When we first decide that we want to live a healthier lifestyle, we are often bombarded by information from all angles; friends, family, magazines, the news, these are all sources of information and it can be very overwhelming at times. To make things simple, we have compiled a brief list of do’s and do-not’s to get you started on the right tracks to a healthier lifestyle without overwhelming you.
Do Train Your Brain to Crave Healthy Foods
After years of eating unhealthy foods such as pizza, candy, junk food etc. our body becomes accustomed to it and we form habits; our body is expecting those types of foods. One of the good ways we can train our brain to crave healthy foods is to either gradually progress into eating these e.g. having one healthy meal and day and increasing these every week. Another way is to find healthy foods that we like and eat them a lot! This will destroy our though of “healthy foods don’t taste good” and thus we will seek out other healthy foods.
Do Learn How to Shop for Healthy Foods
Since we’re not used to shopping for healthy grocery foods it can sometimes be difficult when we first start. The best way to overcome this is to do proper research on the foods which you are planning to purchase later on in the day; take a look at things like shelf life, calories etc.
Another good tip is to shop around the perimeter of the store, this is because the healthy foods are generally located around here. Most of the time all the junk foods and unhealthy foods will be located in the center.
Do Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated throughout the day is vital for our body to operate at optimal performance. Your body is also comprised of approximately 60% water, so keeping yourself hydrated ensures that you maintain the proper balance of body fluids. This includes digestion, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, maintenance of body temperature and more.
Do Find Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite “Guilty Pleasure” Foods
Look around for healthier alternatives to your favorite foods you like to indulge in. Try to find a healthy snack which is similar in taste, or one that even tastes better! In doing so you will be able to turn to this healthy snack when your cravings start instead of the other unhealthy food.
Don’t Skip Sleep
Sleep is a vital process of our body, it’s necessary for muscle repair, mental health, growth and development and much more. Not getting enough sleep can also result in hunger cravings, especially for foods which are high in carbs or sugar. This is because these carbs are a source of gluten which is the main source of energy for the body.
Don’t Eat Processed Foods
Processed foods are related to all kinds of health issues and unhealthy habits. Generally if you find an ingredient on the label of your food which you can’t pronounce it’s a good indicator that you should keep away from it. Look for effective fat burning foods natural ingredients e.g. use stevia in place of splenda.
Don’t Crash Diet
If you’re trying to lose weight, starving yourself or going on extremely low calorie diets are two of the worst things that you could do for yourself. This is because you are depriving your body is the essential nutrients it needs for normal everyday body functions. It is also highly counter-productive as crash diets almost always lead to a fluctuation in weight and you will most likely just gain the weight – possibly even more – once you have finished the diet.
Instead of following a crash diet, it would behoove of you to follow a health nutritional plan. First calculate your calories and find out how much you should be eating to lose weight, I guarantee that it’s actually much more than you might think!
Don’t over Exercise
When we are desperate to lose weight we often want to go to the gym and spend hours upon hours running on the treadmill. This is actually counter-productive because enough though you may lose a few calories on the treadmill, you won’t burn off enough to fix your unhealthy eating habits. Anyone who’s done a hard day at the gym will also know that your body craves foods that are high in carbohydrates afterwards; this is because carbs are your body’s main source of energy. Things like fruit juice, junk food, white bread, rice etc. these are some of the cravings which you might get after too long in the gym.
To conclude, make sure to follow the points listed above to give you a head start in the world of fitness; many people may take years to discover the above advice and some never discover it at all, so count yourself lucky! Make sure to stick to your exercise regime and your nutritional plan and if need be find inspiration through other individuals whether it be at the gym or online.