Having a healthy lifestyle can be daunting for some, especially when you don’t know how to start or what to change. Planning to make some healthy lifestyle changes can feel inspiring and intimidating at the same time. It’s because most of us don’t know where to start or some might be thinking about overhauling their entire life to live healthily.
If you’re one of the people who find it challenging to have a healthy lifestyle, know that there are lots of little things you can do that can make a big difference in the long run when it comes to adopting new healthy habits and making them stick with you. You can actually start living healthy with the foods you eat. To help you, we are going to give you some simple healthy lifestyle tips that you can try.
1. Eat Different Kinds of Foods
If you want to have good health, you need more than 40 different nutrients. This means that eating a single food will not be able to supply all the nutrients needed by your body. Having a healthy lifestyle is not about eating just a single meal. It is about having a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference.For example, you can have a high-fat lunch and then have a low-fat dinner. Or when you had a large meat portion at dinner, you can opt for fish the next day. This way, your body will be able to get all the nutrients it needs.
2. Make Carbohydrate-Rich Foods the Base of Your Diet
To become healthy, about half the calories in your diet should come from foods that are rich in carbohydrates. Some examples are rice, pasta, cereals, bread, and potatoes. You can include one in every meal. It’s also great if you can opt for wholegrain foods such as wholegrain bread, cereals, and pasta because these can increase your fiber intake.
3. Substitute Saturated Fat with Unsaturated Fat
Fats are essential for good health and your body to function well. However, too much fat can also affect your weight and cardiovascular health. There are different kinds of fats and each of them has different effects on your health.
To have a healthy lifestyle, you need to limit the consumption of total and saturated fats which usually come from foods of animal origin. You also have to completely avoid trans fats that’s why it’s important to read the labels of the foods you will be buying to identify the sources.
Eating fish at least 2 to 3 times a week with at least one serving of oily fish can contribute to your right intake of unsaturated fats as well. Also, when cooking foods, it’s better to boil, steam, or bake them instead of frying. When cooking meat, try to remove the fatty parts and use vegetable oils.
4. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are the most important foods that can give you enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Therefore, if you want a healthy lifestyle, you need to try eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. For example, you can have a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast and an apple and banana as snacks. Then try including a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.
5. Lessen Salt and Sugar Intake
Eating lots of salty foods can result in high blood pressure and it can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, if you want to live healthily, you need to lessen salt in your diet. When you buy foods, choose products that have lower sodium content. When you cook, substitute salt with other spices to increase the variety of flavors. When you eat, try to remove the salt at the table.
Sugar, on the other hand, provides sweetness to foods, however, sugary foods and drinks are rich in energy and should be enjoyed in moderation. If you’re looking into sweetening your foods and drinks, you can use fruits and other natural sweeteners instead.
6. Eat the Right Amount of Food Regularly
The best formula for a healthy diet is eating a variety of foods regularly in the right amounts. Never skip meals, especially breakfast, because that can lead to out-of-control hunger that may result in helpless overeating. It’s also great to snack between meals to control hunger but it should not replace proper meals. For snacks, you can choose healthy ones like fresh fruits or vegetables, unsalted nuts, yogurt, or some bread with cheese.
It’s important to pay attention to the portion size of foods because that will help you to not consume too much calories. It will also allow you to eat all the foods you enjoy without the need to eliminate any of them. To avoid overeating, you can simply cook the right amount of foods. You can also use smaller plates which can help with smaller servings. If you are eating out, you can share a portion of your foods with a friend.
7. Drink Lots of Water
For adults, at least 1.5 liters of water is needed every day, or more if it is very hot or if you are physically active. Water is the best source of fluid that our bodies need. You can drink tap or mineral water, and as well as plain or flavored ones. Aside from water, you can also drink tea, milk, fruit juices, and other drinks from time to time but keep in mind that water is the most important.
8. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
The ideal weight for each person depends on different factors like height, age, and gender. People who are overweight have a higher risk of a wide range of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
People become overweight because of the excess body fat that comes from eating more than what is needed. Therefore, if you think that you’re gaining weight, you need to start eating less and be more active. Physical activity is something that can help you spend the energy you get from the foods you eat and it can make you feel good as well.
9. Make Exercise a Habit
People of all weight ranges and health conditions need physical activity. It can help you burn off the extra calories and it is also good for the heart and circulatory system. Exercising will also help you maintain or increase your muscle mass and will help you focus and improve your overall health well-being.
You don’t actually need to be a top athlete to get on the move. You can simply have around 150 minutes of exercise per week and make it a part of your daily routine. You can get on the move by doing simple things as well such as using the stairs instead of the elevator, walking during lunch breaks, and having some family weekend activity.
10. Start Your Healthy Lifestyle Now and Keep Changing Step by Step
It’s easier to make step by step changes in your lifestyle and maintain them compared to having major changes all at once. To see your improvements, you can simply write down the foods and drinks you have consumed throughout the day and not how much movement you’ve made. You can do this for a week to help you spot where you could improve.
You don’t really need to spend a great amount of money to have a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, all you need is to be disciplined and mindful of the amount and kinds of foods you eat. And of course, exercise is the best for everyone to achieve a healthy lifestyle.