5 Ways to Get Your Health Together Without Turning Your World Upside Down
Be honest, deep down you wouldn’t mind being a bit more responsible when it comes to what you eat and the lifestyle you lead. Don't we all? Eating right and leading a healthy life is a natural aspiration. And although we know what we should and should not consume or put our bodies through, it's still hard to resist day-to-day temptations. Cold-turkey-dieting leads to short-lived euphoria, foreseeable hunger and crash-and-burn relapsing. This cycle is traumatizing to your good intentions and defeats the entire purpose of why you set out to better yourself in the first place.
Reaching that desired peak of self-control doesn’t necessarily require drastic measures. Many people can whip their habits around without fail, but for some of us, it takes time and process of elimination. There are ways to implement healthier habits that not only improve the way you eat but also keep you in a clear state of mind to ensure that choices you’ve made throughout the day don’t leave you in a state of regret by sundown.
1. Drink Water. You’ve heard it all before, but consuming water truly is one of the most important habits to form. Chug it first thing in the morning–preferably at room temperature with a bit of lemon juice–and don’t stop until your head hits the pillow. Those eight glasses of eight ounces do their job to flush out toxins, keep you in a good mood and see that your entire body functions properly. Hydrate your body like your life depends on it, because it literally does.
2. Kick The “Coffee.” Let it be known that coffee is NOT the enemy. In its most pure forms (black–no sugar, no cream) it has the benefits of lowering your risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia and cancer. It helps to burn fat and is also a huge source of antioxidants which help to protect cells from free radical damage. Once we start adding in syrups, sugars, milks and fluff into our morning coffee, we’ve already discounted any positive kickback that the bean brings to the table. Remember, less is more when it comes to your morning cup. Just be sure to sip your water first.
3. Think Before You Tank. We all start the day with high hopes of what we are and aren’t going to eat. Then work comes into the equation and friends start inviting us to dinners, and now we’ve blacked out on any pre-meditative plans. This takes time, but train yourself to stop and listen to your inner voice before grabbing or ordering your next bite. Think of it as a way to call yourself out. Speak up (internally) and ask, “Do I really want that piece of generic vanilla cake or am I just bored out of my mind?” Unless a zombie apocalypse just occurred and you’re scrounging for food, our guess is you’re bored.
4. Add in Greens! No joke, the more you feed your body the nutrients it’s looking for–and not foods it’s addicted to–the more you will naturally crave the good stuff. Name the ailment you’re trying to combat and the vitamins and minerals found in greens are your best ally. Make it a point to find a way to add steamed kale, broccoli or chard into each meal, or take the HOV lane and blend spinach into your daily smoothie. Instant calcium, vitamin A and C boost!
5. Finally, Go. To. Sleep. Do you wake up every morning swearing that you’ll head to bed early that evening? But it never happens, right? Talk the talk and wrap your day up earlier than midnight. Postpone your Netflix marathons, take a rain check on drinks out and purposefully misplace your phone at home. Give your brain an electronic break and pick up a book as a means to lullaby your thoughts. Turning in an hour or two early will have you feeling like a brand new person come daylight. A well-rested brain handles stress better and less stress means low risk of shaking down the vending machine like a mad woman at 3 p.m. Not that you’ve ever done that.