Creating a healthy lifestyle can be a daunting process, but if you break it down into small, manageable steps it becomes a whole lot easier.
Step 1 – Healthy Eating: Eat More Whole Foods
Don’t tackle a healthy eating plan all at once. Start by replacing empty calories with whole food options. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. It won’t be long before you realise just how good “good food” feels. Before you know it, your cravings will change from fast food to healthy nutrition.
Step 2 – Hydration: Drink More water
We don’t function at full capacity when we’re dehydrated. There are many simple ways to make sure you and your family are drinking plenty of fluids each day. Remember, food provides about 20 percent of water intake as well and many fruits and vegetables are more than 90 percent water by weight. Make an effort to monitor your fluid intake and you’ll be functioning better in no time.
Step 3 – Physical Activity: Move More
Most people look at exercise as a means to burn energy and lose weight. Instead, try to remember that any type of movement is a great way to gain energy and stimulate your body and mind. With so many demands fighting for your attention every day, it may be a challenge to find time for an hour trip to the gym. Start with simple activities you can incorporate into your daily routine. One simple change can make a big difference in how you look and feel.
Step 4 – Sleep and Stress: Sleep More and Stress Less
When was the last time you felt you had great, quality sleep on a regular basis? Getting a good night’s sleep can greatly impact your outlook on life and, in turn, your health and wellness. Simple changes, such as getting a good night’s sleep or taking time for a relaxing hobby, are easy ways to help manage stress and improve your well-being in the long-term.
Step 5 – Self Care: Just For You
People tend to think of self care as being selfish, but in reality it’s just the opposite. If you don’t take care of yourself first, how can you expect to function at your full capacity? Simple changes, such as taking time for a hobby, having a long soak in a bath, or doing anything at all that brings you joy, are easy ways to help manage stress and improve your overall wellbeing.
Is eating healthy in your too hard basket? I know it was in mine for a very long time.
You’d love to start eating a more healthy and balanced diet. You start making changes, but it all seems like too much trouble and before you know it you’ve slipped back into your old habits.
Well you’re definitely not alone!
So what’s the trick to making changes that actually last long term?
The solution is to keep your ‘why’ front and centre.
What are your goals?
To become a more conscious eater?
To reduce the risk of disease?
To fit into a smaller clothing size?
To simply feel better?
All of the above?
It doesn’t matter what your why is. What’s matters is that it’s important to you.
Make sure you set realistic goals and break it down into baby steps.
If you choose to cut out sugar, caffeine and alcohol all at the same time, you’ve created a recipe for disaster. If you wish to eliminate something from your diet, start by gradually reducing your intake, then once you’ve sustained that level for a while you can eliminate it altogether. Choose the thing that you consume the least, and eliminate that first. Small wins lead to greater success.
It’s the same with any fad diet plan you’re thinking of following. Does it provide you with the necessary nutrition? Is it sustainable? Does it suit your daily life? If it doesn’t tick all those boxes then a rethink is in order.
And when it feels like it’s all too hard, remember your why, refocus and keep on going. You’re worth it!