A healthy lifestyle to most people means maintaining a steady balance between mental and physical health. It has been proven time and again that physical and mental health are correlated, changes in either one can directly affect the other.
After being exhausted physically and mentally every day for years, I spent a week researching why I was lethargic all the time. Upon reflecting on my lifestyle, I realized long work hours, bad food habits, absence of physical activity and lack of a good sleep were all weighing me down. So, it was time to make some healthy changes to my life, and for once, not be exhausted and stressed. Today with some certainty I can say, it works. I may have not achieved everything I set out to, but I am on this journey to be better every day.
Few months ago, I realized, i make a decent living, have a good home but still I am not at peace or satisfied with my lifestyle. My habit of procrastination wasn’t helping me either. I forced myself to sit and make a healthy eating plan, figure out what diets work best for my body and how active I need to be. It all boils down to simple math, caloric intake minus calories burnt.
To maintain a healthy body, you should know how much are you eating and how much energy you are burning. And the second part of the missing puzzle is sleep. A sleep of 8 hours will replenish your energy, give your body much needed rest and help you recover physically and mentally.
I researched for a few days, narrowed down best diet plans as per my schedule, age and weight, and promised myself I’d follow it. It’s rightly said that a schedule will change your life. I sat down and made a schedule for myself and it was very helpful. Sticking to a routine is very important given that once I have time allocated for all my chores, including exercising, working and sleeping, I can easily start balancing my lifestyle. It was almost time for me to bid adieu to exhaustion.
So, let’s go ahead and venture into some health tips that helped me attain a fit & healthy lifestyle and might help you too.
The First Step Towards a Healthy Lifestyle
Healthy Eating: What to eat?
Humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of the body, but we have different nutrition requirements as infants, kids, teenagers, young adults, adults and seniors. For instance, infants require feeding every few hours until they eventually begin to consume more solid food. Gradually, they develop more normal patterns of eating three meals per day as kids.
From some statistics, we can see—
- Typical American diets exceed the recommended intake levels or limits in four categories: calories from solid fats and added sugars; refined grains; sodium; and saturated fat
- Americans eat less than the recommended amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, dairy products, and oils
- About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. [Source]
The trend of uneven eating, not enough nutrients and overeating certain supplements is making life difficult for Americans. The rate of unhealthy lifestyle has only skyrocketed after the introduction of social media. Everyone wants to eat out for a few likes. Changing eating habits and sleeping pattern would resolve most of the problems people are struggling within their lives.
For the longest time, fast food, fried food, and delicious unhealthy foods from restaurants were my go-to meals at any time of the day. I did not try to cook even though I did know cooking quite well. Then, I made it a point while putting myself on a schedule to allow some time of the day to cook my meals. This way, I felt excited and looked forward to having my meals. Also, it gave me the liberty to cook healthy meals and include healthy ingredients in my food.
Dieting may seem difficult at first but if you have the option to cook good food that includes nutrients as well, dieting will be quite easy. Below are some helpful tips that I followed to improve my eating habits.
Best Eating Practices for a healthy lifestyle
- Eating four to five small healthy meals a day is important.
- Dinner does not have to be a big meal. Stick to minimal portions.
- The bulk of food consumption should consist of nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk products, and whole grains.
- Include lean meats, poultry, beans, fish, eggs, and nuts in your diet.
- Choose food items with saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars, check the labels because the first listed items on the labels comprise the highest concentrations of ingredients.
- Control portion sizes – eat the smallest portion that will satisfy your appetite.
- Avoid sodas and sugar-based drinks because of the oodles of calories they contain, while you may consume diet drinks as it will induce hunger.
Living with Dietary Restrictions
Being a diabetic or having food allergies should not stop one from enjoying his food. We have some things for everyone. Diabetics can enjoy gluten-free foods with maximum nutrients without worrying much about the side effects and allergic reaction it may cause.
- As we know gluten is found in a lot of high-carb food as they are mostly grain-based and they can raise your blood sugar. So, unless you see a gluten-free label, just assume that most pastas, baked goods, beer, and snacks include some amount of gluten.
- Some diabetes-friendly and gluten-free foods include
- White & sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Soy milk
- Greek yogurt
- Dry fruits, legumes and nuts
- Olive oil
- Carrots, green beans, cucumbers, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and cabbage.
- Eggs, chicken, fish, beef, and pork
- Peanut butter, hummus
Although there are many risky behavioral patterns that may obstruct an otherwise healthy lifestyle you might have adapted to, overcoming each of these will be easier if you stick to this kind of schedule and eating habits. Remember, it is we who have to believe we can do it. No one else will do this for us.
As we grow old in this world that is constantly restricting us from being healthy, it has become of paramount importance that we take our health seriously. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will not only make you stronger but will also instill a discipline in you that you will carry on with yourself for the rest of your life.
Some recommended articles:
- Healthy Desserts Recipes for Guilt Free Indulgence
- 11 Best Morning Routines for Success
- Top 10 Healthy Recipes For Dinner
- Keto Thanksgiving Feast in Guilt Free Style
Be active all the time
- Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer). Moreover, our kids spend this time watching all sorts of violence on TVs. That’s why I made this plan to save my kids from TV violence.
- Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day
- Recent reports project that by 2030, half of all adults (115 million adults) in the United States will be obese [Source]
These are serious numbers and will not lead to a healthy outcome if continued. Everything is good when done in moderation.
Our body is meant to do physical activities from time to time to keep the blood moving, to keep the body loose and flexible. For us to perform at our peak, we must give our body required exercises
Healthy routine for a healthy lifestyle
- Early to bed, early to rise is a wonderful principle to live by. Make your body habitual to a healthy cycle like this.
- Make sure you spend at least an hour exercising daily. Your body needs that kind of activity to maintain fitness. Also, exercising releases endorphins in your body which keeps you happy & fresh.
- Be sure to spend some time daily to meditate. Giving your mind some time to relax and reboot is vital before you head out for a busy day.
- Diabetics should follow the above tips and monitor glucose levels as directed. Try to maintain your blood sugar level to a minimum.
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