This is a list of 15 healthy lifestyle tips that I hand out to all my clients. Some of these may seem like common sense, but others you might be learning for the first time. Even so, we all forget about getting back to the basics when it comes to healthy living. We want there to be only one thing we need to change that is keeping us from our health goals, but unfortunately that's not how our bodies are designed to work. Our bodies are very complex and need support with everything we do from food to fitness to sleep.
When forming a new habit and healthy lifestyle, it is vital that you don't overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything at once. You gotta give it a little time. Maybe you already do a few things on this list pretty well. So, in that case, your next step might be adding something new that you haven't tried before or something you know will help your body heal that maybe you just forgot about... (happens all the time, am I right??) Whatever the case, takes things slowly at first and do your best to turn it into a habit - a habit that will lead you towards a healthier and more vibrant you!
15 Healthy Lifestyle Tips To A Happier You
- Combine macronutrients effectively. Each meal and snack should ideally contain a clean source of protein, a healthy fat, and a starch. Fruit should be consumed away from meat and along with a form of healthy fat.
- Don't eat starch by itself. Avoid eating starch alone and try to eat the majority of them around your workout or with another food source. Doing this will prevent blood sugar dips and spikes and will keep those sugar cravings at bay.
- Eat to match your lifestyle. Eat the way that works best for you and your lifestyle – whether this is 5-6 small meals throughout the day, 3 square meals, or eating everything in a single 8-hour window (intermittent fasting, though not suggested for women with hormonal imbalances). Just be sure you are eating the right foods in the right amounts for you and your goals.
- Eat all your allowed calories. Overtime, not eating enough calories will cause your metabolism to become sluggish leading to a weight loss plateau and eventually weight gain as your body goes into survival mode and stores up your calories as fat for later use. Consuming too few calories will also force your body to start breaking down your muscle as it's fuel source and will sooner or later begin to shut down different processes in your body to keep you alive.
- Prepare. Don't shop on an empty stomach and don't go too long without eating to the point that you purge on whatever is in sight which often leads to over eating. If this means you need to never leave the house without a healthy snack, then please do so.
- Plan and prep your meals in advance. Doing so makes it much easier to stick to your real food plan. Find some easy go-to recipes you like as well for those days where you are rushed for time.
- Drink your water. Your body craves water and it is very important that you stay hydrated throughout the day in order to help build muscle, keep metabolism up, and burn fat. A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ your weight in ounces of water (i.e. a 150lb woman should aim to drink 75oz of water each day).
- Avoid prepackaged, highly processed foods as much as possible. Be sure you can identify and pronounce each ingredient on the label (you should be able to find most, if not all, on my Quick Guide to: Real Food list).
- Eat slowly. Take your time to enjoy your food. Eating your food slowly allows your body to send a signal to your brain when you are full. Ever sit down and scarf down 2 full plates of food without taking a breath? This is because you haven't allowed your body to signal when you are full. You think you are hungry, but if you allow 10-20 minutes go by, you realize you are well past full. Eating slowly also allows your body to release enzymes to help you digest your food properly (ever feel like there's a brick in your stomach after eating your food? Yep, that's why..!).
- Stay focused. Your nutrition is 80% of your results when it comes to losing fat and building muscle. I advise you to stick to your diet 80% of the time and allow the other 20% for cheats, splurges, and enjoying life (20% = 1-2 servings of desired cheat food, roughly 250-500 calories depending on your personal caloric intake).
- Form habits. Forming habits will not only save you time and energy, but also reduce stress and keep you on the right track towards your goals.
- Manage Stress. Having too much stress in your life can wreak havoc on your health. Try to find an outlet to reduce stress. This can be through exercise, walking, yoga, meditation, singing, cleaning, cooking, going on a date with your loved one – whatever allows you to take a break from thinking and just breathe and relax without distractions.
- Sleep. Everyone needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. Aim for 7-9 hours. Your body recovers and recharges while you sleep making it a crucial part of good health, losing weight, gaining muscle, and creating a healthy lifestyle as a whole.
- Exercise. Exercising is a natural and vital part of good health. Exercising keeps your body and heart strong and immune system in check (as long as you don't exercise TOO much...) Try to get in 30-60 minutes of exercise 2-5x per week, but always allow a day or two to recover. This could be done through crossfit, weight-training, cardio, classes, kickboxing, yoga, pilates, sprints, etc... Anything that will get your heart rate up and keep you active.
- Don't sit all day. This one might be a little harder to do if you have a desk job, but is still equally as important. Make it a habit to get up and move every hour or so (or set a timer). Get a treadmill desk if available to you. Do a few squat jumps behind your desk, or maybe some pushups, sit ups, or burpees. Twitching can even help some. But working out, even if it's 5-6x per week, isn't going to counteract all the sitting you do during the day. Being aware of where the majority of your time is spent is key to making a healthy change.
I hope something in this list rang a bell for you. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to go a little deeper into each one!
Which one stuck out the most to you? Let me know in the comments below!