The quality of your decisions affects the quality of your life. Making better decisions is one of the most effective ways to enhance your life.
However, making a good decision requires actually making a decision. Too many people avoid making decisions, or they spend far too much time and energy making a decision.
8 Useful Tips for Making Better Decisions with Less Effort
A great decision doesn’t require a lot of time or energy the vast majority of the time:
1. Know your purpose.
Your purpose makes the best option more obvious. For example, if your purpose is to be an ultramarathoner, it’s easier to decide what to eat and how to spend your time away from your regular job.
Where should you live? If you want to be a dairy farmer, the city won’t work. If you want to write a book, in what environment do you write most effectively?
2. Be logical.
Most people make decisions based on emotion. Logic is only used to justify the decisions they made emotionally. Most people are prone to making poor decisions. You don’t want to be like most people in this regard.
The best decision is often clear if you apply logic to the situation. Consider how you would advise a friend to proceed. That’s probably your best option.
3. Plan your day the night before.
It’s easier to make smart decisions in advance. For example, it’s easy to say, “I’m going to meet my mother for lunch tomorrow.” However, you might be less enthusiastic when the sun comes up. Avoid changing your mind. You already made the decision, so stick with it.
We make great plans in the evening for the following day. We plan out our days. We make plans to eat a good lunch, hit the gym, and finish that report. The next day, we start overthinking everything and blow it.
You don’t need to make perfect decisions. You need to make decent decisions and stick with them. Do your thinking at night. Execute your decisions the following day.
4. Know your values.
The best option is often obvious if you know your values.
Take the time to examine your values and then list them in order of priority.
When you’re faced with a tough choice, take a look at your list of values and apply your values to your decision. You’ll probably find that an answer is easier to find.
5. Give yourself a deadline.
A good decision can often be made very quickly. Avoid taking longer than you need to make a choice.
A deadline can be an effective way of making a decision quickly. Give yourself a few minutes to a few days, to make up your mind. Pull the trigger and move on.
6. Know that if you’re indecisive, any option is probably acceptable.
When you’re torn between a couple of choices, there’s probably not a “best” option. Just pick one and move on. Flip a coin if necessary.
7. Consider the reason for your hesitation.
Why are you hesitating? What’s holding you back? What are your concerns? What are you afraid might happen?
Is there a way to mitigate this fear so it doesn’t impact your decision process?
8. Forget about trying to be perfect.
Perfection leads to procrastination and indecision. Worry about being good. Worry about being smart. That’s as close to perfection as you need to be.
Indecisiveness puts your life on standby. You can dramatically enhance the quality of your life by making better and quicker decisions. Making a decision isn’t a race, but what are you going to accomplish by waiting if you already have the information you need to decide?
Everyone suffers from some form of stress whether it be the daily grind or something more serious. Reducing stress is the most important thing that can be done to ensure a happy and healthy lifestyle.
A quick Google search will bring up thousands of ideas from life coaches, classes, doctors and medicine.
There is a far simpler and easier way to reduce stress.
Adopt Any One of these 5 Stress-Busting Habits and Your Life will Improve
#1) Meditation / Spirituality / Religion
Meditation is always a go-to when needing to reduce stress. It allows you to focus on yourself in that present moment and get rid of those wandering thoughts. It’s not something that is hard to do, and many do it already without realizing that they are. Have you ever heard,
To go a little further, spirituality, a belief in something greater than oneself, helps with that idea too. Reading horoscopes, being thoughtful, or just talking to something that you believe is greater than you can have a profound effect on your stress and also it to is a form of meditation.
Lastly, religion can and does for many, play a role in this. Through prayer, people have prayed away stress, and that conscious contact that exists in prayer is a form of mediation.
However you meditate, meditation needs to be in your bag of tricks for reducing stress, but meditation alone cannot and will not reduce all of your stress…
Being creative helps to reduce stress because whatever medium you choose, you can take all that energy and channel it daily. Keeping a journal is a very effective way to reduce stress and clear out the clutter of your mind. Other options include painting, drawing, sculpting, and music. All of these give an outlet for that energy and help us channel this stress into healthy habits.
It’s not hard, nor is it time-consuming. There are countless moments throughout the day where decisions are made that move us off the path of a reduced stress life. Instead of sitting down to watch 12 episodes of Bob’s Burgers, watch four and use that extra time that you now have to do something creative.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, nor does it have to be a masterpiece. The act of doing is more important than the end result.
A simple one mile walk a day, can and will change your perspective. Stress comes at us from all sides. A stroll down to the corner store and back can affect a psyche change that lasts for a few hours. Seeing the bustling on the streets, hearing the chirping of birds, smelling the air; all of this creates an environment in our minds that helps to reduce stress. While the world is running at full pace, there you are, slowly achieving a goal.
If walking isn’t your thing, there are numerous other things to do, running, sports, cycling, going to the gym, Yoga, and much more. Being active helps get you out of your head and focus on what is in the here and now.
Diet does play a role in stress reduction. What we eat and put into our bodies affects us more than we know. Eating two large order of French fries from your favorite restaurant may taste good, but the salts and the grease will leave you feeling lethargic; the added salt will increase your blood pressure, and the large soda that you drink to wash it down will give you a sugar rush, that at the end will leave you feeling moody.
I'm excited to announce I'll be joining you and the Vancouver healthy living communities at the Vancouver Wellness Show! I have 4 talks scheduled and hope to connect with so many amazing health-conscious people throughout the 2-day healthy living extravaganza!! Will you be joining me there?
Here's what you can expect…
What is the Vancouver Wellness Show All About?
The 2020 Wellness Show in Vancouver is all about Life in Balance, along with sharing Healthy Food & Lifestyle Options with the Vancouver Lower-Mainland, health-conscious communities.
For more than 25 years the Wellness Show has been bringing new approaches to nutrition, fitness, physical and emotional well-being to help Vancouverites achieve their most holistic, healthiest selves. They connect like-minded businesses and thought-leaders in wellness. They educate the public on health options as a year-round online resource and as host of Western Canada’s biggest and most established health and lifestyles showcase.
Talk Description: We’re all short on time. Unsure of what to do or how to do it, we put our health on the backburner of life. Enough is enough. Learn how to maximize your health and well-being with just 30 minutes a day – no equipment? no space? NO worries! The 2% solution is all you need to get started.
At 12 Noon, join me at the Healthy Families Workshop stage.
I'll be walking you through
How to Meditate to Increase Happiness while Reducing Stress & Anxiety
Talk Description: Stress, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure – all can be reduced through a regular meditation practice. But that begs the questions — How do I do it? Where do I start? In this workshop, Dai will provide us a simple solution to integrate meditation into even the busiest of lives.
At 4 pm, join me at the Living Well Seminar stage.
I'll be reminding you that…
You Are Only 3 Questions Away from Living Your Best Life Now
Talk Description: Age is a friend that accompanies us from the day we are born… yet, what happens when something as normal as feeling healthy isn’t normal anymore? For many of us, we find ourselves at crossroads in our lives where things start to change whether we like it or not. However, we don't have to be victims of change. In Dai's presentation, you'll learn the 3 essential questions to help you in getting everything you want out of life starting NOW!
And lastly, join me at the Women & Wellness Seminar Stage @ 5 pm
I'll be sharing…
The 3 Little Words to Help You Stop Complaining & Start Living
Talk Description: Why is it that some people thrive well into their 100’s while other people see their quality of life rapidly decline as they age? The answer will surprise you. In this presentation, Dai will share with you the formula for living your best life by adopting a simple 3-word mindset.
You can’t avoid menopause or all symptoms that come with it. Luckily, with a few lifestyle adjustments, you can ease the severity of these symptoms and improve your overall health.
This article brings you tips in healthy living during and after menopause that will help you deal with menopause easily and positively affect your wellbeing.
5 Ways to Make Your Life Easier During Menopause
1. Physical activity is a “must”
Exercise is essential for dealing with menopause and aging. The benefits of physical activity in menopause were proven in numerous studies. For example, a study observed 631 women who had reached natural menopause.
According to Science Daily interval training (switching between short bursts of intense activity and cardio) can increase the number of mitochondria which are, actually, “energy factories” of our cells.
Here are a few reasons why you need to work out regularly during and after menopause:
Reduces hot flashes
Promotes bone strength
Improves heart health
Boosts energy levels.
2. Diet tweaks for boosting your health
A balanced diet can protect and improve your overall health and prevent weight gain that usually occurs during menopause.
Also, a healthy diet aids in the prevention of various medical conditions usually develop during or after menopause.
Here are some diet tips in healthy living during and after menopause that will ease the symptoms of your “transition” and protect your health as well as the quality of life:
A great way to boost your health and ease menopause symptoms is to start with the Mediterranean diet.
This is one of the healthiest diets in the world and is characterized by eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and fish.
Due to the fact fish, especially salmon, is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, this diet promotes heart health and prevents stroke and many other diseases.
TIP: Introduce soy to your diet too, in order to reduce hot flash frequency and intensity. Journal Menopause published results of the study which confirmed that servings of soy reduce hot flash frequency by 61%.
3. Acupuncture to reduce stress and minimize hot flashes
Some women take hormones to ease symptoms of menopause. However, there are women e.g. breast cancer survivors who can’t take hormones and they need some other way to reduce stress and deal with hot flashes and acupuncture is an ideal solution.
4. Say “Goodbye” to cigarettes
Smoking is bad for your overall health and now you have a great reason to quit. Smoking increases the severity of symptoms of menopause (including hot flashes) and it boosts the risk of getting various diseases e.g. osteoporosis, heart disease, etc.
Moreover, smoking can lead to health complications in case you choose to receive menopause medications or hormone therapy. Therefore, for good health during and after menopause, throw those cigarettes into the trash.
5. Breathe away your hot flashes
Menopause itself is stressful. Now, when we add to that various life situations, the stress becomes even bigger and it just aggravates hot flashes.
There are a lot of ways to reduce stress, but taking a few deep breaths is the easiest one. Several studies showed that taking slow, deep breaths (6 or 8 breaths per minute) can reduce hot flashes.
Try this when a hot flash hits you in order to reduce its intensity and length. Also, during the postmenopausal period, reducing stress will also reduce the risks of numerous diseases. Whenever you are dealing with great pressure and stress, take a few deep breaths.
Avoid spicy foods
Wear layered clothes to avoid getting too warm
Sleep in a cool or cold room
Control your blood sugar (if you’re diabetic).
Although menopause is characterized by various uncomfortable symptoms and increases risks for some diseases, lifestyle adjustments and using few supplements like Menoquil can ease these symptoms and protect your health.
This article listed a few tips in healthy living during and after menopause that you can use to improve the quality of your life. Remember to stay active and reduce stress to decrease the severity of hot flashes.
The moment when you finally hit your stride with your workout routine is seriously the best. It’s like the honeymoon phase of a new relationship.
Everything is (relatively) easy. You feel like you’re on top of the world. Nothing can slow you down.
Until suddenly, it happens: You hit the dreaded workout plateau. Now, you’re no longer seeing results, and your motivation is all but gone. What are you supposed to do now?
Well, as we see it, you have three options:
quit (but you’re no quitter, are you?);
keep doing the same workout routine and growing increasingly frustrated with your lack of progress, or
bust through your fitness plateau by leveling up your workouts.
If you want to start seeing results again, there is no question that option number three is the best course of action.
So, how do you make it happen?
6 Useful Strategies for Making Your Workouts Better
Create your workout playlists, pack your bag with essential workout gear and follow these pro tips to get yourself out of your fitness rut.
1. Switch up the intensity
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your workouts to maximize your results. If you enjoy hopping on the stationary bike in the morning and blasting T-Swift on your phone, then by all means, keep doing it! But instead of pedaling for 45 minutes straight at the same intensity, try switching up the intensity with an interval workout.
An interval workout involves periods of high-intensity mixed in with low and medium intensity and, according to research, it’s super effective at blasting fat.
In a 2017 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that interval workouts can burn up to 28.5 percent more fat than a continuous workout with moderate intensity.
If you normally use the bike for 45 minutes on a low intensity, try doing a 20-minute bike interval workout instead. Start your ride with easy pedaling for five minutes, dispersed with moderate, high-intensity and all-out pedaling before cooling down for another five minutes. Trust us, you’ll be feeling it in your legs the next day.
2. Try something completely new
Okay, we know that we just said you didn’t need to reinvent the wheel with your workouts, but hear us out: Trying a new workout routine can do your body some serious good. Like, a lot of good. As in, omg-I-can-finally-see-my-abs kind of good.
That’s because your body eventually adapts to exercise after about 4-16 weeks of the same workout routine. Once that happens, your progress will come to a screeching halt until you make a change in your workout.
While interval training is an effective way to challenge your body, why not try something new and exciting?
Replace one of your running workouts with a kickboxing class. Swap a cardio session for yoga (which is packed with workout-enhancing benefits, by the way). Who knows? You may just find a new type of exercise to get you excited all over again.
3. Fuel up the right way
Sorry to break this to you, but your low-calorie diet is secretly sabotaging your workouts.
Yep, it’s true. In fact, when it comes to fitness, undereating is arguably much, much worse than overeating. That’s because eating a low-calorie diet won’t provide your body with the proper nutrients it needs to fuel your workout, which inevitably leads to you feeling tired and unmotivated to do that extra rep or mile.
Furthermore, not all calories are created equal. If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates (an essential macronutrient), your body will eventually rely on the protein in your muscles as fuel, which is the last thing you want!
To fuel your body properly, start counting your macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins). If you don’t know how to do that, use this helpful macronutrient guide or see a certified nutritionist who can help you. Also, don’t be alarmed if your nutritionist tells you to eat way more carbs than you’re used to! Just trust the process. We promise that you’ll look and feel a million times better once you start fueling your body with the proper macronutrients.
4. Wear comfortable workout gear
Look, we can all admit that exercise isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world. You’re sweating, your face is flushed and all you can think about is taking that glorious shower after you’re finished. But while exercise itself is generally uncomfortable, that doesn’t mean you need to make it a million times worse by wearing the wrong workout gear.
The wrong shorts can cause chafing. The wrong bra can cause breast pain. The wrong shoes can cause painful blisters that put you off your running game for an entire week or more. In other words, you need to make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing that won’t slow you down or negatively impact your performance. Prioritize your comfort and you’ll be amazed at how much more motivated you are to do that one additional rep!
5. Set specific goals
When you first started working out, you probably had one goal: Just show up. Get in the gym, do the thing and pat yourself on the back. And to be perfectly fair, that’s a worthy fitness goal—for a fitness newbie. Now that you want to take your workouts to the next level, you can no longer just wander into the gym without a plan. Not if you want to see progress, that is.
So, what do you want out of your fitness regimen?
Do you want to build more muscle? Increase your running speed? Or maybe you just want to get enviable abs like Kate Beckinsale (can you believe she’s 46?! Talk about #bodygoals).
No matter what your fitness goal, it’s important that you know what you want out of your workouts. By knowing the final destination, you can create a fitness road map to get you there much, much quicker.
You don’t even need any equipment to get started. Your body is the equipment! Bodyweight workouts involving squats, pushups and reverse lunges are a super-effective way to train and will help build muscle that boosts your cardio workouts. Plus, you can also use resistance bands, kettlebells, and medicine balls to take your workout to the next level. Before too long, you’ll be looking in the mirror and thinking hot DANG!
Don’t let yourself fall into a fitness slump. Use these pro tips to get back in the game!
Annie Kuniansky is the manager of the Red Dress Boutique editorial team. She oversees all of the content creation and outreach for the company. When she’s not working or writing you can find her researching the latest fashion trends or hanging out with friends.
We’ve all been there – 3 AM, in front of the fridge, digging into the last of the chocolate ice cream.
Cravings, or simply a very strong desire to munch on a particular food, are nothing out of the ordinary, and everyone has them from time to time.
However, excessive binge eating and extensive difficulty in controlling your appetite might be a sign that something is not quite right. This kind of behavior comes with feelings of guilt and shame, which can often plunge you right back into the pantry – not a pleasant ride.
What is Binge Eating?
Plenty of people are guilty of overeating at some point or another, but what many people don't realize is that binge eating is something almost entirely different. While going back for seconds, or even thirds, on Thanksgiving Day can definitely leave you filling over-full and less than proud of yourself, binge eating is a disorder where a person literally feels as though they have no choice but to keep piling onto their plate.
Usually, binge eaters will go through episodes where they can't stop themselves from eating more no matter how full or sick they get. And, these binge eaters typically don't do so in public. Rather, they have a breakdown late at night when the rest of the people in the house are asleep or they sneak food throughout the day when no one is looking.
Binge eating is a real disorder that can be hard to conquer on your own. Professional guidance is highly recommended to help you get your binge eating under control, but how do you know if you're a binge eater? If you find yourself having episodes where you eat far too much, usually to the point of being sick, and then feel extremely guilty afterward even though you could not stop yourself, you are likely a binge eater.
There is a fine line between severe overeating and binge eating, so it is worth reaching out to a medical professional and talking to them about what you are experiencing. However, before you make any drastic changes to your lifestyle, realize that your dietary choices are secondary to the root cause of the problem, which usually has to do with your self-image, emotions, and even trauma that you may have experienced in the past.
Binge eating will not simply go away on its own. It's a serious disorder that usually requires intervention to address so that you can identify what has caused you to become a binge eater and then work through your choices in order to form healthier habits and an improved self-care routine. It will take effort, but you can get back to your normal, healthy lifestyle with some assistance.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of reasons why you may be turning to food for comfort. But one of them might be something you haven’t thought of: you may be experiencing a disbalance in your macro- and micronutrient intake, which could be causing your cravings.
On the other hand, even if you’re eating out of purely emotional reasons, you can still turn to vitamins and supplements to help you overcome the challenge, as certain micros can act as hunger suppressants.
Remember the golden rule of healthy weight loss: you are looking to reduce your daily caloric intake by somewhere between 200 and 500 calories. True, you can up that number even further, but if you want to keep the process both safe and less difficult, these are the numbers you’re aiming for.
The Best Vitamins and Minerals to Help with Appetite Control and Binge Habits
To that reduced diet, add the following vitamins and minerals, and you should be on your way to controlling binging habits.
The B vitamin group is an excellent aid in weight loss. While the group itself consists of many members, the most notable allies include vitamins B2, B3, B5, and B6. They are the ones that help reduce hunger pangs, promote healthy thyroid function (also very important in keeping your hunger levels in check), and regulate your body’s metabolism:
B3 is also one of the components of the glucose tolerance factor, which is released into the bloodstream when sugar levels are on the rise. It helps stabilize blood sugar spikes and dips, keeping its levels in check. As hunger is often caused by a drop in blood sugar levels, regulating your B3 intake can be an excellent first step.
B5 plays an important role in the production of energy and adrenal functions, so it works to keep you moving and energized, thus contributing to your weight loss efforts.
Finally, B6 also helps regulate thyroid functions and metabolism, helping you feel better with what you eat.
Foods rich in B2 include beef, tofu, milk, spinach, and almonds.
B3 is found in chicken breast, tuna, salmon, turkey, and avocado.
For B5, up to your intake of (again) salmon, avocado, and chicken, and add in sweet potato and lentils.
As for B6, you can again reach for turkey and chicken, as well as milk and eggs.
We all reach for vitamin C when we have a cold or the flu, but it is also great in controlling the appetite and cravings. Buffered vitamin C is especially good for the purpose, as it contains calcium and magnesium, and is used as an anti-addictive. Taking it regularly can help you curb those late-night munchies.
Vitamin C on its own can be found in citrus fruits, chilies, kale, blackcurrant, and even spinach.
Magnesium is an amazing mineral that helps convert the glucose (or blood sugar) in your body into fuel you can burn for energy. When your magnesium levels are low, your body’s cells are less effective in using insulin. When your blood sugar levels plummet (a state is known as hypoglycemia), you will feel hungry, tired, weak, shaky, and dizzy.
To prevent this, you can up your magnesium intake, and keep your insulin levels in check. The fewer spikes and drops you have during the day, the more energized and less hungry you will feel.
Some of the best sources of magnesium include:
leafy green vegetables
nuts and seeds
salmon and tuna
Glutamine is an amino acid, a building block of protein. When your body is able to synthesize it on its own, the majority of glutamine you need is made in your muscle cells, and it keeps them working properly. However, when you put your body through a workout or when you’re injured, you use up your glutamine stores quickly.
When you’re eating too much and have excess weight, your body needs more glutamine than normal. And if you don’t have enough of it, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue to get to the glutamine. This will cause you to lose muscle mass instead of fat.
To lose fat, you will need to have enough glutamine in your body to prevent muscle breakdown.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of fats that are crucial for our health. Omega-3s from fish oil can help you reduce hunger pangs and help keep your appetite in check, as consuming more of it will keep you feeling fuller for much longer.
Don’t make the mistake of avoiding fats when trying to lose weight and control your cravings. Fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet, but when we say fats, we mean healthy fats, as opposed to the unhealthy and highly processed kinds.
Omega-3 can be found in fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, as well as oysters and anchovies.
Anything else that can help?
Eating more protein can make you feel fuller, which should keep the hunger at bay for longer. Protein will also help you burn more fat and build muscle, but again, you do have to eat carbs and fats too.
If you want to get your dose of vitamins and minerals from a food supplement, try to choose one made from gelatin. Gelatin is good for the digestive system, and it helps protect your joints, so adding it to your diet can be a good choice as well.
Only choose supplements from reputable manufacturers. As the FDA doesn’t control supplement production, there is no guarantee of what you’re getting in your bottle – so do your research, and don’t trust the marketing alone.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, work on your mind as well as your body.
Overeating is the doorway to a vicious cycle of self-doubt and self-loathing, so try not to put yourself down for eating. If food is your way of coping with life, try to work on what’s troubling you alongside the efforts to eat less. With a healthy approach to food, you’ll be on your way to overcoming your cravings and living a much happier life.