1. Instead of Mindlessly Flipping on the TV…
Try: Throwing a dance party in your living room
Here’s Why: Reclining on your comfiest easy chair or on the couch can lead to mindless munching and overeating. In fact, studies have reported that people eat a whopping 40 percent more food when watching TV than during other activities. So instead of plopping down to unwind after a long week, blast your favorite tunes (whether Springsteen or Lady Gaga) and get moving to your heart’s content-the point is to just have crazy, silly FUN!
Even Better? Make your tube time more active doing these simple strength moves during commercials (instead of fast-forwarding through them).
Photo credit: © Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock
2. Instead of Eating Popcorn at the Movies…
Try: Munching on almonds
Here’s Why: At 161 calories per ounce (about 23 whole nuts), almonds are a delicious waistline-friendly treat. Compare that with a typical movie theater medium popcorn and soda combo, which clocks in at a whopping 1,610 calories (more than a whole day’s worth!)
What’s more, almonds have actually been shown to help people lose weight. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, a group of obese adults on a low-calorie diet lost more weight when they included almonds as part of their diet than a control group who ate the same amount of calories, but no nuts. Almonds are packed with belly-flattening monounsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fiber, which may also be responsible for their heart-healthy benefits.
Even Better? Make the movie a comedy. Research shows that an hour of laughing can burn as many calories as a half-hour at the gym.
Photo credit: © iStockphoto/Thinkstock
3. Instead of Snacking in Front of the Fridge…
Try: Entertaining yourself in another room of the house
Here’s Why: When we’re stressed or bored, it’s so easy to dig into whatever’s lying around. So often, we’re not even really hungry but just picking around out of habit. So when you find yourself wandering into the kitchen, stop and gauge whether it’s your tummy-or your mind-that’s really driving you there. Have a glass of water (we often confuse hunger and thirst) and distract yourself with a relaxing activity like a soothing bubble bath or a DIY pedicure.
Even Better? Boost the benefit of a tranquil experience by lighting a vanilla scented candle.
Photo credit: © Comstock/Thinkstock