Our health is perhaps the most important thing in our lives.
Unfortunately, far too many of us are resistant to change because it’s not what we’re used to. We don’t like to change things in our life because we don’t enjoy the idea of stepping out of our comfort zone, and understandably so.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t change. It just takes a little mindfulness and effort in order to overcome those bad habits. Below you’ll find 8 simple changes you can make in your life to create a healthier lifestyle.
1. Drink more water.
Many nutritionists recommend you try to drink at least two liters of water each day. Grab your favorite water bottle and keep refilling it throughout the day. It will keep your thirst (and hunger) quenched and you won’t be taking in loads of liquid calories from other beverages.
2. Focus on the doable.
You probably can’t fit a daily 3 mile run into your schedule if you’re super swamped and not quite fit enough, so focus instead on the things you can do. For instance, instead of ordering food and waiting at home, consider actually walking to the store instead. Or maybe you can bike to work instead of driving. Try to think outside the box a bit and determine what you CAN do each day to make yourself healthier.
*Focus on what you can do, rather than focusing on excuses for what you can’t.
3. Stop making excuses.
There are plenty of excuses people create to explain why they’re not healthy. Perhaps it’s because of a medical condition or maybe it’s something seemingly out of control. Instead of making excuses, again, focus on the small changes you can make then make those changes.
You can see how making excuses and focusing on the doable might go hand in hand.
4. Scale back on portion sizes.
We eat plenty of food and many of us feel like there’s room for more. Sadly, this leads to overeating and weight gain. To fix this, scale back your portions, even if it’s just a tiny bit. If you’re used to eating two whole chicken breasts and a scoop of rice for dinner, try slightly less rice or cutting one of the chicken breasts in half to use for tomorrow’s lunch.
5. Be more mindful of your meals.
A lot of people force themselves to eat because they think they need the energy. They’ll eat cereal bars and protein bars throughout the day and munch on plenty of fruit, thinking it’s a healthy way to maintain their energy. But when you’re not fully focused on whether or not you’re hungry and the choices you make to squash that hunger, you’re far more likely to consume far more calories than you intend to.
6. Add exercise to your day.
Exercise isn't spandex and a water bottle. Exercise can be a walk around the block after dinner, it can be standing up and stretching while you’re watching television, or it can even be cleaning the house more regularly. Exerting effort and strength of any kind is exercise and the more you do it, the better you'll be. Start as small and as slow as you need to and be consistent. Your desire to increase the intensity of your “workouts” will come naturally.
7. Make it harder to be lazy.
Cut out the shortcuts in your life. If you’re sitting down and find yourself constantly snacking, move the snack bowl further away so you need to exert more effort in order to get it. If you find yourself taking the bus to work despite it being a 20-minute walk, consider leaving the house without cash or your travel pass and forcing yourself to walk. If you put some thought in to it, you’ll probably find lots of little things you can do to make it harder to be lazy.
8. Replace the bad stuff.
Swap the fried snacks for low-fat options, get rid of the sweets and replace them with fruit, and explore low-sugar and low-salt alternatives. There are plenty of replacements that can offer the same satisfaction but with a lower calorie count and more ingredients that are good for your health.
These are just a few quick ideas. If you really put some thought into your daily eating habits and the way you live your life, you’ll likely find quite a few areas you can make some changes. Start small and track your consistency. In time, your current bad habits will change to healthier ones.