Adopt These 5 Easy Habits to Be Healthier

Posted: February 18, 2017 in Blog, Nutrition

One of the biggest hurdles many people face when trying to reduce weight is simply finding the energy to do what it takes. The reason for that is the same habits that have ended up causing extra weight are also robbing you of energy.

So the easy answer is to change your habits. But, we know, adopting any new habit in any part of your life is never easy. Everyone has a variety of stresses in their lives and who needs to add the burden of getting into a new habit?

Make Smaller Simpler Changes.

The secret to adopting new, healthy habits is to not make them monumental changes to the habits you already have. If you try to make wholesale changes to what you eat, or suddenly start into a rigorous exercise program, the sheer magnitude of what you’re trying to do can stop you from sticking to it.

The following are suggestions for simpler habits that are easier to adopt to be healthier and help you manage your weight.

1. Eat Whole Foods

Processed foods, mainly the packaged foods in the grocery store, are full of sugars, salt and fats to improve their flavor. If, instead, you make it a point to eat more whole foods, as close to their natural state and unprocessed as possible, you’ll be making a big step to better health.

Try to eat more fresh produce, beans, whole grains, nuts seeds, fish and other good proteins. Try to cook more of your meals from scratch with these ingredients. If not, you can get away with eating raw vegetables, grains and fruit.

If you can’t bring yourself to do any of these, at least try to become a nutrition label expert and look for high numbers and levels of sugars, sodium (salt) and fats. Those are the packaged foods you should avoid most.

2. Make Sleep a Major Focus of Your Day

We don’t mean you should sneak off for a nap at every opportunity. But try to take your sleep seriously and get the proper amount of high quality sleep every night. About a third of us don’t and it results in higher levels of stress, depression, anxiety, weight gain and heart disease, among other health issues.

Shoot for at least 7 hours a sleep a night. If it takes you a long time to get to sleep, add that to the sleep time and go to bed at a time that will give you a chance to fall asleep and still get your 7 hours.

3. Don’t Totally Avoid Carbs

It’s almost trendy to say “I don’t eat carbs”. But, as we’ve told you before, there are ‘good’ carbs and ‘bad’ carbs. The good ones, like vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains, are high in fibre to help regulate your digestive system, balance your blood sugar and manage cholesterol.

4. Look for Healthy Fats

Fats are something else that we are often told to avoid entirely. But healthy fats, like those in olive oil, fish, avocados, nuts and seeds can help reduce inflammation, heart disease, obesity, and improve your immune system and brain functioning.

5. Slash Your Sugar Intake

If there is only one easy new habit you adopt, this one should probably be it. There are three reasons for you to pay more attention to how much sugar you eat.

You Probably Eat Way Too Much of It:

The average Canadian adult consumes about 26 teaspoons of sugar a day. The World Health Organization recommends that adults limit the consumption to six teaspoons a day.

It’s Really Bad for You:

Studies show that excess sugars, not fats, are the main dietary cause of obesity. Too much sugar consumption is linked to a reduction of vitamins, minerals, fibre and iron in our systems. That means, not only does sugar not offer your body anything useful, it actually robs your body of much-needed nutrients.

Oh yeah, sugar also increases your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and autoimmunity diseases, among many other health issues.

It’s Sneaky:

Most people find it hard to believe that they consume so much sugar every day. After all, you only put a couple teaspoons in your coffee. But sugar hides in foods under many other names, including fructose, glucose, corn syrup and molasses among others. And sugar is added to foods that we don’t associate with being high in sugar, including yogurt, granola bars, spaghetti sauce and frozen meals.

If you’ve had a difficult time sticking to the habits that you are told you need to adopt to be healthier and lose weight, then stop trying. Make the habits work for you by making them easier to adopt. You can get more help and support from the nutrition specialists at your nearest Herbal One Centre.