Getting into healthy habits can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start.
It takes commitment and consistency to change bad habits into good ones. We may start off with good intentions, only to slip back into our old ways after a few weeks.
With our busy lives, it’s easy to forget about our health and wellness, but it doesn’t have to be that way! There are some simple things you can do to change that, which require very little effort.
In this article, I want to show you how simple it can be to incorporate strategies to create lasting results! Healthy, sustainable habits will make an enormous difference to your life, from improving daily energy levels, the ability to carry out goals you have made for yourself, to overall life expectancy.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean hours of training and restrictive diets. It actually can be enjoyable and nourishing for the body, mind and soul.
So, without further ado, let’s have a look at 7 simple ways to map out a life of great health.
1. The importance of goal setting
The best way to reach your health and wellness goals is to be specific about how you plan to accomplish them, and how you will measure your success. Setting the goal of ‘being healthier’ is too vague. You need to break it down into steps and smaller goals to get you there!
Here are some examples of where to start:
- Take a walk around the neighbourhood before dinner three times each week.
- Start meal prepping my weekly lunch every Sunday evening.
- Drink a glass of water and lemon first thing every morning.
Start off with one or two simple goals. The more specific the goals, the better! Once they have become habits, introduce one or two more and build up that way.
2. Manage what you eat with portion control
We’re all guilty of over eating from time to time, especially when it comes to snacks and other foods that we love. The biggest tip I have for you is to use smaller plates and bowls!
The more full our bowl or plate looks, the more food we think we have in front of us! It’s a psychological trick that really works.
So next time you serve yourself a bowl of pasta or ice cream, opt for a smaller bowl. The same goes for snacks. Instead of eating potato chips or cookies out of the bag, put them in a smaller serving container and leave the original package in another room or out of sight.
3. Incorporate more activity into your life.
We spend much of our lives sitting. We get up, drive or sit on public transport, come home and sit in the evenings. Our bodies are built for movement! Yet, exercise isn’t a topic that many people get excited about.
Staying active is so important for both physical and mental health, and countless studies have proven the dozens of benefits that regular exercise can offer us. But how can you become the type of person who gets excited about exercising? It all starts with getting more movement into your everyday life. Start small and build up with these tips:
- Instead of parking near your destination, park further away and walk.
- Get off public transport one or two stops earlier on your way to work and walk the rest of the way.
- Always take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Make friends with people who spend their weekends hiking, walking, or playing team sports.
- Have a car free day once a week!
The more you move, the more likely you’ll be to keep moving, and soon you’ll become a more active person overall!
4. When it comes to food, be prepared
The easiest way to rack up unnecessary calories and waste money is to skip out on meal prep. Make it a habit to prep the food you eat for the week ahead of time – it will help you:
- Portion your food.
- Plan meals that include healthy foods.
- Save money, no more food wastage or ordering in a take away because you have nothing in the house.
My tip is to look at your diary and plan your week in meals. That way, if you know you will be out one or two evenings you won’t have food going to waste. When you plan healthy meals and buy exactly what you need for each meal, it’s more likely you will eat them.
5. Eat more fruit and vegetables
Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our diets is something all of us could benefit from. But it’s so annoying when they go bad so quickly and require so much prep work. Let’s face it – getting a take-out or whipping up a box of Mac & Cheese seems so much easier!
To help make your relationship with fruits and veggies go a little smoother, try these tips:
- As soon as you get home from the store, wash and chop vegetables. If applicable, steam, cook, or roast them up on the spot, too! The more readily available healthy food is, the more likely you’ll be to eat it.
- Only get fruits and veggies that you like. With all the good intentions, if you don’t like a certain veg, it will go off and end up in the compost bin.
- Shop seasonally to save money and stay on the lookout for sales when they pop up.
- Try a new fruit or veg each week. Instead of going for apples and oranges, try grabbing something more exciting like kiwis, grapes, or pineapple!
- Don’t forget about the frozen section. Frozen peas are full of protein and are super affordable – plus they’re an easy way to pop into almost any dish to add a pop of green!
- Use up left over fruit or veg in a smoothie!
6. Think about the alcohol you drink
Alcohol is full of sugar and calories, and has many negative effects on our health if consumed in high quantities. Here are a few ideas to help you manage that.
- When you’re out for happy hour, opt for clear liquors, sugar-free mixers, and real fruit instead of fruit-flavoured syrup or juice.
- Watch out for tonic water – it’s full of sugar, even though it’s barely sweet at all. Who knew?!
- Balance the alcohol you drink with plenty of water. This will not only help you avoid getting sick or hungover the next day, it also keeps you hydrated.
Don’t feel pressured to drink just because everyone else is! You can still have a good time dancing with friends and enjoying your time being sober.
7. Cutting down on Sugar
Sugar is highly addictive, and although a treat now and again is fine, when you consume large amounts of sugar daily, it can become harmful to your health. It’s all about balance.
We eat far more sugar than we think we do. It’s sneaky and shows up in lots of food that we wouldn’t expect. Salad dressing, tomato sauce, pressed juice, granola bars, and ketchup are just a few foods that are packed with the stuff.
So get into the habit of reading food labels to check what has added sugar. Replace sugary snacks with healthy options, cut out fizzy drinks and opt for dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids.
Make your own salad dressings and avoid empty carbs such as white bread, pasta and pastries.
Start implementing some of these suggestions and you’ll find that you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle. It’s never too late to start and the great thing about feeling good is that you will want more of it!
I hope you‘ve enjoyed reading 7 simple ways to map out a life of great health. If you want to find out more about working with me then get in touch, I would be happy to chat.