Being surrounded by a variety of unhealthy temptations such as fast food restaurants, processed foods in grocery stores, and friends going out for drinks makes living a healthy lifestyle challenging at times. Even though everyone knows that a healthy lifestyle can promote increased energy, better sleep, reduce the risk of diseases, and improve your mood, they still find it hard to make the necessary changes last long term.
If you are someone struggling to find a balance between diet and lifestyle, we can help. Check out our 7 effective tips on how to stick to a healthy lifestyle so you can better manage your body starting today.
Keep Junk Food Out of the House
The saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind”. And this could not be truer when it comes to food. Not only should you avoid having unhealthy snacks like cookies, chips, or sweets lying around the kitchen top, but you should replace these foods with healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and energy bars. If family members in your home are adamant about having undesirable foods, place it in areas that are away from your sight (e.g. out of reach drawers or in their bedrooms). Even better, why not improve on your cooking skills, so you can control what goes into the food you eat?
Drink Clean Water
Drinking water straight from a faucet may mean it has been exposed to all sorts of chemicals, while drinking strictly from water bottles is detrimental to the planet (and costly over time). Considering your body is roughly 60% water, wouldn’t it be wiser to invest in your water intake? Buying water distillers is an effective option for cleaning your water, but it requires a large investment and lots of energy to use. If you want a less costly and energy intensive method to clean your water, berkey water filters are the best and a great alternative.
Aim for Consistency, Not Perfection
Don’t be so driven to achieve perfection that you leave no room for error. If you’re consistently eating out or not eating a balanced diet and you decide to go cold turkey overnight, this can burn you out quickly. Forcing yourself into hibernation, avoiding temptations and not planning any cheat days are also counterproductive to obtaining a healthier body.
For example, superstar actress Beyoncé has a strict meal plan from Monday through Saturday, but every Sunday she gives herself a cheat meal, which is usually pizza). If going six straight days on a strict diet is too tall of a mountain to climb, start where you’re comfortable and go from there (e.g. every 3 days of healthy eating earns you 1 cheat day).
Keep a Positive Outlook
If you keep telling yourself, “I can’t do this” or “This is too hard”, then naturally those feelings will manifest themselves. As so eloquently put by Ziad K. Abdelnour, “A negative mind will never give you a positive life”. If you are struggling to increase your willpower, here are some effective strategies you can implement…
- Practice mindful exercises to promote mental clarity and reduce anxiety (e.g. deep breathing, practicing yoga)
- Create a visual that shows progress towards goals (e.g. calendar, whiteboard)
- Keep your mind busy (e.g. exercising, reading, spending time with others)
- Set clear, achievable goals
- Say or listen to positive affirmations daily
Focus on What Motivates You
Trying to lose weight? Eager to have a lower ecological footprint? Whatever your goal is for obtaining a healthy lifestyle, make sure you revisit it every day to help keep you motivated. If your goal is something like ‘lose 50 pounds’, break it into small, manageable chunks instead like, ‘5 pounds every 2 weeks’ instead.
Make a Few Changes at a Time
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day. Creating a healthy lifestyle happens over time, not overnight. How long it takes to create a new habit depends on the individual, but it roughly takes 21 to 30 days (2+ months) for it to become automatic.
Try to establish one healthy habit goal every month – for example, healthy meal prep consistently, wake up earlier, exercise before work, etc. – or more, if you’re up to the challenge. If you are able to commit to the process, you can end up gaining a minimum of 12 new healthy habits per year.
Plan Social Gatherings Around Different Creative Activities
Instead of meeting up with friends or family to eat at a restaurant or go out to drink booze, try one of these other options…
- Exercise together
- Go bike riding or for a walk
- Take a yoga class together
- Visit a museum
- Play sports as a group (e.g. volleyball, basketball, etc.)
Bringing It All Together
If this list seems overwhelming to you, try implementing one thing at a time. Creating a healthy lifestyle requires patience, discipline, and most of all dedication. Don’t be ashamed if you get off track for a day or even a week, just be consistent and try again.