Most blogs posts or tips on Pinterest will tell you to start out small when it comes to living healthy. I definitely agree with this thought process! However, the hardest part is knowing where or how to start taking step to being the healthiest YOU that you can be.
We usually know the basics: drink more water, eat less sugar, and/or eat more greens. But, the type A in me wants to have a simple list with an explanation as to why these habits will be helpful. And I think you will agree that this information is critical when wanting to take steps to become healthier when it comes to eating.
There can be side effects with creating better and healthier eating habits, but they will usually be positive! This is not a normal correlation when seeing the word “side effects”. If taking on new habits full force, you may experience days where you feel groggy and tired because your body is adjusting. You for sure experience more urges to use the facilities throughout out your day (this is a good thing). Another positive effect is after the first few days, you will actually have more energy and feel so much better. I know there have been times in my life where I have had poor eating habits and I feel crappy all the time. I can almost immediately feel and see a difference in myself when I am on the right track.
10 Tips & Tricks to Start a Healthy Life
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The goal here is use these tips or habits to start you on a healthy living journey. This is life people, not a temporary weight loss gig that ends up being another yo-yo trip. Everyday, we have to choose to help rewire our brains so it doesn’t crave empty, artificial foods. Our bodies need us to make good choices (the majority of the time) when it comes to fueling it.
So good luck and here are 7 Habits That Will Make You Healthier, TODAY.
Drink More Water
This one is a given right? Of course, we know, “you have to drink water to be healthy”. This is the truth, but drinking enough water not only keeps you hydrated, it can also curb hunger. A lot of research has shown that drinking water before eating can decrease the amount you eat at a meal. It has also shown us that there are times we think we are hungry, that we are actually thirsty! The body is crazy isn’t it? How much water you drink will also be dependent on how active you are and what your body weight is because different size need more or less water. The best advice I can offer is find a large water bottle, and see if you like using one with a straw because for me, it seems that helps me drink more water! At first, try to make it a habit to drink 1 full bottle a day. Then, work up to 1.5 bottle a day, 2 bottles a day, etc. This is totally doable during the course of a whole day. Before you know it, you WILL crave water!
Eat Enough Protein
Implementing more protein into my diet was a game changer for my healthy living journey. It has been extremely helpful when it comes to staying full in between meals, and with cravings I would have when I wanted to snack. People need an ample amount of protein to fuel their bodies, even more so if they are heavily active. If eating eggs for breakfast, cook as many as you can hold in one hand. When cooking up a chicken breast or steak, aim for the piece of meat to be about the size of one hand. Sometimes I like to replace my meals with shakes, but I always make sure to include protein powder and fiber along with the fruits and vegetables so I stay full through to the next meal.
Cut Back, Then Eliminate Sugary Drinks
This is one is so difficult for many people, myself included. I love carbonation which usually equals soda, juice, or energy drinks. My weakness is sugary drinks because I love having something tasty to sip on ALL THE TIME. (This is why keeping your water bottle near is so important!) There are time when I can quit the drinks cold-turkey for months, but somehow ONE sneaks back in and then I’m hooked again and can’t stop. So, know that I do feel this struggle! The best thing I have found to stay off sugary drinks is to drink more water and not shop when I’m hungry (keeping the water bottle in my cart). I also infuse my water with fruits and herbs to change up the lack of taste. One thing I haven’t tried is to find good-for-you sparkling water that you can either flavor with fruit and herbs or liquid stevia. I will definitely write something on it when I do.
Eat Whole Foods
No duh right? This statement is so simple but seems so hard to do sometimes. People think it is hard to always eat healthy, and perhaps it can be. But I think it is the mindset about food that makes people think this way. It is so much cheaper to buy whole fruits and veggies than anything processed, period. Maybe it will take more work to chop your whole foods up and then cook them, but think of the bigger picture. You are fueling your body with whole, unprocessed foods full of nutrients our bodies need. This can be a big step for some people and that is perfectly OK! Find a recipe online or in a cookbook that focuses on using mostly whole, unprocessed foods. At first, try to make enough so you can eat that for 2 meals. Then, find another recipe and do the same thing. You can incorporate healthy and tasty recipes into your week that will fuel your body and make your feel great.
This is a big one for me because it is so helpful for staying on track when it comes to eating healthy. Collect some great or favorite recipes, assign them to days of the week, and go shopping. Only buy what is on your list and pertains to those meals. That way there are no foods around for you to “slip up” on during the week. You can implement the previous tip into creating a whole week of meals. And all of the meals can eventually be healthy depending on where you are at in your journey. I have written a post about creating a simple meal plan on your computer that you should definitely check out: How to Create a Budget Meal Plan
Make Time to Exercise
Our bodies let us know when we need to eat, but our muscles don’t twinge when we have been sitting for too long. When I say exercise, all I mean is some form of movement. You don’t have to go get a gym membership or join a Cross-fit class (unless you want to). Get up early and take a brisk walk or ride your bike. Find some home workout videos online that can get your blood moving before or after work. There are endless ways to get movement into your life, but you really do have to actively choose to make time to exercise. Figure out how much time you have to spare (even if it means getting up 30 minutes earlier), schedule it into your week, and try as hard as you can to stick with it. Your health and your body will thank you for years to come. I have written a post about a simple way to create quick and effective exercises here: 3 Easy Morning Workout Routines
Take Your Vitamins
As an adult, I only religiously took vitamins when I was pregnant and new a precious life was depending on all of those nutrients. It’s not the same when it comes to “just me” even though it should. However, the more I have researched nutrition, the more I understand it is important to have our daily allotment to stay healthy. I live in place where we have 300ish days of sun in a calendar year, but my doctor always tells me I need to start taking Vitamin D. Now, if I was actually in the sun for most of the day, I would probably be fine. But in our culture, we are office people, homebodies, and our stores are inside, away from the sun. Most people don’t know all of the vitamins they are consuming in the foods they eat or if they are getting enough or too much of certain vitamins. Thank you modern technology for noticing this and giving us pills to pop or gummies to chew! Start by taking a multivitamin which covers a plethora of vitamins we need in our healthy lifestyle. (They sell a plethora of men and women’s multivitamins on Amazon.) Research online about what vitamins are actually necessary and which ones you may need depending on your history or immunity. This way you can cover your bases for days when you diet is high in one nutrient but lacking in another. I set an alarm in the morning so I don’t forget to take my vitamins and soon, it can become a habit for you too.