Changes to Make Now for A Healthier Lifestyle
Following New Year’s Eve, the topics of conversation turn to weight loss, healthier eating, and exercise. These often come in the form of resolution for the new year, which often quickly fall by the wayside because you try to implement too many changes at the same time. You can make small changes now for a healthier lifestyle, changes that help you lose weight and get healthier in the coming weeks and months ahead.
Before beginning, let’s toss some “fake facts” out the window. You have probably heard cutting out all carbohydrates or fats will help you lose weight. The truth is your body needs food of all kinds. Carbs and fat aren’t all bad and should be a part of your healthy eating plan. Choose healthy fats and complex carbohydrates and keep your portions under control. Along this same line, many “diets” recommend severely limiting calories for weight loss. Another “false, fact,” the truth is this type of plan simply causes your body to slow your metabolism to the point it holds more tightly to your stored fat.
Now with this knowledge in hand, what realistic changes can you make for a healthier lifestyle?
Incorporate Active Lifestyle Changes
Simply stated, incorporating active lifestyle changes means increasing your activity level and making fitness part of everyday life. Begin with an honest assessment of your activity level. Once complete, you can identify opportunities for improvement.
You’ll find greater motivation as you make your changes and see your progress. To keep track of your progress, take a selfie at the start and follow-up with more selfies every 30 days or so. Another easy way to track progress is with a fitness tracker which keeps up with your daily activities. And finally, always note improvements in how you feel both physically and mentally along the way.
An active lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to join a gym, even though that is always an option. Incorporate these simple activities to get more physical throughout your day:
- When shopping, running errands, going to work, or heading to school, park in the farthest space from your destination (keeping safety in mind).
- When elevators and escalators are available, choose to take the stairs.
- Take a short walk (20 minutes) before or after a meal.
- At the store, walk around the perimeter before you begin your shopping.
- If you have children, or even if you don’t, turn up your favorite tunes and dance around the house – go ahead – no one is watching, and you know you’ll enjoy it!
Once you’ve implemented these changes, keep going with these tips:
- Find a fitness partner and keep each other accountable.
- Take music with you on your walk or when you participate in other physical activities.
- Join a fun class – Zumba, dance, Tai Chi, etc.
- Find some exercise videos you like and join in (you can find them FREE online, and included with your streaming service, satellite, or cable provider).
Incorporating Healthy Eating Daily
Making small changes in your daily eating habits can bring healthy changes when followed consistently. Try these tips to start, and soon you’ll see weight loss and improvement in how you feel overall.
- Snack on your favorite nuts, berries, fruits, and avoid chips, donuts, cookies, and candy. Of course, allowing yourself small indulgences in your favorites every occasionally.
- When you crave pizza, skip the pan pizza and the fatty meats, instead order a thin, crispy crust, and top it with your favorite veggies to satisfy your cravings.
- Salads are a great choice, if your add-ons are grilled chicken or shrimp and you choose the vinaigrette dressing. You want to avoid croutons, fried breaded proteins, and cheese to keep it healthy.
- Switch from fried food favorites to grilled or broiled, you’ll still get the goodness, but avoid lots of calories and bad fats.
These simple changes can make a big difference and lead you to a healthier lifestyle. Just remember, once you begin, consistency is the key to success.