How to Be Healthier Without a Dramatic Lifestyle Change
In these days where almost everyone wants to be skinny, unhealthy diets have become the norm. However, you can improve your health without resorting to a strict diet or exercise routine. It's healthy, and doesn't take much time out of your busy day.
Method 1 of 3: Figure out the Problem
1 Examine yourself. Are you going back for seconds on every meal? Do you spend most of your day sitting? Are you living on junk food? What could you change in order to improve your health?
2 Sometimes you won't realize immediately what you're doing wrong. Try asking a close friend something like, "Hey, I've been concerned about my health lately, and I'm trying to get in better shape. Do you have any tips for me?"
Method 2 of 3: Make a Plan
Now that you've figured out the problem in your lifestyle, it's time to make some minor changes.
1 Buy or make a daily planner, and record what you eat for the next few weeks. (Be honest!) Think about what you could replace with healthy things. If you're drinking soda at work, try bringing a bottle of water instead. Instead of french fries, buy some apples.
2 Plan ways to integrate healthy foods into your mealtimes. Find foods you like, and make them available when you're hungry.
- Healthy snacks include nuts, string cheese, bowls of berries, granola bars, carrots and dip, grapes, and cheese and crackers.
- At dinner, place a bowl of fruits or vegetables on the table.
- Incorporate fruits into your dessert. Try berries with whipped cream, banana splits, apple slices with caramel, mixed fruit bowls, bananas with nutella, and strawberries dipped in chocolate.
- It's okay to eat desserts like cookies, ice cream, cake, and candy. You don't have to feel guilty when you do. The danger lies in eating too much and missing out on other important food groups.
3 Find ways to curb overeating. If you are going back for seconds and thirds at every meal, try one of these strategies.
- Eat your food slowly, savoring the taste.
- Buy smaller plates. People tend to focus on how full their plate is, and large plates may be contributing to overeating.
- Add high-fiber foods to your meals: whole grains, apples, et cetera. These will help you feel full.
- Don't fight cravings or adopt a highly strict diet. If your body craves something, it's telling you that it needs something. The average human being needs 2,000 calories, and going too far under that will hurt you.
4 Get outdoors. Time spent outside can reduce stress and engage your senses. Try playing with your kids, walking around town with friends, or taking a stroll in a park. Outdoor time can help you feel healthier and more grounded.
5 Make a plan for exercise. You can incorporate fun ways to exercise into your daily routines. Remember, exercise doesn't need to be intense to be effective—even a 20-minute walk is good progress.
- Take a walk in the morning to wake up, or stroll through the neighborhood and chat with your spouse at night.
- Explore the area. Visit local attractions on foot, hike on hiking trails, and take walks through neighborhoods you haven't explored before.
- Do you have a swimming pool in your backyard, or a public one in your neighborhood? Pledge to swim laps 5 times every week.
- If you ride a bus to work, try getting off at the stop before yours, and walking the rest of the way. Enjoy the morning air, the birdsong, and the sights and smells of your surroundings.
- If your family is bored, suggest a bike ride of walk around the neighborhood.
6 Make a goal, such as to be able to run a mile in 10 minutes, or to be able to swim 20 laps without a break. Work toward this goal until you reach it. Remember, every time you push your limits, you are getting stronger and healthier.
Method 3 of 3: Reward Yourself
1 Once you've reached your goal, reward yourself. Indulge in a day at the spa, curl up with the newest novel by your favorite author, or buy yourself a new outfit.