Maintaining a healthy lifestyle may not exactly be the same thing as maintaining an aesthetically fit physique. Although the two mostly complement each other, there are a number of other factors that could be negatively impacting your health on the inside while you rock that good looking physique on the outside. Emotional well-being and mental health are equally important. A few lifestyle tweaks can go a long way when it comes to healthy and happy living. Therefore, we have put together some of the best changes that you can introduce into your lifestyle to maintain a healthy lifestyle in these modern times.
1. Learn to Like Healthy Food Options
It would be wrong to undermine the importance of diet when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The food that we eat is in many ways, a major determinant of how healthy and happy we can be. However, you have to develop a genuine liking for those “healthy foods” and not feel like you’re forcing it down your throat.
One of the best ways to do that is to make your food interesting and appetizing. Who said that healthy foods shouldn’t be tasty? Try recipes that can give your typical healthy foods a makeover. The age of the internet has made a lot of information readily available, and healthy food recipes are in abundance on the web. For e.g, one of the easiest (and a personal favourite of ours) is the Almond, Brazil and Cashew Spread by Melrose - this can be a tasty addition to your bowl of salad, on your chicken, crackers, sandwich... the list can go on.
Go for Whole Foods
Whole foods may include whole grains, fruit, and vegetables, etc. They are rich in fibres, vitamins, minerals, etc. Whole foods keep the stomach feeling full as they do not spike blood sugar levels. Therefore they help maintain that satiety for a longer time and help to cut out the extra calories. Besides, whole foods are heavier to digest, which boosts the body’s metabolism and aids in fat loss. Try incorporating more grains such as red lentil or green moong lentil into your diet.
Load up on Salads
Water-rich vegetables like gourds, tomatoes, cucumbers, and most salad friendly foods are both water-rich and good sources of whole foods. They’ll keep you satiated and help you keep off of those unnecessary calories that you will inevitably put on if you are hungry during the day and choose to snack on unhealthy food items.
Do Not Stock Tempting (Unhealthy Foods) at Home
Here you have to make a conscious choice to keep temptations at bay. When there are no crackers, biscuits, chocolates, ice cream or chips conveniently lying around the house, you are less likely to grab them while you binge watch episodes of your favourite shows.
Cut Out the Refined and White Foods
Foods made of refined sugar or refined flour are the biggest culprit in fat accumulation. They offer no health benefits and expose you to all the health risks. They spike the blood sugar level, which leads to fat accumulation and other problems. Furthermore, they deprive the body of essential vitamins and are low in fibre content. It is best to expel them from your life before they can cause digestive disorders such as hyperacidity, hemorrhoids, constipation, anal fissures, etc. If you're looking for some inspiration to help you make this change, check out I Quit Sugar: Fast Family Meals by Sarah Wilson, containing 66 amazing sugar-free recipes!
Consume More Raw Greens
Green vegetables are a rich source of food packed with vitamins and minerals, but a substantial amount of this goodness is lost when they are cooked at high temperatures. A solution to this would be eating raw vegetables. If that’s not appetizing enough, they can always be incorporated into your diet in the form of juices and smoothies. Chlorophyll, which gives green vegetables their green colour, is extremely useful for the liver and aids it in its primary job of extracting the nutrients from the food that we eat. A healthy liver means fewer toxins in your system, less body odour, as well as less weight gain. If you find that a smoothie isn’t really what you want to consume, there are supplements that you can take instead, with liquid chlorophyll being the best replacement in this situation. Therefore, squeeze in a green smoothie in your diet here and there, and even if that’s too much, you can conveniently try supplementing.
2. Reduce Stress with a Healthy Blend of Work & Fun
A great many successful entrepreneurs have argued that the concept of “work-life balance” is a myth. Finding balance requires making sacrifices and it’s almost a continuous juggling act which could, in fact, add to the stress instead of removing it. Constant stress can hurt your overall health by weakening the immune system and inviting diseases. Furthermore, it can also hamper your cognitive functions and affect your productivity at work. It is important therefore that you keep the stress levels down to “manageable” so you can continue to be healthy, happy and productive.
One way to do so would be to blend work life and fun and create a healthy environment to grow in. More and more businesses are cognizant of this fact and look for ways to incorporate fun and cater to the social and leisure need of the workers at work. Developing good friendships and a fun social circle at work can really help you get through the tough week.
Besides seeking that healthy blend of work and fun, squeeze in activities in your daily life outside of work that help you de-stress. Do things that you enjoy doing, such as taking up the favourite sport, reading a book, going for a walk or spending time with your pet etc.
3. Take a Probiotic
There are so many supplements out there that it can often get confusing to decide which one to actually go for. One of the must-haves is a probiotic. There is increasing scientific evidence that points out the importance of a healthy gut. Gut health is instrumental across all facets of your health, from maintaining a strong immunity to emotional and mental well-being; it has an impact on them all. Now, there are natural foods that are rich in the quintessential probiotic, but if that’s a hassle for you, there are supplements that can cater to your needs. Try a top quality product such as Digest-Ease by NTS Health.
4. Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Water can be a potent fat burner! 70% of the human body is composed of water. Water works as a catalyst, a solvent and reactant for the biochemical reactions occurring in the body. This helps in boosting the metabolism and aids most bodily functions, including fat loss. Thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration, so it’s a good idea to not rely on it. Drink at least 8 glasses of water, preferably more, throughout the day to keep a healthy functioning and toxin free body.
5. Mindful Eating
Avoid binge eating, eating out of boredom, out of depression, or for any other unhealthy reason. It is essential to have that mind muscle connection when going through the act of eating. Eating should, therefore, be a singular and focused activity. Never eat while watching TV, using your gadgets, or while you’re just bored and have nothing better to do. Chew your food well and practice portion control. This type of mindful eating can help you stick to your health goals and avoid unnecessary calories.
6. Always Start Your Day with a Nutritious Breakfast
Breakfast is extremely important. Since the body has been deprived of food and drink throughout the 8 hours of sleep, it requires refuelling and is in a catabolic state. It is extremely beneficial to consume a hearty meal to kick off your day and to get your body out of the catabolic state. Get a healthy blend of proteins, carbohydrates, and good fat, so your energy levels are sustained throughout the day. Try oatmeal, peanut butter, eggs, and some meat to get a powerful start.
Exercise is important for a number of reasons. One of them is the release of endorphins that essentially make you feel happy. That feeling of accomplishment that comes after a good workout is because of this endorphin release. Planned exercise can be really beneficial, and even more so if it’s scheduled in the morning. Besides developing that discipline in your life, it will give your day a great start as you take on the day in that happy and alert state of mind.
8. Get Enough Quality Sleep
The importance of sleep is easy to be overlooked in the fast-paced world that we live in today. However, 8 hours of recommended sleep is absolutely essential for your overall health and well-being. Mental and physical health can both be impacted if one is not getting a sufficient amount of quality, uninterrupted sleep every day. This goes on to impact how you function throughout the day. Sleep deprivation will impact how you react, learn, perform, and interact with others throughout the day. Furthermore, continued and prolonged sleep deprivation significantly increases the risk of chronic health issues.
9. Get Some Daily Sunshine
Sun is the source of life for most living things so what could be better than deriving some of that vitality directly from the source? Make it a practice to bask in that sunlight every day for a few minutes. Besides gracing you with that attractive tan, it will benefit your health in a variety of ways. Studies indicate that almost 30% of Australians are vitamin D deficient. Sun will provide you with the absolutely essential vitamin D which will go on to guard you against a number of health conditions and decrease your risk of certain ailments.
Vitamin D is directly linked to immunity as low levels of vitamin D are associated with autoimmune diseases. Moreover, among other things, it also reduces your risk of heart diseases and cancers. However, Just be sure to wear a sunscreen every time you step out in the sun to guard yourself against the harmful UV rays, so you can safely benefit from the goodness of the sun.
All in all, there are no quick fixes or magic pills that will ensure healthy living. It is sustained on the back of a number of healthy lifestyle habits that need to be adopted. These little tweaks on how you eat, sleep, or even think can together go on to have a powerful positive impact on your over health and well-being.
However, there is a diverse range of food and lifestyle products that can be immensely helpful on your journey towards adopting healthy lifestyle habits and sticking to them.