A “habit” is defined by dictionary.com as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”
We have the ability to choose which habits we anchor ourselves to. While habits can be broken, they often can be hard to change, so why not create a habit that benefits your health? Many people have the misconception that a habit can only have a negative activity and connotation attached to it, while that is simply not true. I know this is a shocker for too many people, but we have the ability to choose our habits! WE DO! The people around you may have an impact on your habits, after all it is said that you are most like the five people you hang around the most, however in the end it is you that is shoving that twinkie down your throat, not your brother or mother or roommate. You decide whether or not you are going to go to the gym today. The choice is yours.
On the other side of the spectrum – the better side – we have the ability to choose healthier and more constructive habits. It takes approximately one month to form a habit. If you want to set your life down a course of a healthier and happier version, then do you think you could do something consistently for a single month to make your entire life more worthwhile ( theoretically )? I don’t want you to go get extreme with developing new healthy habits and try and change so many things that it’s overwhelming and then you fail, so I am going to give you six easy habits that you can start to implement today. Once you start to develop these healthier habits you will begin to want to expand into more and more areas and eventually living healthy with be second nature to you.
1. Balancing Nutrients:
For most individual adults, it is recommended to eat a balanced diet of around 2000 calories. Of those calories you should consume the majority of your daily calories in fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and lean proteins.
If you buy more fruits and veggies and don’t buy the lays chips, then by the fruit and veggies simply being present in your kitchen and with the absence of the chips, you are forced to have an apple or celery stick rather than the whole bag of greasy potatoes chips. By doing this you are controlling your environment. Create this habit and soon you will prefer the clean and nutrient packed fruit rather than the empty calorie fried food snacks.
2. Avoid Artificial
Processed foods like white bread, sugary drinks, cookies, bacon and other processed meats contain a lot of junk. The idea is to get more nutrients for each calorie. A single piece of bacon is going to have a lot more empty calories and isn’t going to give you much for nutrients.
Real foods like those mentioned above are going to give you the best bang for your buck and provide you with the energy source you need to perform throughout the day.
3. The Greener the Better
The bulk of your diet should be vegetables. Don’t get scared away because I said eat mostly vegetables. There are some great recipes to cook veggies that we are going to post, so stay tuned.
Vegetables are packed with fiber, water and other vitamins and minerals needed to sustain yourself throughout the day. Because of their high concentration of water they fill you up and you can eat a lot of them.
4. Keep a Food Journal
There was a study that those who write down what they eat throughout the day lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. Writing down what you eat allows you to be conscious of what you’re putting into your body.
You will begin to realize what your body really needs, rather than what you thought your taste buds liked. Being conscious of our actions, including eating, helps us hold ourselves accountable.
5. Know Your Limits
Know how many calories you should be consuming throughout the day and keep track of your exercise as well. If you are an athlete you are going to burn more than if you sit at a desk and work all day. That’s ok! But you need to be in touch with your body and know when it needs fuel.
Don’t restrict yourself from so many foods that you become deficient and pass out. Know your healthy limits to keep yourself energized and fueled properly.
( For more on calorie intakes: Balancing Your Calories In and Out )
6. Don’t Pass the Line
Do your best not to pass the “famished” line. When we starve ourselves all day we tend to gorge on the closest food option when we get the chance. This means grabbing fast food on the way home from work because it would take too much time to cook a healthier meal that night.
This can be prevented by snacking on healthy snacks throughout the day like baby carrots or home-made trail mix.
Another great way to prevent the late night fast food run is to have a meal prepped and ready to go at home in the fridge. Cook a few chicken breasts all at once and eat them throughout the week.
I hope these few tips will help you towards meeting your fitness and nutrition goals, or at least start you in the right direction. Consistency is key. If you found this useful or interesting feel free to like, comment or subscribe.
Develop Healthy Habits,