating a handful of Oreo cookies if you have to write it down.
4. Know your daily caloric needs. Here’s a general rule of thumb; for women multiply your weight by 11, for men multiply your weight by 13. That’s your approximate calorie needs to maintain your weight if you do zero activity. Add 200 to 500 calories (depending on how sedentary you are) to maintain your weight.
The Really Important Stuff
5. Rest. We are so busy with our lives, running from one activity to the next. Program downtime into your week to relax and unplug. We simply can’t keep the going, going, going pace forever. Eventually the stress will build up and we’ll wind up with weight problems and worse medical issues. Learn how to chill.
6. Play. Don’t forget to play, whatever that means to you. Go to the park with your kids, go out to dinner with friends, challenge your spouse to a rousing game of Scrabble. Whatever it is that’s fun for you, make sure you do it at least a few times a week.
7. Eat Well. Avoid processed food, embrace organics, eat real food. As humans, we are all designed to run on high quality gas. If we put in the cheap stuff we get pinging in our engines and sometimes the engine will even fail. Treat your body well.
8. Cherish your connections. Your friends and family are the best reasons to be on the planet. Spending time with them, being there for them. Being your true, silly self around people you know and love is incredibly healing, energizing and restorative. Make plans a few times a month to be with people you love and just hang out. By the way it’s easy to add some playtime in here.
So that’s what I try to do. What do you do to be happy? Would love some feedback.