Here are 20 tips to get your health back on track
- 1. Improve Your Diet
- 2. Drink more water
- 3. Cut down on alcohol consumption
- 4. Get Enough Sleep
- 5. Take baby steps
- 6. Revamp your pantry
- 7. Plan your meals
- 8. Experiment with new recipes
- 9. Switch to healthier substitutes
- 10. Don’t beat yourself up for slipping up
- 11. Ask yourself what made you slip up
- 12. Don’t punish yourself by making extreme changes
- 13. See the big picture
- 14. Find the motivation
- 15. Plan your snacks
- 16. Don’t cut out all your favorite foods
- 17. Exercise regularly
- 18. Buddy up with someone
- 19. Keep things interesting
- 20. Practice mindful eating
It is never too late to get your health back on track! Here are 20 proven ways to do it.
A series of lockdowns thanks to the pandemic has transformed our lives. The new normal has brought new schedules. We spend more time at home. Our stress levels are higher. Another thing that has definitely changed is our eating habits. While some have got their health back on track, for others it has been a struggle.
Calorie counting became harder, too many video meetings meant eating at the desk –which probably also meant you had no idea what you were eating.
No matter what the reason, if you are keen to get your health back on track, you can do it. Rather than get into a major revamp, focus on the following simple strategies to meet your nutritional goals as well as to ease back into good health.
Here are 20 tips to get your health back on track
1. Improve Your Diet
Your diet has a big impact on how you feel. Try and aim to consume five portions of fruit and vegetables a day as this is the recommended amount. Here are three ways to improve your diet:
Fill up on veggies and fresh fruit
Veggies are rich in the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fiber you need to stay healthy. The fiber in fresh veggies and fruits keep you feeling fuller longer, keeping you from random unhealthy snacking. It also keeps your gut bacteria healthy. Fill at least half your plate with veggies at every meal.
Eat more protein
Include foods rich in protein with every meal and snack as this will control your appetite. Protein leaves you feeling fuller longer. Be mindful of portion sizes, though.
Include healthy fats
Together with protein, healthy fats help you feel full and prevent you from reaching for empty carbohydrates and giving in to sugary food cravings. We need fat for brain and cell health. Include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, butter and full fat dairy.
A healthy and nutritious diet will improve your concentration and your insides will benefit from it.
2. Drink more water
We must drink enough water to keep our immune system and joints healthy and improve our physical performance. Most people struggle to drink the recommended amount of water, as they do not keep track of their water intake. By using an app on your phone, it is easy to track how many glasses of water you drink daily and set reminders to help you.
By staying hydrated, you help the body flush out toxins and keep constipation at bay. Carry your own water bottle and remember to fill it at least twice a day. When you are thirsty, it means that your body is already dehydrated.
3. Cut down on alcohol consumption
In moderation, alcohol is okay, depending on your current health condition. But when you overdo it, it can damage your liver and lead to other health issues. If you struggle with drinking alcohol you could look into an American Addiction Centers reviews and book an appointment with them.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important to get your health back on track. When we don’t sleep enough, it interferes with our routine and leaves us without the energy we need to go on with our day. Try tracking how many hours of sleep you get each week and compare it to the recommended amount. If you find you are not getting enough, then actively try to make changes to your daily life so that you do.
Sleep deprivation can also alter the hormones that control hunger. A lack of sleep is associated with an increase in appetite. The result? Reaching for processed foods to keep up our energy. Try and go to bed an hour earlier than your usual time to get 7-9 hours of restful sleep.
5. Take baby steps
It can be difficult to make major changes and stick to them. So, take it slow and steady. For example, suddenly switching to a healthy diet is not easy. So rather than trying to do everything at once, begin with making half your plate healthy. If you are eating pizza, heap half your plate with salad or vegetables. Go easy on the fried stuff. When you go for half a healthy plate it won’t be so intimidating and will still make a big difference to your diet. Also, you are likelier to stick to it long-term.
6. Revamp your pantry
We tend to snack more when we are at home and that’s the truth. The chances of this are higher especially when snacks are readily available. To solve this, eliminate the temptation in front of you. Put things away into the cabinet. Keep your kitchen counter free from snacks. When you can’t see it, you will avoid impulsive eating. If you work from home, it may help not to use the kitchen table as your home office. Set up your workspace away from the kitchen. By doing this, you will pause before you head to the kitchen to snack.
7. Plan your meals
I would be the first to acknowledge that when we eat at home more often, it can be quite tough to find inspiration to cook, particularly on busy days. By planning ahead, it is possible to build healthy meals without stressing over it. Use a formula to do this. Think of your meal in three parts: a protein (eggs, fish, beans, chicken), a vegetable and a healthy carbohydrate (whole grains, brown rice, millets).
While planning your meal, pick one item from those three parts and combine to build your meal. Based on this you can also plan your grocery shopping and stock your pantry and fridge so that healthy ingredients are readily available to you.
8. Experiment with new recipes
Try new foods and making new recipes. YouTube is full of easy how-to videos. Rather than stick to a few dishes that you rotate, expand your options to get more variety and have fun cooking. There is a great sense of joy in putting together your healthy meal.
9. Switch to healthier substitutes
Make your food more nutritious with simple ingredient swaps. If you are baking bread, why not try whole wheat flour rather than white processed flour? If you are eating takeout, add a salad or include a healthy option from home to complete the meal rather than order the usual. These small swaps can make your diet more nutritious and help you get your health back on track.
10. Don’t beat yourself up for slipping up
Just because you slacked off on your healthy diet does not make you a bad person. Use the experience to cope better and get back on track.
11. Ask yourself what made you slip up
What led you to get side-tracked in relation to your health? Was it a series of events? Did you go to too many parties? Is it because you over-shopped the unhealthy snacks? When you identify what took you off the track, you can find ways to avoid those situations. If you don’t, you will probably continue doing what you are doing.
Make a list of situations that triggered your overeating. What can you do to overcome these? If you can’t avoid the parties, try and have a healthy snack before you go to stop yourself from overeating.
12. Don’t punish yourself by making extreme changes
Maybe by switching to a tough regimen of diet and exercise can help you lose a few pounds, but this way you will probably gain it right back. Worse still, You may lose weight this way, but you’re almost sure to gain it back. This will only set up an unhealthy pattern of gaining and losing, and create anxiety about your relationship with food.
13. See the big picture
Healthy living is a life-long and ongoing process. If your goal is to lose weight, you need to count your calories. Also, weight management happens over a period of time. So review what you are eating once a week or month rather than daily. In life, there will be good days and the not so good and if you do slide off the health wagon once in a while, it is absolutely okay. Just make sure you are aware of it and compensate in a timely manner and you’ll be able to get your health back on track.
14. Find the motivation
Losing sight of a healthy lifestyle is probably a sign that you are not motivated enough. Step back and review how you felt when things were going well. What kept you motivated? Who motivated you? Remembering the answers to these questions will inspire you to get your health back on track.
15. Plan your snacks
When we are busy, it is easy to delay a meal. This results in getting hungry leading to overeating. How to avoid this? Work in healthy snacks into your day. If you plan to go out, carry a healthy snack pack. Examples are: fruits, nuts and seeds, sprouts, a salad, non-fat yogurt, a trail mix, etc.
16. Don’t cut out all your favorite foods
When you suddenly eliminate all your favorite foods from your diet, you can be pretty sure that you will crave them and at some point, binge on them. To prevent this, set yourself up for success by cutting down on the portion sizes of foods you like. Or go in for healthier options.
17. Exercise regularly
So maybe you can’t make it to the gym every day – and that is okay. Try and work in a 20-minute brisk walk every day. Exercise helps you burn calories and often stops you from stress-eating, besides improving your mood, your strength, your flexibility and mobility. It also keeps you from feeling bloated.
To stay active, find activities you enjoy.
Also read: 100 reasons to make exercise a habit
18. Buddy up with someone
Find an accountability partner – someone in your family or a friend. Share your goals and intentions and encourage each other so that you can get your health back on track. Also, it is more fun when you have someone with similar goals working with you.
19. Keep things interesting
How about making some interesting changes to your routine? Join a fitness class. Or maybe enroll for a dance class. Make your meal plan with new healthy foods so that you are enthusiastic about keeping up with your healthy lifestyle.
20. Practice mindful eating
One of the reasons most of us have issues sticking to a healthy diet or lifestyle is because we eat hurriedly and don’t register what we are eating. All we are concerned about is getting the mealtime over with so that we can move on with the next busy thing on our list. Or, we return from work, tired and settle in front of the TV–and eat, our mind barely conscious of what we’re putting in our mouths.
Change the way you eat by practicing mindful eating. Eat slowly. Chew every mouthful. Be aware of the taste and texture. This way you will also recognize when you are full and stop eating. If there are leftovers, save them for the next day. Your digestive system will appreciate you.
You don’t have to stress yourself to get your health back on track. Just try and follow at least a few of the above tips. Make small changes. Enjoy the difference.
Your health is important. An active healthy lifestyle has innumerable benefits. Who doesn’t want to live a disease-free life?
What simple tips do you have for helping get your health back on track? What would you change in your life right now?