Two months of working toward the same goal can get a little, well ... boring. "Once the novelty of a change wears off, it's tempting to slip back into old patterns," says Sharon Richter, R.D., a dietitian in New York City. Maintain your good habits by making a few tweaks to your routine, which, over time, will add up to significant results.
Unplug in the evening. According to a National Sleep Foundation (NSF) survey, 95 percent of people use an electronic device, such as a computer, just before bedtime. "But that can cause you to toss and turn," says Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., NSF chairman and director of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine. "The bright light from the screen delays the release of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone." To snooze more soundly, switch off technology and try dimming the lights an hour before you aim to sleep.
Savor your food without distraction. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate their lunch in peace felt fuller -- and snacked on roughly 100 fewer calories afterward -- than those who munched in front of a computer. "You feel more satisfied when you slow down and pay attention to every bite," says Richter. Over the course of a year, this simple change can tally up to more than a 10-pound drop. Moving a little more each day can garner the same loss: Try tacking on 17 minutes to your walk or 12 minutes to a jog.
Keep wholesome treats on hand. When you're running around hungry and ill prepared, it's easy to reach for packaged foods from the vending machine or newsstand. "Stock your kitchen and office with fruits, veggies, nuts, and yogurt," recommends Jessica Crandall, R.D., a Denver-based spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "These healthy staples contain nutrients like fiber, which helps sustain your energy to power you through the afternoon."
Write a gratitude list. If your average day feels more like a triathlon, saying a quick thanks can help you stay calm. According to a study in the journal Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, people who were coached to be more appreciative experienced a 23 percent drop in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol after a month. Before you tackle your to-do list, take a moment to jot down one thing you're grateful for today.
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