Obtaining the best health can be challenging. It’s difficult to know where to start and even harder to keep motivated once you have. Navigating challenges like calorie-rich dinners out with friends, letting go of favorite unhealthy snacks, and fitting in working out on top of all feels exhausting and almost not worth it.
Having a healthy lifestyle is essential for many reasons, from helping to prevent long-term issues, like heart disease, or just improving how you feel every day. In addition, you’ve only got one body and want to try to make it as capable and strong as possible. Now, there is plenty of information available about this, with tips on how to avoid stress eating, how to find intelligent replacements when snacking is unavoidable, and whole-food diets to help adjust your pallet.
Here are some ways you can start completing your health goals.
Find New Habits
Everyone has different needs, from allergies and sensitivities to specific vitamin deficiencies and weight loss goals. One of the first steps to healthier habits is finding out how to avoid junk food. Some new practices you can pick up are:
- Whole foods — start making filling, nutritious meals and incorporating as many fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains as possible. Getting yourself adjusted to eating low-processed food can help you start your way to a new you.
- Plan a pre-shopping snack — eating at home before shopping can help you stay on track and only buy the food you need. This can help you stick with your meal plan and help you stay on budget.
- Avoiding snack triggers — Learning your “snack triggers” is essential. For example, recognizing how family movie night always makes you want a bowl of buttery popcorn or that those stressful staff meetings leave you eating whatever is there just to avoid speaking will help you be more conscious of your food choices and replace those snacks with something from your meal plan.
- Meal planning and prepping — To avoid last-minute unhealthy food choices, planning and preparing your meals in advance can help. Having meals pre-portioned and ready in the fridge means you do not have to even think of running for fast food when you have food conveniently already cooked and ready to eat!
For many people, a detox or cleanse diet is a helpful tool for starting fresh. Detoxes are special; usually short-term diets, averaging 5-7 days. Using different superfoods, vitamins, and increased hydration remove toxins and excess water weight. Cleanses leave many participants refreshed and reset, ready to take on continued healthy habits.
There are predeveloped cleanse diet programs that offer multi-day cleanse kits, as well as daily use products. Depending on the program, there are companies such as Kroma that offer shelf-stable powdered options, so you can be confident keeping up a cleanse, even on the go. Some ingredients frequently included in detox diets are:
- Bone and vegetable broths
- Plant-based smoothies
- High fiber grains
- Protein-packed nuts and seeds
Plans with these ingredients and similar can help you reset your system and prepare for your new meal plan.
Keep Treating Yourself
Despite common misconceptions, when you are improving your health, it’s essential to treat yourself still! Setting yourself goals and rewards for meeting them can help you stay motivated, so you truly feel your best. Not to mention being able still to have some comfort food on a bad day and still have meals at your favorite restaurants! Be nice to yourself with perks like :
- Replacement treats — Getting healthier doesn’t mean having to deny your sweet tooth completely. Snacks like low-carb chocolate, low-fat ice cream, or whole-grain baked goods can all be lovely swaps for traditional desserts.
- New clothes — losing fat or gaining muscle on your health journey? A perfect opportunity to spring for some new workout gear! Or, if you meet a specific goal for an event, go all out on a new look to match your unique health.
- Gym membership — Feeling like being a little social and finding a new workout partner while getting fit? A gym membership could be a perfect reward that moves you towards meeting your fitness goals and new friends.
- Keep going out — Just because you’re starting a new lifestyle doesn’t mean you can still go out! Many restaurants have whole food and low-calorie options. You could also go on an adventure to try a new local health food spot or purchase tickets to the closest observatory or greenhouse for a unique and exciting walk.
Exercise is a well-known and necessary step for a healthier life that many people still miss. Did you know adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week for proper health? An adult also requires at least two days a week that have muscle-strengthening activities that work out all major muscle groups. That feels like a lot, but a 30-minute trek around your neighborhood or on a bike or treadmill five times a week and a few sets of push-ups is all you need to start giving your body the workout it needs. Some of the benefits of getting all the exercise you need are:
- Decreased risk of heart attack
- Lowered stress hormones
- Improved mood
- Regulated digestion
- Improved immune system
- Better sleep
These are just some of the great ways you can improve how you feel every day! Just a little bit here and there can have you feeling ready to wake up in the morning, well-rested, and prepared to keep completing your goals.
Maintaining your psychological health is incredibly important to finding and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Problems like stress and lack of sleep can throw you off track and leave you snacky and unmotivated. If you simply are feeling a little down or nervous, try ordinary relaxation and stress regulation tips sure as:
- Yoga — Even if you never plan on having a perfect Warrior pose, some simple yoga and stretching can help soothe nerves.
- Meditation — just a few moments of quiet and focus can help add a sense of peace to your day.
- Journaling — A great way to focus on your feelings and challenges as you progress.
- Arts and crafts — whether intentional art therapy or just throwing some paint at a canvas, it’s good for your brain to get those creative juices flowing.
- Keeping in contact with friends or family — Be sure to stay in touch with people even as you work on your self-improvement; one of your loved ones may be in a similar position and have good advice!
It can be challenging to keep up a fitness routine and diet if you feel overwhelmed or depressed. If you need more support, online options like Mood Health have all the things you need to get your mental health back to where you need it. Resources like regular talk therapy, consistent psychiatric appointments, and medication delivery can all be handled online, hopefully reducing the stress and helping you feel your best mentally and physically. Feeling better psychologically will help you make the right choices for your health and feel 100% mentally and physically.
Keeping up with your health, be it physical, mental, or otherwise, you can see significant gains in your daily life. You can hopefully see better moods, feel stronger, and even get sick less. While maintaining your health can be daunting, with these small steps and adjustments, you can start! So whether you’re just getting a hold on your health or exceeding all of your goals while barely breaking a sweat, your body will thank you for all the little extra love and care you spare it.