A lot of people ask me what is the quickest and easiest way to get healthy. While I know they are all hoping for a simple answer, the reality is that getting and staying healthy is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. If there was an easy button, we would all look like the cover of a magazine.
So lets look at some healthy habits to incorporate into your lifestyle.
Habit #1: Don’t Buy Junk
Healthy people know that if they keep junk food in the house it will land on their waist sooner or later. So they don’t buy any. Even buying junk food for your kids or spouse is not advised since 1) you’ll likely eat some of it eventually, and 2) your loved ones shouldn’t be eating that junk either. It’s called junk for a reason.
Rid your home of chips, cookies, candy, baked goods, pre-packaged snacks and anything else that belongs in a vending machine. Replace the above with fresh fruit, veggies, nuts and other healthy whole food snacks. Don’t keep ice cream around for a rainy day and put yourself in a position to give into temptation.
Habit #2: Have Priorities
Healthy people make exercise a priority. Along with keeping a job, paying the bills and going to the doctor, exercise is an important part of their lives. What I’ve found is that fit people put exercise before leisure time. Sure, fit people enjoy leisure, but it is scheduled around their workout time.
Treat exercise time with the same importance that you would a business meeting or trip to the dentist. Schedule it with yourself and follow through. It will soon become routine.
Habit #3: Stop Eating When Full
Healthy people stop eating when they feel full. Sound simple? It is, but how many times have you stuffed yourself simply to clear your plate? Or how many times have you eaten another piece of cake despite being stuffed?
The next time you feel full, take it as a sign to stop eating. Yes, even if your plate isn’t empty.
Habit #4: Push Yourself
Not only do healthy people make time to exercise, they challenge themselves during each workout. While it is easy to simply go through the motions while exercising, you’re cheating your body out of great results when you don’t push yourself. Exercise should make you sweat, make your muscles burn, and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment. Otherwise you are wasting your time.
Find ways to make each workout more challenging. For competitive people, the best way to push yourself is to exercise with a friend of similar strength. Another great way to challenge yourself is to set small attainable goals. These goals could be to push heavier weight, to sprint longer, or to do cardio at a higher intensity setting.
Habit #5: Don’t Eat and Watch
Healthy people know that eating in front of the T.V. is mindless eating. When your attention is on your entertainment and not on your food, then you’ll be less tuned in to what and how much ends up in your mouth. Eating in front of the T.V. is also very habit forming. Ever notice how you crave munchies just as a reflex of sitting in front of the T.V.?
Eat before or after your entertainment and pay attention to what and how much goes into your mouth. Portion your serving out and don’t eat out of the package.
Habit #6: Drink Water
Healthy people drink lots of water. And not just in addition to other beverages, but instead of them. Water is their main drink, while other drinks are occasional treats. Calorie-filled drinks are one of the quickest ways to consume excess calories which quickly turn into fat. Consider water your beverage of choice. Drink plenty of it each day and drink other beverages only a few times each week.
Habit #7: Find Accountability and Support
Healthy people don’t leave their motivation to chance. They know that if their personal trainer, boot camp instructor or workout partner is waiting for them, then they are less likely to skip a workout. It is so easy to hit snooze or to talk yourself out of the gym as soon as your behind hits the couch after work. Fit people take the option of skipping a workout out of the equation.
I hope that these habits have inspired you to make a change for the better in your own life
If you already do some of these habits then congratulations – you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Make an effort to incorporate the rest of these habits to get the results you deserve!
If none, or very few, of these habits describe your lifestyle, then I’ve got good news – you now have 7 effective new healthy habits to start with that will get you some awesome results. Don’t try to tackle all 7 at once – pick one or two to add each week and gradually work up to all 7.
By Wendy Peterson