So, you want to live a Healthy Lifestyle? That’s great! Making positive changes in your life can feel both daunting and rewarding. To help get you started, follow these nine tips to live healthier every day. In no time, you’ll be on your way to feeling better than ever!
1) Eat Breakfast
Research shows that people who eat breakfast each day are in better shape than those who skip it. Skipping breakfast isn’t great because it can lead to overeating at lunch and dinner, but what you eat is important too. You can’t go wrong with oatmeal, eggs, nuts, or fruit—all good sources of fiber.
If you aren’t sure how to cook these ingredients or if you don’t have time to make them for breakfast, look for whole-grain cereals that offer between 3 and 5 grams of fiber per serving. Add skim milk (or your favorite non-dairy alternative) and fresh fruit to round out your meal with more vitamins, minerals, and protein.
2) Don’t Drink Calories
Sugary drinks are some of the biggest calorie culprits because they’re so easy to consume. There’s no chewing or digestion involved and therefore no satiety mechanism. Just one 12-ounce can of sugary soda contains about 160 calories, so it’s pretty easy to down 350 calories before you even sit down at your desk in the morning.
And that doesn’t count all of those cans you may have with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day! The other danger is that these beverages may contain fructose, which is known to contribute more fat storage than any other sugar. Steer clear of juice and soda by opting for sparkling water with lemon or lime instead; your body will thank you.
3) Take Time to Prepare Food
Once you get home from work, go ahead and cook yourself a healthy meal. The idea of spending time in front of your stove or sink may not sound appealing, but cooking at home can actually help save money and it helps ensure that you are getting enough fruits and vegetables into your diet. What’s more, studies have shown that people who cook their own meals make healthier food choices than those who rely on takeout or fast food.
4) Practice Mindful Eating
Focus on chewing your food slowly and savoring each bite. When you eat slowly, your body has time to let you know that it’s full. Mindful eating will also help you eliminate mindless snacking, which has been linked to increased weight gain over time. Mindful eating can be practiced at mealtime or anytime throughout your day when eating (or drinking) anything.
5) Sit Down to Eat
In addition to eating too much, Americans also tend to eat on the go and in front of screens. In fact, one study from 2010 showed that people who ate meals in front of television sets were two times more likely to be overweight than those who did not. To start living a healthier lifestyle, make an effort to sit down and enjoy your food even if it’s just at home!
6) Pay Attention to Portion Size
We live in an oversized world. But consuming large amounts of food isn’t healthy—or sustainable. When it comes to eating well, smaller portions are more conducive to achieving weight loss goals than larger ones.
Try downsizing your plate, eating slowly, and stopping before you feel full. It may take some getting used to, but it’s worth it: People who eat slowly lose more weight than those who dine quickly, according to research published in August 2010 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
7) Keep it Clean
Use soap and water to wash your hands before meals, before touching food, after using the bathroom, and after blowing your nose. A 2010 study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found that simply washing hands thoroughly with soap could significantly reduce the risk of illness. Wash kitchen surfaces before cooking.
When preparing food, wash your hands between handling raw meat and produce, unless you are wearing gloves or using utensils.
8) Stay Active
Staying active will help you maintain healthy eating habits and exercise regularly. It’s crucial to get at least 30 minutes of activity five days a week. If you want to lose weight or prevent weight gain, up that number to at least an hour each day. And if you are looking to do both (lose weight and prevent weight gain), try adding strength training three times a week.
9) Get Enough Sleep
When you’re exhausted, your body’s natural reaction is to crave unhealthy foods, so you tend to eat more than you should. To keep your metabolism running at its peak, make sure you’re getting enough rest. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night is ideal; don’t skimp on sleep if you want to maintain energy and enthusiasm throughout your day.