There is so much in the media about how you should eat, drink and exercise, that it can be overwhelming and often overlooked when you decide to try and change your habits for the better. The vast amount of information available across the Internet can be confusing, and as one story breaks that something is bad for your health, you’ll have another contradicting it within hours. So how do you find out the best information? Starting with the basics is always a good idea and going back to the foundations of what fuel your body needs to reach your goals is vital for getting all the right nutrients and minerals your body need to function. There are also some obvious things you need to be avoiding and although it’s fine to have treats, keeping these to a minimum will help reduce cravings for this type of food.
If you’re looking to start building a better lifestyle, food isn’t something you should be thinking about. There are a host of other elements to leading the best and healthiest life you can, so take a look at some of the ways small changes can contribute to feeling and looking great in the long term.
Avoid processed food
It’s really hard to get away from the message of convenience in everyday life. It is everywhere; from the food we eat, to the latest fitness fads helping you shred 10lbs in 10 days. These messages bombard you at every turn, but you have to ask the question, what is this convenience doing to my long-term health? Nothing in life comes easy, and although these promises of time saving and quick fixes might appeal at first, they are not a solution to future health and happiness. One huge problem is processed foods. They’re one of the most significant contributors to why the people are piling on the weight and increasingly facing weight-related issues. Processed foods aren’t just the stereotypical things we think about either such as junk food and take-out, it is anything that is processed in some form including ready meals or convenience foods. Living on these meals is likely to lead to addictive behavior too, as the amount of sugar and refined ingredients in these foods trick the brain into thinking you need more of it, which in turn leads to overeating.
Eating real food will help you get past this, and although it may seem like the boring option, there are tons of delicious recipes to try including making sweet treats with natural ingredients.
With busy and stressful lifestyle, getting enough sleep is something most people cannot fully realize. Getting enough quality sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising regularly as your body cannot perform at its optimum capacity without it. Without good sleep, you could suffer from a host of imbalances in your lifestyle. Your appetite will be unpredictable, you could suffer from low mood and fatigue, and it will overall reduce your performance on daily activities. Not getting enough sleep can also put you at risk of gaining weight and developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. If you have trouble sleeping then not looking at the issues contributing to this will not help to solve your problem. If it is not fully addressed, it can lead to insomnia and other health implications that will affect how you live your everyday life.
Some ways you can make getting off to sleep easier include limiting the distractions you have before getting into bed. Most people watch TV or look at their cell phones before and while in bed, so turning them off a little earlier and reading a book or just relaxing before sleep can help you drift off better. Reduce bright lights too as this will keep you awake and if you do use your phone, be sure to set the backlight to a night mode as this will reduce the brightness and adjust the color to suit nighttime viewing.
Drink more water
Dehydration is another major issue for many people and most of the time you are not getting sufficient fluids to maintain efficient bodily functions. You’ll start to notice straight away that you are not drinking enough, as you’ll feel tired, sluggish and irritable. Another factor with lack of hydration is weight gain. Most of the time that people feel hungry, is actually that they feel thirsty instead but many people do not associate this when their stomach starts to gurgle. Drinking more fluids will help to stave off cravings and drinking approximately half a liter before meals will assist in decreasing how much you need to eat.
Drinking more water also has tons of other benefits such as promoting healthy skin, hair and nails. It can also make you feel refreshed and flushes out toxins from your body, especially the gut. Most people are not getting enough water a day and drinks such as coffee, fizzy pop and alcohol do not count towards your fluid intake and can, in fact, make you more dehydrated. If you struggle to drink enough water during the day, why not try using a water bottle with marked increments on the side. This gives the chance to see how much you should be drinking every day and helps to set targets throughout the day. Small changes can help to build long-term health benefits so getting enough water into the body will ensure you feel the full effects every day.
Eat foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals
Getting enough nutrients from food is the best way to support a healthy body and cognitive function. Eating the right things has shown to have fantastic health benefits and helps to reduce the risk of more serious illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and some cancers. Having a varied diet can help to get tons of the best nutrients possible into your diet and avoiding processed foods will also help reduce toxins in the body. Good food is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber plus many other good things that the body needs to function properly. Getting enough of these foods is also particularly important if you lead a busy lifestyle, as they help to keep you alert and productive throughout the day.
Increasing nutrients such as protein also have significant health benefits, and it is great for people trying to lose weight. Protein helps to make you feel fuller for longer and is fantastic for people who like to train in the gym, as it assists in the repair of muscles. Eating more protein is also linked to lowering blood sugar and pressure levels and helps to reduce cravings for better weight loss. If you’re struggling to get enough of these tasty foods in your diet, there is also a range of supplements to help you. You can learn more about the best options and how they can benefit your lifestyle.
Believe it or not, but you don’t have to diet to change your lifestyle. The word diet conjures a host of negative connotations, and it’s best to steer clear of it as much as possible. To change your lifestyle for the better, you need to focus on long-term changes for your overall goals. For instance, you should cut out all processed foods, eat plenty of fresh produce, and have the occasional cheat days.
Weight loss and healthy habits don’t just form overnight, and there is often a long and sometimes grueling road ahead. Adopting a better lifestyle is the way to tackle health-related problems, as many contributing factors such as fatigue, obesity, depression and many other long-term issues can be resolved by looking at your relationship with food and the changing the way you eat. Many people are hesitant to contribute diet to the way they feel or approach life, but if you take a little closer to what you are eating and how it makes you feel, then it could open up a broader picture of how to view food and your relationship with it.
Forgetting the diet label also helps with general motivation and improved goals, as weight loss is not is not the only factor in changing lifestyle habits. Setting just one objective can have detrimental effects on other areas of your life; as if you don’t achieve something then it could affect your motivation and drive to succeed in other goals. Limiting yourself and setting unrealistic targets is sometimes setting yourself up to fail so taking control of all aspects of your lifestyle will help to get you on track for long-term and sustainable change.
There are many factors to consider when changing your lifestyle to achieve bigger and better things, some other tips include:
- Exercising and moving more.
- Building positive relationships and getting rid of toxic ones.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
All of these factors can help you realize personal goals and get you set for a better and healthier lifestyle. Small changes make a huge difference so take a chance, what have you got to lose?