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The 5 Must-Have Tools to Eat Healthier

The 5 Must-Have Tools to Eat Healthier

Every year, a new fad claims to give people perfect health … only to be on the outs again the next year. If you’ve tried one of these fad diets, you know they never really work. The only way to truly be healthy is to have a healthy lifestyle, which includes following a healthy, well-balanced diet.
It might seem like there are no real shortcuts to eating better, but there are tools that can make it a whole lot easier.
Here are five must-have tools that can help you start eating healthier today.

1. PlateJoy

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    If you want to eat better but don’t know where to start (or just don’t have the time to plan ahead), this personalized meal planning service does all the work for you, sending custom recipes tailored to your goals and time-saving shopping lists that make trips to the store a breeze. First, take the lifestyle quiz to add your tastes, fitness or weight loss goals, and time constraints. Then, get personalized recipes that are designed to fit your schedule and to minimize food waste, by using ingredients across multiple recipes. There are meal plans for every preference, including paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, low carb, clean eating, no red meat, food allergies, pre-diabetes, and much more, as well as nutritional info that can be synced to your fitness tracker.

    2. Rise

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      This app pairs you with a nutrition coach, so you can learn how to change your dietary habits in order to become healthier. Take simple photos of your daily meals and exercises, and then share them with your coach. He or she will pinpoint problem areas in your diet, and work with you daily to help you get healthy. You will see results from a weight loss program that lasts and is tailored specifically to you.

      3. Lifesum

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      lifesum

        This app is a combination of technology and applied psychology, and uses personal preferences to help you have a healthier and happier life, by setting short-term, achievable goals on tracking your progress. This Stockholm-based health startup provides a platform that allows you to track your caloric intake and exercise schedule, as well as set weight loss goals and help keep you on track to better health through better eating habits. More than 14 million Android and iOS users have downloaded this tool to date and it has resulted in millions of success stories.

        4. Fooducate

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        fooducate

          This is your diet toolbox, and it helps you to track your progress and get more motivated to become even healthier. It actually goes beyond calories to really get down to what is going to help you to have a healthier diet. Scan barcodes to see the nutritional information of food products, learn about choosing healthier alternatives, and much more. Personalize it with your age, gender, weight, height, activity level, etc. Enter how much weight you want to lose and how quickly, find out how to reach your dietary goals, and even learn how to avoid MSG, GMO’s, HFC’s, etc. Fooducate also tracks your activity, sleep and mood.

          5. Lose It!

          lose-it

            This app was created with one thing in mind: to help others lose weight and keep it off, in a way that is healthy. No, there are no pills to take, and no crazy fad diets to follow. This is a program that is easy to use, and helps you to stay within your daily calorie limit. You can achieve actual weight loss without using any crazy gimmicks, and you don’t have to worry about a restrictive diet that is next to impossible to stick with. This app is the industry-leading digital health and fitness platform, centered around calorie tracking and community support.

            Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

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            Jane Hurst

            Writer, editor

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            Last Updated on September 16, 2019

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

            You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

            We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

            The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

            Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

            1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

            Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

            For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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            • (1) Research
            • (2) Deciding the topic
            • (3) Creating the outline
            • (4) Drafting the content
            • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
            • (6) Revision
            • (7) etc.

            Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

            2. Change Your Environment

            Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

            One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

            3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

            Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

            Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

            My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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            Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

            4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

            If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

            Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

            I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

            5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

            I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

            Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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            As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

            6. Get a Buddy

            Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

            I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

            7. Tell Others About Your Goals

            This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

            For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

            8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

            What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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            9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

            If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

            Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

            10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

            Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

            Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

            11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

            At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

            Reality check:

            I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

            More About Procrastination

            Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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