There are tons of different ways to gradually shift to a healthier lifestyle. Everyone talks about eating healthier and exercising more, but it can often be overwhelming when these are not already habits in your daily life.
Below are a few tips for easing into a healthier lifestyle that you will actually stick to and feel good about.
1. Eat Food in Moderation
Although you hear all the time how important it is to eat healthier and you are constantly hearing about the latest diet trends, we all know how difficult it is to stick to a consistent diet plan.
One of the most important ways to stick to a healthier diet is to eat in moderation. This means that you are not sticking to a one-month plan or a strict diet, but rather creating a habit.
As US News argues, it is crucial to have a variety of foods in a balanced diet and to focus on portion control. Paying attention to how hungry you are before eating a meal and listening to your body are the easiest ways to control the quantities you eat.
If your friends are all going out to dinner and there are very few healthy choices on the menu, eat a small amount and have a healthier meal the next morning. Moderation is a way to keep your health in check without sticking to short term and extreme dietary restrictions.
2. Having a Proper Breakfast
Eating a well-balanced breakfast sets the tone for the choices you will make for the rest of the day. If you have a healthy breakfast, your blood sugar levels will be steady, and you will not overeat for lunch or dinner.
In addition, you will be less prone to craving as you have given yourself proper nutrients to start off the day.
When you provide your body with energy in the morning before facing the day, you will not crash and lose energy making you the thought of exercising seem impossible.
You will feel more powerful which will motivate you to do some sort of physical activity and make healthier choices for the duration of the day. Some well-balanced breakfasts that the Healthline lists include oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, nuts, and eggs.
3. Develop a Fitness Routine
Getting an adequate amount of physical activity each week is crucial to improving your mood. According to Mayo Clinic’s recommendations, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week is necessary for your wellbeing.
Whether you walk after work each day, take workout classes at a local gym, or ride your bike to work, you will notice an enhanced mood very quickly. Exercise also allows you to clear your mind and step away from the daily stresses that life brings.
Many studies link physical activity and a proper fitness routine with reduced risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Make time in your schedule to exercise at least a couple of days a week and you feel happier and healthier overall.
4. Make Time for Meditation
After a busy day at work or school, it is very easy to make meditation a very low priority and neglect to take time for yourself. However, studies show that it is one of the most important ways to change and improve your lifestyle.
Research discussed in The Art of Living links meditation with a more balanced and healthy diet, a better quality of sleep, more energy and happiness, and productivity.
By clearing your mind of negative thoughts and stress, you will be more efficient and productive, and your mental health will improve drastically. Even if you start with ten minutes of meditation per day, you will notice yourself making healthier choices in all aspects of your life.
5. Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep
There are tons of ways that sleep improves nearly every aspect of our lives. Going to sleep at a reasonable time and sleeping for at least 6-8 hours every night is so important when trying to improve your health. With proper sleep, you will have more energy to exercise and complete your responsibilities.
When you set up a specific sleep routine, your body will adjust which will improve the quality of your sleep and make it easier to wake up in the morning.
In addition, WebMD states that with lack of sleep, people often tend to overeat sugars and refined flours to provide short term energy. These highly processed foods will eventually cause you to crash leading to an unhealthy cycle.