Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not about limiting yourself and depriving yourself of all joy in life. Rather, it’s about having more energy, feeling better, stabilizing your mood, and even improving your longevity while reducing your chances of serious illness. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at all of the conflicting information out there today about how to live a healthier lifestyle or even where to get started, consider the following fast and easy steps that you can take right now.
1. Start a Healthier Eating Schedule
Many times, people make the mistake of thinking that skipping a meal will help them to lose weight. In reality, the opposite is true, because you will most likely overeat or snack on unhealthy foods later. So, get started living a healthier lifestyle by maintaining a healthy eating schedule of three meals and two small, healthy snacks daily. Eating every three to five hours can help keep your appetite under control and assist you in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
2. Rethink Your Beverages
All calories count, whether you eat them or drink them. Make a commitment to reducing your intake of sweetened beverages that provide little to no nutritional benefit, such as sodas, coffee drinks, and even alcohol. Instead, try to increase your water intake. Water is beneficial for flushing your system of toxins and waste products. Without enough water, your body is at risk for becoming dehydrated, which can result in low energy, tiredness, and headaches. Far too often, many people think they are hungry when in fact they are actually thirsty.
3. Swap Unhealthy Carbs for Healthy Carbs
Does your diet consist mostly of healthy or unhealthy carbs? Do you know the difference? Healthy carbs include foods such as beans, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Healthy carbs digest more slowly and will also help you feel full longer while keeping your insulin and blood sugar levels stable. By comparison, unhealthy carbs include such foods as unrefined sugar, white flour, and white rice. Such foods digest quickly and can result in blood sugar spikes, leaving you feeling hungry and cranky again.
4. Get Moving
Many people think of exercise as a chore and avoid it at all costs. The result can be an inactive lifestyle that can lead to obesity and health issues. Keep in mind that you do not have to start big. Even small steps that get you moving can lead to improved health. Consider taking a short walk after dinner or even parking a little farther from work so that you get in a few extra steps. Trying to get in fitness opportunities during the day, such as getting off the bus one stop sooner or taking the stairs rather than the elevator, can go a long way.
5. Eat Slowly
Do you savor your food or wolf it down while watching TV, driving, or working? If you eat while doing other things, there is a greater chance that you will eat more food. Try slowing down and really savoring your food while tuning out distractions. You will likely feel satisfied sooner while eating less if you focus on eating and avoid trying to multitask.
6. Rest More
Many people do not rest as much as they should and do not get a good night’s sleep. If you find that you feel tired throughout the day, if could be that you need to rest more. Try limiting your computer or TV time just before bed. Instead, take a hot, relaxing bath before you turn in for the night. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time every night is also important.
7. Keep Your Mind Challenged
Do you find that you frequently forget things? If so, it could be because you need to keep your mind challenged and stimulated. Brain puzzles and teasers can be an excellent way to stimulate your mind and could even keep dementia at bay.
Remember that an unhealthy lifestyle does not begin overnight and developing a healthier lifestyle does not start overnight, either. With a few simple steps, however, you can begin the journey to living better.