3 Things for Better Health

Small steps can be the start for healthy changes. Pick one or more from the list to try this week.

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Need to be motivated to start the week off on a healthy note? Just try one or more of three things to start the week off on the right path.

1. Looking to lose weight as part of your New Year’s resolution? WebMD reported people who eat more in the morning and less at night tend to lose more weight. And a higher protein meal may help people feel more full for a longer period. WebMD noted recommendations from a director at a weight management and research firm include making warm, solid food for breakfast in the 350-400 calorie range with at least 25 grams of protein.

2. Tracking food is routinely listed as beneficial to have a more realistic idea of the calories going in on a daily basis. WebMD stated taking photos of meals and snacks for a photo diary is one good way to keep track and help inform decisions on what to eat later in the day to help weight loss. There are many apps, both free and for a fee, that assist on this. But for busy folks who may only get a short time for a meal and plan to input data later, the photo serves as a reminder when memories are incomplete later and may not include those handfuls of M&Ms. Other tips include putting the healthy food up front and foremost in the fridge and in cupboards and putting those not-so-healthy snacks out of sight, or better yet, just don’t bring the temptations home from the grocery store.

3. Remember having some free time that isn’t filled with obligations, chores, to-do lists and work, can be good for you. A moment for reflection, thought, silence, observation, or just quiet to let your mind wander — all without stimulation from screens or guilt that every moment needs to be involved in multitasking may be a benefit to productivity, creativity and calm. Alan Lightman, a physicist, novelist and professor of the practice of the humanities at MIT and author of “In Praise of Wasting Time,” wrote about the benefits of stillness in an article last year:

“I have a friend, a former high school teacher in Arlington, Massachusetts, who started something new with her students. At the beginning of each class, she rang a bell and asked her students to remain silent for four minutes. This small revision in the school day worked wonders. The students were calmer, more centered and more creative.


“All of us can find ways to introduce moments of stillness in our day. Take a 20-minute walk every day and leave your smartphone behind. Unplug all devices during dinner. Try sitting quietly for 20 minutes before bed, with a book or with nothing at all, and just let your mind think about what it wants to think about.”

For more tips from the weekly Three Things list, check out the Monday Motivator page each week in the Dispatch or e-edition, or go to and go to lifestyle to reach the drop-down menu for health or search using the keywords “Monday Motivator.”

Questions or tips to share, contact Renee Richardson, managing editor, at or 218-855-5852.

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