One of the best ways to change unhealthy eating habits is to keep track of them, which makes sense considering most of us underestimate what we actually eat in a day. Identifying patterns of unhealthy eating choices in the record you keep, you can begin to change them.
Create a food record that includes the following items:
- Date and day of the week. Also note the exact time or the general time of day — such as morning, lunchtime or evening.
- All foods you eat and drink. Be specific on the types and amounts, and include details such as added fats, sugars — like butter, honey and other sweeteners — and beverages.
- Portion sizes. Measure or estimate the size in volume, weight or number of items.
- Your location when you eat. Write down where you are, whether it’s in your car, at your desk or on the couch — and whether you’re eating alone or with someone else.
- What you’re doing while you eat. Pay attention to what else you may be focused on, such as watching TV or socializing at a restaurant.
- Your mood. How do you feel — happy, sad, stressed out?
Be honest and record every bite of food you eat. If you don’t record everything, you won’t have an accurate picture of your intake. For the most accurate results, try to record your food intake within 15 minutes of the time you eat. Use a daily food journal to help keep you accountable.
Your incentive to do regular core exercises should be more than skin deep! A strong core — the muscles around your trunk and pelvis — helps prevent injuries and allows you to enjoy physical activity and perform everyday tasks with ease. Read on to learn more about why you shouldn’t neglect this vital area of your body.
Core exercises improve your balance and stability
Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.
Core exercises don’t require specialized equipment or a gym membership
Any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in a coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise. Examples of a classic core exercises are bridge, front plank and pushup.
Core exercises can help tone your abs
Want more-defined abdominal muscles? Core exercises are important. Although it takes aerobic activity to burn abdominal fat, core exercises can strengthen and tone the underlying muscles.
Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities
Strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from swinging a golf club to getting a glass from the top shelf or bending down to tie your shoes. Weak core muscles leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower-back pain and muscle injuries.
Core exercises can help you reach your fitness goals
Cardio exercise and muscular fitness are the primary elements of most fitness programs. But a truly well-rounded fitness program includes core exercises in the mix as well. Whether you’re a novice taking the first steps toward fitness or a committed exerciser hoping to optimize your results, a well-rounded fitness program is the best way to reach your goals.