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3 things for better health

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. The habits of people who lose weight and keep it off, include celebrating the success and continuing to watch calories, the Mayo Clinic reported. In a list of successful habits for those who lose weight and win the battle against regaining it, Mayo reported they eat breakfast (noting also that adding protein to this meal helps people feel fuller longer.) Those successful people made physical activity a habit. Mayo advises putting it on a calendar to save room for it in busy lives. Other tips from people who have made the hurdle are: make lists before going shopping and sticking to them to avoid unhealthy impulse buys, read the nutrition labels, get support from friends and family for success, weigh in once a week and write down the results. This can help catch a gain before it turns into 20 pounds to lose—again.

2. Eat the vegetables and fruit first. This helps with feeling full earlier in the meal and can cut down on larger portions of food that provide more calories later. It may also help in cutting down on dessert or feeling like taking another helping.

3. Cut down on sodium this week. It can be a risk factor for high blood pressure. And it's not that table salt as much as it is the sodium already in prepackaged foods. According to the American Heart Association, about 75 percent of the sodium in diets comes from processed, prepackaged and restaurant foods.

"Too much sodium is bad news for your heart health," the American Heart Association reported. "It's bad news for your appearance, too: extra sodium can make your body retain water, which can make your face feel puffy, give you bags under your eyes, increase swelling in your fingers and make your jeans look, and feel, tighter. Yikes!" Look for the American Heart Association's check mark at grocery stores and some restaurant menus to find foods that can be part of an overall healthy diet. Go to for more information.

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 keyword Monday Motivator or three things.

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