By Paige Green, Hy-Vee Dietitian on Monday, March 2, 2020

Try these 20, 20-second health hacks during 2020

No time to be healthy? No problem.

These quick and easy health hacks, suggested by your Hy-Vee dietitian, can fit right in your busy day.


1. Skip the snooze button

There’s nothing more satisfying than silencing your phone and dozing off again. Yet, this small act of rebellion interferes with your body’s natural wake mechanism meaning you'll feel more exhausted during the day ahead. Rise and shine with your alarm and tackle the day.

2. Drink your coffee black 

Save time (and calories) and skip the cream and sugar. The darker the hue, the better the health benefits. Caffeine has shown to improve focus.

3. Make time for breakfast

It’s not just breakfast – it’s your A.M. attitude adjuster. In a rush? Grab a yogurt and a piece of fruit from the fridge to kick start your day the right way.

4. Order a small    

Don’t want to give up your favorite coffee drink? Order a smaller size (and hold the whip) to reap big health benefits.

5. Size down your plate

The average plate size in the 1960 was 9 inches. Today? About 12 inches. Smaller dinnerware keeps portions in check. Plus, you’re likely to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more.

RELATED: Save time with these meal prep tips

6. Swap your white bread for whole wheat 

The darker, the better. Whole grains are chocked full of fiber, helping you feel fuller, longer.

7. Say “no” to seconds

Your new mantra can be “one and done.” By saying "no" to a second helping or a second glass of wine can save on calories.

8. Stand while working

Standing burns 50 more calories per hour than sitting. No standing desk? Take a break every hour and go for a walk around the neighborhood or office.

9. Put down the salt shaker

Time to stop mindlessly sprinkling salt on your food (or salting foods without tasting them).

10. Skip the candy aisle  

Remove the temptation to snack on sweets at home by not buying them at the store.

fruit bowl11. Put fruit on your counter

Say goodbye to the cookie jar, and swap it for a bowl of apples, oranges and bananas. You’re more likely to grab a healthy snack if it’s in plain sight rather than stored away. 

12. Stop your scroll   

Use your phone to find a quick and healthy recipe rather than swiping through Facebook.

13. Sip smarter

What’s wet, clear, and keeps energy levels high? Why, that’s water of course! H2O goal: Take your weight and divide by two. That’s how much water (in oz.) you should be drinking daily.

14. Turn off the TV

Studies show we eat more while watching TV. Put down the remote and enjoy dinner and conversation with your family. 

15. Look up restaurant menus

Ordering take-out for dinner? Decide what to order before you make the call to prevent impulses.

TRY THIS RECIPE: Mini Shrimp Pesto Pizzas

16. Eat only half

Restaurant meals are typically twice as much as you should be eating. Place half in a storage container and you just scored lunch for tomorrow.

17. Brush your teeth right after dinner

Curb dessert cravings with minty fresh breath. You’ll be less likely to reach for the chocolate after brushing your pearly whites.

18. Set out your sneakers the night before

Or, do one better and sleep in your workout clothes. Exercise first thing in the morning, and feel accomplished the rest of the day.

19. Share your goals

Tell your friends and family what you want to achieve. Accountability will lead to greater success. 

20. Set your alarm for earlier

Not enough hours in the day? Rising earlier can help you cross off tasks before the sun pops up, leading to less stress and a happier you!

paigePaige Green received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management at the University of Northern Iowa in 2012. She pursued her passion for nutrition at Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics during the spring of 2015. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Paige truly sets out to educate individuals on finding a healthy balance in life and her passion for people and nutrition inspires clients of all ages. You can find Paige at the Ames Hy-Vee on Lincoln Way.