So many people want to become healthier, eat better, or generally be happier. While making major changes may seem like the quickest way to get there, doing so can easily become overwhelming. The best way to do it is by incorporating a few smaller changes into your life at first.
Here are 10 simple tips to help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals.
1. Cut back on sugary drinks.
Sugary drinks are pretty unhealthy…and their diet version isn’t any better. Really try to limit soda, fruit juice, and other sugary beverages: it will save you so many calories! You can gradually minimize your intake: limit yourself to one glass a day, then go a few days without it, then have it only once a week… Little by little, let these sugary drinks be the exception rather than the norm.
2. Reduce your alcohol consumption.
Alcohol contains a lot of calories that can easily add up without giving you any nutrients. Drinking alcohol can also make you more prone to overeating or indulging in foods you wouldn’t normally eat.
If you have a glass a day, for example, start by limiting yourself to one every two days and see how you manage. Then gradually decrease your consumption as time goes.
3. Limit eating out.
When you go to a restaurant or have fast-food, you’re way more likely to overeat. Try to reduce the amount of time you spend eating out in favor of more home-cooked meals.
At school or work, bring some left-overs for lunch instead of eating out. This will also save you money!
4. Cut processed foods and eat more whole foods.
Processed foods have been linked to weight gain and certain diseases. On the other hand, whole foods have continuously been proven to improve many different health aspects.
This is why you should choose whole foods whenever possible: whole fruits instead of fruit juice, whole vegetables instead of ready-made soups, and whole grains instead of white rice, pasta, and bread.
Try to eat these foods as much as possible— this will leave little room for the super addicting high-sugar high-fat processed foods.
5. Eat mindfully.
It’s easy to get caught up in a fast-paced lifestyle where eating on the go is your norm. This can cause you to eat absent-mindedly and to be out-of-tune with your hunger cues.
Mindful eating can help you regain control over your eating habits. It’s based on mindfulness, which is a form of meditation. Mindfulness-based interventions have been shown to improve eating behaviors.
Mindful eating means eating consciously in a healthy and balanced way in order to rediscover taste, flavor, and pleasure. It involves listening to your hunger cues and completely focusing on your food.
6. Use smaller plates.
This is a very easy yet efficient tip! If you want a smaller meal portion but you eat it on a regular plate, it will look empty. This will either push you to get a second helping or leave you unsatisfied and more prone to over-eating later on.
If you use a smaller plate, it will be much fuller. This will trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating an abundance of food. You’re probably thinking that this sounds too good to be true— but studies show that it actually works!
7. Spend more time outdoors.
Being outside has many health benefits. You should try to maximize the time spent out in the open. Take short walks a few times a week, go running, hiking, swimming, or even rollerblading! You can also just relax and read outside if outdoor activities aren’t really your thing.
8. Be more active.
Exercise is extremely important for your health. If you love the gym, don’t hesitate to step up your workouts for added benefits.
If you don’t, there’s bound to be some physical activity you enjoy. Swimming? Yoga? Rockclimbing? Dancing? Riding a bike? You can also follow fitness videos on the internet in the comfort of your own home.
9. Get more sleep.
Sleep deficiency impacts your weight and has other health implications as well. We all have different reasons for not getting enough sleep, but try to prioritize sleep a bit more. Go to bed a bit earlier, decrease screen time before bed, and try to create a calming routine for yourself at bedtime.
10. Take more time for self-care.
It’s actually crucial to your health to take some time for yourself. If you have a very busy schedule and fast-paced life, it can be difficult to squeeze in some “me time”. The trick is to put in on your planner so you don’t keep on skipping it. You can decide to take a nice hot bath with calming music, have a fun movie night, or enjoy some quiet reading time for example.
Practicing meditation is also a great way to enjoy some self-care time all while promoting your well-being.
The bottom line
Shifting from a poor lifestyle to a healthier one doesn’t have to be hard. Making small changes by incorporating some of these simple tips is the way to go for a pain-free, sustainable shift. You’re just a few steps away from creating a lastingly healthier and happier lifestyle!
If you like this article, you can read more on Edukale!