We all know the importance of healthy eating and exercise, yet many of us continue with our bad habits. We keep putting off the transition to a healthier lifestyle time and time again, even though we are fully aware of the consequences of failing to do so.
I’ve come to realize that a slow transition is the key. All it takes to get started is a bit of motivation and a few changes here and there, over time.
If you are hoping to improve your lifestyle, here are some healthier eating and fitness tips to help you get started:
Focus on one bad habit at a time – Going cold turkey on everything all at once is a recipe for failure. Pick just one junk food you like to eat and replace it with a healthier alternative. If you have been eating a bowl of fattening ice cream every evening, trade it in for low-fat yogurt instead. If you’re still getting cravings for ice cream, only eat half of your regular amount. Keep reducing the amount you eat until you’ve managed to cut it out completely and no longer feel a craving for it. Redbook Magazine has a list of healthy “junk food swaps”.
Work on making whole grains part of your diet – White bread, cake, muffins, white pasta, etc…: these are all processed foods you will eventually want to eliminate from your diet. As I mentioned above, focus on one food at a time. The next time you’re grocery shopping, opt for a loaf of bread that says “100% whole wheat”. Whole grain pasta might take some getting used to, but the taste and texture will eventually grow on you.
Reduce sugar intake – White sugar is one thing we all know is bad for us, yet many of us continue to consume anyway. Try cutting back on it a little bit at a time. Natural sugars, when used in moderation, are not as bad; some forms even have nutrients. White sugar on the other hand has none.
Start exercising a bit everyday – Whether it’s TV, internet or video games keeping you from working out, try to cut down on that form of entertainment for a few minutes a day and exercise instead. All it takes is a few days of forcing yourself to get up and exercise and after that, it starts to become a part of your daily routine. It only took about four days of forcing myself to go for walk,and then getting up and going for a walk began to feel “natural” to me. You don’t even have to leave the house to exercise. If you’re having trouble turning the TV off, stand up and start walking in place while you are watching it. HelpGuide.org offers some great advice on how to make exercise an enjoyable part of your everyday life”.
Always drink more water – You’ve undoubtedly heard this time and time again, and you always will. If you’re already drinking eight glasses a day, drink a couple of more. The only bad thing about drinking tons of water is that it might make you go to the bathroom more. But your body will adjust in time. There should always be a glass or bottle of water at your side to sip on. If you’re currently craving unhealthy liquids, slowly wean yourself off of them. For every sip of Coke or Pepsi you take, take three sips of water.
One of the most important things to remember when transitioning into a healthier lifestyle is to not beat yourself up. Mistakes will happen. Accept this fact and move on; stay positive.
About the Author:
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.