With all of the ongoing diet rules, new weight loss approaches and countless methods to achieve health these days, it’s no wonder people are becoming more susceptible to what is proven fact and what is merely a marketing scam.
While I think it’s great that the country is attempting to make a noticeable motion towards wellness, I do think that we have a tendency to overcomplicate things, especially when it comes to healthy living.
It should be easy and essentially, it is. I realize everyone has different goals, altering situations in their lives, and dissimilar body types; however, the end result of any dietary objective should always be constant, and that is to be the healthiest and happiest we can be.
I often get asked what type of diet I follow or how I am able to motivate myself to eat well every single day and I honestly cannot give you a clear-cut answer. The truth is, I wake up each day with the intention of doing what I know works best for me and my body. That being said, I do incorporate a few essential practices that have now become so routine that I can’t imagine not doing them.
Here are my top health tips for every day that are easy, attainable and affordable:
1. Drink Water – What could be more simple and cheap than that? I start every morning with a big glass of lemon water and a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar. The benefits of ACV are endless including healthy skin, digestive function, joint pain, weight loss, reduced level of glucose, strong bones, and so much more. It takes a few tries to get use to the taste but once you get over the initial bitterness, it starts to grow on you.
Aside from my morning “cocktail” I also attempt to drink as much water as I can throughout the day. I keep a large drinking cup at my desk and challenge myself to fill it every 2 hours. When I’m on the go, I always carry my water bottle with me.
2. Eat Breakfast – This one gets me every time. When I hear someone say that they never eat breakfast, it makes my heart break. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a proven fact to maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. Our bodies not only need energy in the morning, they crave it. The immediate energy that your muscles need comes from stores of glycogen in your body. A healthy breakfast will replenish these stores so that your muscles get the immediate energy they need.
“What if I’m not hungry?” – A common excuse and to this I say you’re kidding yourself! You’ve probably just trained your body overtime to adapt to these hunger cues in a delayed response. What this does is cause you to overeat throughout the day. Even if you think you can’t handle a Grand Slam breakfast plate, try starting small. A serving of oatmeal, fresh fruit and yogurt, or small bowls of cereal are all suitable options to begin. Once your body becomes used to digesting foods at this hour, it will build up more of a tolerance for more voluminous meals in the morning.
3. Multitask with Movement – So many people say that they do not have time for a planned workout and I definitely can understand where they are coming from. Our schedules are beyond overloaded so the thought of finding an extra hour in your day to do something that doesn’t fall right in line with your to-do list seems impossible. Here is the great thing though; you can exercise while you work! Need to make a few phone calls? Why not talk and take walk around the block? The house needs cleaned? Try some lunges while you vacuum. Does the fridge need stocked? If you can, walk or bike to the store and for an added push, try carrying those bags home.
4. Keep Emergency Snacks on Hand – So long as I’m eating healthy and balanced, I don’t tend to need snacks in between meals; however, there are days when my hunger cannot be predicted. For this reason, I always have a healthy option with me. It doesn’t matter where I am going or what I am doing, a bag of raw almonds, a granola bar or a piece of fruit is always in my purse. In the occurrence that hunger hits and a meal is not in sight, I can easily reach for these options rather than seek out the first edible thing that comes my way, which in most cases would not be the most nutritious.
5. It’s Not What You’re Eating it’s What You’re NOT Eating – How often do we tell ourselves we can’t have something because it’s not good for us; almost every day right? I became so tired to always hearing people unleash their guilt on the foods that they eat way too much of. Candy, alcohol, fried foods, sweets, and the list goes on. What I found out is that most people tend to focus only on these “off limit” foods and completely neglect the essential foods and nutrients that they are depriving themselves in turn. So I started living with the concept of it’s not what I’m eating, it’s what I’m not eating. Maybe you are turning to dessert every night to stratify a heavy sweet tooth. You are probably not getting enough protein or fat at dinner. Maybe you can’t seem to resist a few sodas every day. You are probably not getting enough water to keep yourself hydrated. Try to refocus your thinking and make your diet about eating the right foods, not just eliminating the bad ones.
So the moral of this story is to start small. Easy, attainable steps is all it takes to make living a healthy lifestlyle seem less like a chore and more like a way of life.