With a new year, some may think they themselves need to become "new" again. We've made our resolution or goal to do something to better ourselves, or take a bad habit and turn it good. To some, a healthy lifestyle change means they want to quit smoking, stop drinking too many sugar-laden drinks, or lose weight.
For those that need to change the way they eat to get healthy, finding the right “diet” is not always the answer. I recently was on the internet and a link for an article popped up that read: “Top 8 Diets to follow.” Diets. Seriously? I really despise that word. According to dictionary.com the word DIET means “to select or limit the food one eats to improve one’s physical condition to lose weight.” Yes, I agree that when we limit the food we eat, weight loss will occur, however, being on a “diet” hinders our brain on how we view food to help our bodies. Plus, diets can be a hit or miss for some and not good for long-term change. Even if you were to obtain your weight-loss goal on a diet, you will still need to maintain that current lifestyle to be successful. Should you quit the diet, eventually all the weight will come back. No one wants to be on a diet forever!
Hence the word, lifestyle; it’s your new normal.
To me, diets are meant to be broken, just like resolutions aren’t meant to be achieved. However, a lifestyle change is attainable because we are telling our brain this is how it’s going to be from now on. No matter what.
Making a lifestyle change is not only for our physical body but also for our mind and soul. When I want change, I vision myself being successful and I see myself achieving the goals I set to get there. Still, it takes a while for those changes to become new habits. Having attainable goals will help in the transition to a healthy lifestyle we want. I know for myself, being healthy is very important and that doesn’t necessarily include losing a set amount of weight or trying to see a specific number on the scale; knowing my body is a healthy machine and will keep me going for a long time is the most important.
If you’re ready to become healthy, inside and out then the first step is making a lifestyle change. Cut out the bad habits that are hurting your body and hindering your success, and start making the necessary changes to get healthy!
Here are some great steps to follow to begin your new healthy lifestyle habit:
Cut out the junk. Processed foods, sugar, and simple carbohydrates are not your friend. These foods only satisfy your hunger for a short amount of time and aid in packing on the pounds.
Limit your alcohol intake. There are a lot of studies about how a glass of red wine is good for you because of the polyphenols it contains. You can also get the same results by drinking Pomegranate juice too. My only suggestion for alcohol is moderation!
Drink Water. A lot of water. More than half of our body is made up of water. Water flushes out toxins, helps lubricate joints, delivers oxygen and so much more.
Eat your veggies. Just like mom said, eating leafy green veggies and root vegetables will keep your body full of vitamins and minerals.
Exercise. I know, so many of us do not like exercising; or sweating for that matter. But spending 30min a day on either a low or high-intensity form of exercise will help your heart, your waistline and your mind!
Stop Smoking. There are so many wonderful things that happen when you quit smoking; your heart rate slows down, blood pressure returns to normal, carbon monoxide levels decrease, and your food will taste better!!! These are just a few but think of all the good you will do to yourself and others by not smoking!
Eat Clean. Chose foods that are natural and not man-made. Fresh fruits and veggies, lean cuts of meats and fish, good fats and whole grains.
Take up a Hobby. Sounds cliché, right? Doing something you enjoy will improve your overall self being, clear your mind and give you something to look forward to doing each day!
Keep a Journal. Not only writing down what you’re eating will help in weight loss, but writing how you’re feeling each day or events that are happening in your life is great way to make any changes for self-improvement.
Get Enough Sleep. Eight hours is recommended but get the sleep your body needs. It’s amazing what our bodies do when we are asleep. Help your body recover by going to bed at a decent hour. Your body will wake up on its own when you give it the right amount of time to rest!
These are just a few ways to begin your healthy lifestyle journey but making the change is the first step, and if you’ve done that you’ve already set yourself up for success!