How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle

According to Statista, America’s top three New Year’s Resolutions for 2023, all have to do with getting in shape. Does that sound familiar?

If you’ve struggled for years with your weight loss and fitness, now’s the time to change things. This article will show you how to start a healthy lifestyle. Small changes add up over time.  

Just one step at a time and you are “Directionally Correct!!!!”

Follow these steps, and by January there will be plenty of room on your New Year’s Resolutions list for something entirely different.

Get a Full Night’s Sleep

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of sleep. The world is full of people who brag about logging 12, 14, or 16-hour work days. But when your goal is living healthy, sleep needs to be a priority.

Poor sleep makes it more likely that you will make bad choices. That includes lifetime decisions such as what to eat. Let’s face it there is nothing like a sugary snack to give you that pick me up when the afternoon lull hits the day after poor sleep. 

Poor sleep also impacts our hormones and causes an increase in Cortisol which dumps sugar into our blood. This definitely makes burning fat even more challenging.  On the other hand, waking up after a restful night’s sleep can motivate us to have healthy habits. We’ll feel more like exercising and eating correctly.

Try Cooking More Often

A simple way to improve health is to cook for yourself more often. We hope you stick to nutritious recipes, but even indulgent home cooking will likely have far less salt, sugar, and preservatives than your favorite delivery service.

Cooking does not have to mean toiling for hours in the kitchen. Many notable recipes require only a quick saute or a few minutes in the oven. Once you begin to feel better after eating home-cooked meals, you’ll become a bigger fan of cooking.  

Try New Foods

Have you fallen into the habit of making salads using the same ingredients each time? If so, make a deliberate effort to expand your palette. The more varied your diet, the more nutrients you are giving your body and the healthier your gut biome will likely be.

Even minor changes can be beneficial. For example, let’s start with the greens. Add a variety of lettuce, spinach, kale etc  that are new to you.

And try to make your dishes colorful. The varying colors of vegetables let you know that their nutritional content differs. So upgrade from strictly green bell peppers to their more brightly-colored cousins.

Eating from the Rainbow is a very easy way to look at your meals over the course of the day and ask yourself if you have eaten a variety of colours such as , blue, red, yellow, orange, green, purple and white.

In fact I have an online 14 Day Eat From The Rainbow plan that gives you all sorts of recipes and educates you on the benefits of what each of the colours provide you.

Click on this link and request this plan

Limit Processed Foods

What are processed foods? A basic definition would be any food product that doesn’t appear in nature. Think of poultry. Chicken is a natural food, while chicken nuggets are processed.

It isn’t easy to stay away from all processed foods. You may have a favorite breakfast cereal. Or you could only imagine the family movie night with microwave popcorn.

You’ll have to decide to what degree processed foods will remain part of your life. But monitor the effects of manufactured food products.

If you become aware of the side effects of eating those foods, you’ll have the motivation to limit or eliminate them.

Years of relying on highly processed foods can not only make weight loss difficult but can also leave your body depleted of vital nutrients.

In fact an article came out a few months ago stating that UPF’s (Ultra Processed Food) is the number one cause of death!!!  So minimize these types of food for your health and wellbeing.

Drink More Water

If you’re like most people, you need to drink more water. You can quickly test yourself. For the next few days, drink a few more glasses of water than you usually consume.

You may find yourself more alert and thinking more clearly. You may also notice more plumpness in your skin, especially on your face. These all indicate that you’ve been slogging your way through the day without nature’s primary fuel, water.

Some people have found it easier to keep a good hydration schedule if they use a water bottle. The bottle could be any size, but some people prefer one large enough to contain all the water they plan to drink that day.

Then they don’t have to try to track their water drinking habit. They know that they’ve reached their daily goal when they’ve emptied the bottle.

I even keep a beautiful jug on my desk and I know I need to finish it before I have my lunch and then I refill it for the afternoon.  The visual cue helps as a reminder and it keeps it very convenient.

Inform Everybody of Your Lifestyle Change

Why should you let others know of your lifestyle change? Researchers have found that having accountability makes us more likely to stick to our goals, such as maintaining a healthy weight. So when you tell others that you plan to live a healthier lifestyle, you practically deputize them as your assistants.

And friends will be sure to remind you of your goals whenever they see you about to give in to temptation. You may not appreciate the reminder at the moment, but in the long run, you’ll be glad you told everyone about your new life.

Avoid Unhealthy Food-Based Entertainment

Once you start trying to improve your lifestyle you’ll begin to notice how much entertainment revolves around poor eating habits. Can you make it through a major televised sporting event without a barrage of ads for fast food?

Be careful of cooking and baking shows which can serve as traps. You may tell yourself that you’re going to watch them to gain some handy kitchen tips. But the truth is they’re likely to feature cooking challenges that involve ingredients you’re trying to keep at arm’s length.

This problem is especially prevalent with baking shows which have few healthy desserts.

Get Moving

You don’t have to love organized team sports to get moving. Neither do you have to exercise in front of others in a crowded gym if that makes you uncomfortable.

The key is finding a way to move your body through space that feels good to you. This could be as simple as walking. But dancing may be more your style. Or you could join the millions of others who’ve taken up pickleball.

It matters little how you start moving as long as you get active. If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten off the couch, you’re in for a wonderful surprise.

The body, which includes the brain, loves movement. It comes alive after a hike around the park or an evening of line dancing. And that positive feeling can motivate you to search for another opportunity to get moving.

Just start with one of these suggestions and as you feel better and more energized and that “new” routine has become a habit then introduce another new habit and carry on from there.

You got this, it is just a matter of taking one step on the road to a healthier lifestyle.