It might seem like a difficult feat to achieve a healthy lifestyle, but there are many small things you can do that add up to big change. Just like anything worth having, it takes time, patience and effort to achieve the results you want. A healthy lifestyle isn’t a pill or a quick fix. It is a completely different way of living. So if you want a healthy lifestyle, here’s how you get started.
According to Wikipedia:
A healthy lifestyle is one which helps to keep and improve people’s health and well-being. … Healthy living is a lifelong effect. The ways to be healthy include healthy eating, physical activities, weight management, and stress management.
Let’s break these down.
Before we get into the steps you can take to change the way you eat, there are a few things you need to keep in mind about a healthy diet.
- You need to make sure that you eat a wide range of foods. You want to make sure that you have a balanced diet and that your body is getting all of the nutrients that it needs. It’s recommended that men have around 2,500 calories per day and women should have round 2000 calories per day.
- As far as calories go, you need to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are. Chances are if you’re just getting into a healthy lifestyle, you still are leading a somewhat sedentary life. Which is okay, but your calorie intake should reflect that.
- Healthy eating will not give you the healthy lifestyle that you ultimately want to achieve. At least not alone. But it’s probably one of the best places to start, and one of the places that you’ll find you’ll see the most results the fastest.
Let’s talk more about ways that you can begin introducing a healthier diet into your life and routine.
First, as we mentioned above, you want to make sure that you have a balanced diet so that your body is getting all the nutrients that it needs. That means, eating more fruits and vegetables, fish, and not skipping breakfast.
Since we mentioned it, let’s talk about skipping breakfast and breakfast as a whole.
All About Breakfast
One of the most common reasons that people skip breakfast is because they just don’t have the time in the morning or they just aren’t hungry. I know I’m guilty of that. That’s not an excuse. And there are a lot of drawbacks to skipping breakfast that you might not be aware of.
Here’s what happens to your body when you skip breakfast.
If you’re looking to lose weight, one of the worst things you can do is Skip breakfast. Eating breakfast is known to jumpstart your metabolism and keeps it going throughout the day. When you skip breakfast, there’s no jump-start your metabolism, in fact, it slows down. And unfortunately, it can start eating away at your muscle tissues.
Your blood sugar drops
When your blood sugar drops, it leaves you feeling overly hungry, cranky and fatigued. And believe me, it will catch up with you throughout the day.
Bad for your heart
Along with metabolism, skipping breakfast can be bad for your heart. By skipping breakfast you’re more prone to weight gain and it increases your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. So if you’re looking to lose weight, don’t skip breakfast.
If you’re looking to reduce the stress in your life, skipping breakfast definitely will not help. In fact, skipping breakfast can have an effect on cortisol, which is like your stress hormone. This hormone is at its highest at about 7 a.m., so it’s definitely important to eat something to bring it back down. If you don’t, you’ll probably feel anxious and jittery.
What is a good breakfast?
If you’re new to this whole breakfast thing, understand that you can take baby steps here too. If you’re not ready for a full-blown breakfast, start out with a liquid shake, or smoothie in the morning. Something that you can get into your body, that can lessen the effects of going without breakfast.
Ideally, you want to focus on having a really good breakfast in the morning. And that is eating a combination of protein and good fats like eggs and avocado. Eating things like this will keep you satisfied for longer and stop your blood sugar from fluctuating. Not to mention reducing cortisol and keeping your heart in good shape.
What should you eat?
This is the quickest source of energy, but be careful that they are whole-grain foods like wheat bread, pasta, and brown rice.
Types of whole-grain foods:
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Whole Oats
- Brown Rice
- Whole Rye or Pumpernickel bread
- Freekeh – Arabic grain
- Whole-Grain Barley
- Whole-Wheat Couscous
- Wild Rice
For a full list of whole-grain foods, check out the Whole Grain Council’s Website.
Fruits & Vegetables
We all know we should probably be eating more fruits and vegetables, but which ones? Are some better than others? Here’s a list of some of the best fruits and vegetables for a healthy lifestyle.
- Red and purple grapes
- Brussel sprouts
Now, if you can’t fit more of these healthy fruits and vegetables into your diet, I’d be amazed. Try roasted veggies in the oven or on the grill, or a yummy fruit salad.
You need protein in your diet to build and repair muscle. When you choose your protein, make sure you choose a lean or low-fat cut of beef or pork and skinless chicken or turkey. Make sure to also incorporate Seafood into your diet assuming you’re not allergic.
Types of protein that you should add to your diet:
- Chicken breast
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Lean beef
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brussel sprouts
- Turkey breast
- Pistachios or cashews
- Whey protein
Adding plant protein to your diet is extremely important if you’re vegetarian or vegan because you’re reducing the use of an animal product or eliminating them all together. However, even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can still make use of these protein-packed Plant-based Foods.
Types of plant protein to add to your diet:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Beans with rice
- Dark colored leafy greens such as kale,
Dairy or calcium
We all know that getting enough calcium helps build and maintain strong bones, but maybe you could be adding some more of these into your diet as well.
Examples of great calcium-rich products to add to your diet:
- Chia seeds
- Poppy seeds
- Celery seeds
- Dark, leafy greens such as kale, and collard greens
I’d bet at least some of the items on this list surprised you. And that’s okay, now you know how to incorporate more calcium into your healthy lifestyle.
We all know that we need to stay hydrated, and if you’re anything like me, you find it terribly difficult to drink as much water as you should in one day. But there are ways to get around that, that make him swim in the water you need that much easier.
It is recommended that you get at least two liters of water a day, which is a half-gallon, or eight 8-ounce glasses of water. And no, coffee doesn’t count.
While it is possible to drink too much water, you’d have to drink more than 28 hours in a day. Most of us fall well below that, so if you’re worried about drinking too much water, don’t.
There are some ways that you can make drinking water more interesting. These ways include:
- Adding a flavoring like MIO
- Adding natural fruit with a fruit infuser water bottle
- Make it bubbly (sparkling water)
- Freeze fresh fruit to use in your water
- Try bouillon
If you notice, many of the foods listed in each of the areas, cross over to another For example tofu is not only calcium-rich but a good source of protein. So keep that in mind when you’re choosing what to eat for the day.
Looking to eat healthier and save money? Check out our 12 hacks to save money, because meal planning is one of them.
Another component of a healthy lifestyle is incorporating physical activity into your day And into your life. Physical activity does more than just make you feel better. Here are some positive side effects of introducing physical activity into your new healthy lifestyle.
- It decreases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- It can prevent heart disease.
- Reduces your blood pressure
- Control or prevent non-insulin dependent diabetes
- Prevent obesity
- Decrease or prevent back pain
- Increases your self-esteem
- Helps you manage stress
- Helps you control your weight
- Can reduce your risk of some cancers
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Strengthens your bones and muscles
If you previously led a more sedentary lifestyle, introducing physical activity might prove more difficult. Again, we’re talking baby steps here. You’re not going to have a healthy lifestyle overnight, but these small changes will make a big impact. Let’s talk about simple ways to introduce physical activity into your life.
1. When Shopping
When you’re shopping, park at the back of the lot. I know this seems like a hassle, but you’ll get the extra walk from your car to the store. And when you’re leaving the most likely have a cart to carry all of your purchases, so you don’t have to worry about trying to carry it all out with you. It doesn’t just apply to shopping, but anywhere you’re going, like work, and school. parking at the back of the lot wherever you might be, forces you to walk just a little bit further than you’re used to. And it’s a great way to begin to introduce physical activity into your life.
2. Take the stairs
Whenever possible, and reasonable, take the stairs when you have the option. I like to think that if I have to go up two floors or less, that’s a reasonable amount. So I’ll often take the stairs. Making the small change will positively affect your new healthy Lifestyle.
3. Do more outside
For some of us, we only get to be active outside for a portion of the year. But when those nice days hit, make them count. Take up gardening, or do more yard work than you normally do. If you don’t have a yard of your own, volunteer. There are plenty of places in your local community that would appreciate the Helping Hand.
4. Clean your home
It might sound silly, but when you clean your home, you’re doing quite a bit of physical activity. Many time cleaning your home includes stretching, lifting, and walking. Plus, you’ll burn some extra calories in the process. And end up with a clean house. That’s a win-win-win in my book.
5. Go for walks
You don’t have to become the next Mall Walker, but going for walks is a simple way to do some physical activity during the day. While you’re at work, take 10 minutes away from your desk and go for a walk around the block. When you’re at home, make it a routine to go for a short walk after dinner, take the family. Or go for a walk by yourself.
6. Try yoga
Yoga is one of the easiest forms of physical activity to get started with. It doesn’t require a lot of strength, and it doesn’t require a lot of time. You can get started with yoga very easily, and do it at home. So if you’re really looking to get started, check out our guide to with yoga for beginners.
When we start talking about weight management when it pertains to a healthy lifestyle, I want you to know that we are not talking about short-term change. When you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle, we’re talking about actively improving your lifestyle, so long-term weight loss, and a long-term shift in your life. This means long-term maintenance of a healthy body weight over time.
The items that we’ve discussed above, healthy eating, and physical activity both contribute to weight management and a long-term change to a healthy lifestyle. Those two factors will help you with your weight management and your ultimate goals.
Now, there are a number of things you can do to manage your weight over time. Let’s talk about those now.
1. Get enough sleep
Each person has a different amount of sleep they really need to get. So while this is a general guideline, be conscious of yourself and your own body. And make sure that you’re doing what’s right for you.
The average person needs somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night to function at their best.
A bedtime routine can help with that. Take a look at this one. Your body will love you for it.
That might seem like a lot per night, but have you ever gotten less than 7 hours of sleep and noticed that you were sleepy throughout the day, or maybe your mind was just a little bit foggy? Or maybe you didn’t have enough energy, at least not as much as you normally would if you had gotten enough sleep.
There are a lot of reasons that sleep is so important. Sleep directly affect your mental and physical health and your quality of life while you’re awake. When I say the quality of life I’m talking about your emotional balance, your brain and heart health, your productivity, creativity and even your weight.
If you’re looking for tips on how to get not just enough sleep, but better sleep, check out this article.
2. Count Calories (Kind of)
If you’ve ever tried to count calories, you know that it doesn’t work long-term. So when we talk about counting calories, you don’t have to account for every single calorie that goes into your body every day. What you want to do is focus on getting a balanced diet, and just being aware of your caloric intake. You want to try and stay around 2,000 calories for a woman, and 2500 calories for a man. As long as you’re eating a well-rounded diet, this should be fairly easy. But really, don’t go through the hassle of trying to count each and every calorie, it just won’t work.
3. Keep the carbs at a minimum
To be honest, I really just like putting this in here. I have a severe weakness for carbs. But it’s true. In order to maintain a healthy weight, you really have to control the number of carbs that you put into your body. Unfortunately, carbs cause your body to store fat, which would be the enemy of maintaining your weight.
4. Avoid artificial sweeteners
Let me just say that there is a lot of debate on this traffic. But I want to err on the side of caution and go with the idea that we should avoid artificial sweeteners. There are been many studies done on artificial sweeteners, and how they compared to use of sugar-sweetened food products. And well I’m not going to get into Specifics, one thing that seems to stick out, is the idea that artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite in your brain. Which can make you feel hungry even though you’re not, and as a result of that you’ll eat more.
5. Hello Fiber
I don’t know about you, but I feel like most of us could use more fiber in our diets. And guess what? Fiber is a great way to lose and maintain your weight. So if you’re looking to manage your weight for a better and more healthy lifestyle, fiber is your go-to. So fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are ideal for your weight. They help you feel full longer, and if you say, eat a salad before a meal, you’re likely to not eat as much of your meal because of that salad. So they help you feel full faster too.
6. Smaller portions
Is it just me, or have portion sizes at restaurants gotten bigger over the years? I know Americans have this thing for eating ridiculous amounts of food, but it’s getting a little silly. Anyway, from early on in our lives, we are taught to try and clear our plates and to try and eat everything we are given. No one wants to intentionally waste food, but there’s absolutely no reason why grown adults have to clear their plates. Especially when you’re stuffing yourself full to the point of being uncomfortable. No one wants to go through that and no one should have to go through that. Unless it’s a holiday, and then all bets are off.
So try eating smaller portions Over a little bit longer. Of time and see if that doesn’t help you feel Fuller without eating quite as much food.
Stress and Anxiety go hand-in-hand. And believe it or not in the United States, 18.1% of the adult population have some type of stress or anxiety disorder. That’s approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 and 54. And unfortunately, many of it goes untreated. For some, it might be because there is a problem. And for others, they’re finding ways to deal with it with medication, and other therapies. The one thing we can do is find ways to help manage and less than being anxiety and stress that’s in our lives.
Things out of your control
Now, many times there are circumstances that happened that are out of our control. Unfortunately, while he can’t control what is happening around us, we can control how we deal with it. My grandfather used to have the same that 10% of life was what happened to you And the other 90% is how you react to it. So another part of having a healthy lifestyle is specifically choosing how you react to stress and anxiety in your life.
So the first step to managing stress and anxiety and to accept that those circumstances exist. When there are things that you can’t control, Try not to focus on those specific circumstances, but rather Try to think about whether the situation is really as bad as you think it is. By not focusing on things that are outside of your control, you gain more control over the situation.
Maintain a positive attitude
You’ve probably heard the saying before that we are our own worst enemies. And when it comes to Stress and Anxiety it holds very true. So you want to make a conscious effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Accept that not everything is perfect
If your perfectionist like many of us are, it can be a large part of your anxiety or stress. The truth is you have to accept the fact that constantly trying for Perfection is a losing battle. So instead of aiming for perfection, try And be proud of however close you might get.
Learn what triggers your stress and anxiety
There are many factors that can contribute to our Stress and Anxiety. But when you learn what triggers it, you can take steps to avoid it or at least lessen the effect that it has on you.
Limit your alcohol & caffeine intake
Did you know that consuming alcohol and caffeine can trigger panic attacks and increase your anxiety? To avoid this, and to back up your new healthy lifestyle, drink water instead as much as possible.
Get enough sleep
As we talked about earlier, getting enough sleep is an essential part to a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it make you feel better, has health benefits, but it also helps manage your levels of stress and anxiety. When you’re stressed or anxious, it’s important to get enough sleep because it will help you lower the levels of Stress and Anxiety that you have.
Again, going back to what we talked about above, incorporating physical exercise into your daily routine is important. On top of the physical benefits and the health benefits, physical exercise also helps you manage your stress and anxiety.
And just remember that no matter how much you try to manage stress, they’re going to be times that it becomes too much. Since we can’t control every aspect of our lives, and we definitely can’t control outside influences, it will happen from time to time. So what can you do in those moments that the Stress and Anxiety just get to be too much? Here’s a couple of ideas.
1. Take deep breaths
Take just a few minutes, and breathing slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Do this 10 or 15 times and you might be surprised at how much better it makes you feel.
2. Slowly count to 10
Pause for a few seconds and focus on counting rather than the circumstances that are affecting your anxiety and stress is a great way to get your mind off of things. Repeat as necessary.
3. Take a timeout
if Stress and Anxiety overwhelm you at a point in the day where you can take some secluded time out for yourself, do that. I’ll take 10 or 20 minutes do some yoga, listen to music, meditate or practice other relaxation techniques. This way you can step away from the problem and have time to clear your head.
4. Call a friend
Walk away from the situation and call us a friend or family member that you’re close to and feel comfortable with. Tell them that you’re feeling overwhelmed and let them know how they can help you. Even if it’s simply just listening. Sometimes having someone to listen and a shoulder to cry on is all you need for it to pass.
Other Self-Care to Consider
Achieving a healthy lifestyle it is really a way to care about yourself, your body, your spirit, and everything in between. There are lots of things that you can do to help improve yourself care, that we didn’t list here today. So I want to take a moment to talk about some of those.
As with other parts of a healthy lifestyle, your mental health is extremely important. There are small things that you can do every day to help improve your mental help. Some of these things include: drawing, finding a hobby that you enjoy, taking time to learn a new skill, and even just reading a book.
On top of that, take some time out for just you each and every day. If you live with someone, or if you have small children, make sure to carve out this time no matter what. Because you deserve it. When you carve out this time, make sure that you do a couple of things.
- Remember, it is just yours exclusively. No roommates, no husband, no kids. No one, just you.
- Turn off your cell phone.
More often than not we are so consumed with what is on the screen, that we don’t actually take time for ourselves. Believe it or not, our smart devices eat up a lot of our time during the day. So when you’re taking this time out just for you, turn off that electronic device and focus on you. Take a bubble bath, Go for a run, do something that you really enjoy. Even if it’s just sitting in silence for 10 minutes. It’s amazing how something so simple can do so much good for your mental health.
Maybe it’s just me, but I also need some time for my emotional health. Your emotional health is a super important part of your life, and it can affect every aspect of your life. So paying attention to it might be more important than you think.
There are some simple ways that you can improve your emotional health. Some of these ways include:
– Lighting a candle and creating an ambiance.
– Taking time out of the day to talk with a friend.
– Go on a date, even if you’ve been married a while.
– Start writing a journal, and keep up with it.
-Start writing a list of things that you are thankful for or grateful for each and every day. -Or take time to meditate for practice yoga.
What it all comes down to
If you want to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself, there are a lot of things that you can do. But don’t feel like you have to do it all today. Take baby steps and keep adding, and pretty soon you’ll have the lifestyle you want.
A healthy lifestyle is not just about things you do day today. It’s about a conscious shift in how you think about the things that you do, and how you take care of your mind body and soul.
If you’re looking for examples and how to really get started, we suggest that you try a couple of these things.
- Start a morning routine
- Start a bedtime routine
- As we said above, make sure to take time out for yourself each and every day.
- Begin eating healthier, take baby steps if you have to.
- Learn something new every day.
- Begin exercising, even if you have to start small, and adding that to your morning routine. At least your beginning on the path to a more active, and healthy lifestyle.