Making a conscious decision to be healthy is a big step. Eating healthy meals may feel like you are subjecting yourself to cardboard-tasting meals and workouts that feel like you are being tortured, but it can work for you in the long run.
We have put together a list of things to kick start your journey when it comes to keeping you healthier for longer.
Fats are not bad
Contrary to popular belief fats are not bad. However, having too much of the wrong fat pumped into your body is bad for your health. Thankfully, there are ways in which you can level out your fat intake to healthy proportions such as consuming monounsaturated such as avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts and cooking oils that are made from plants. Polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and 6) such as fish, linseed, soybeans, canola and sunflower oil. According to research by Harvard, it is vital to avoid trans fats and limit saturated fats to less than 7% when it comes to your daily calories intake. The total fat you consume in a day needs to be between 20% to 30% of your daily calories.
You don’t have to swear off carbs
The good ones, that is. Carbs are almost everywhere but making the decision to eat whole grain foods over refined grains can be the first step to living a healthier life. This means if you love bread you will be better off eating whole grain bread than white bread. You can also decide to include foods such as quinoa, barley, and bulgur. Although potatoes are the kings of carbs because who doesn’t love a few fries here and there, it is best to limit the number of potatoes you consume. If you are looking for something that can be incorporated into everyday eating you can consider brown rice or whole oats.
Keep it going and definitely keep it flowing
Your body will thank you later for the exercise and water you feed it. Working out does not only help you keep in shape, but it can also improve your cardiovascular functions. You can limit your workout sessions from 30 – 60 minutes a session five times a week. Always keep in mind that the more calories than you take in than you burn off can lead to weight gain. It is also vital to consult your doctor before starting a diet or workout to ensure that you are doing something that is suitable for your body.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Yes, having a good chuckle is good for your face and it will also help lower stress levels. Life can get busy and stressful but finding ways to laugh during the day can release some feel-good chemicals called endorphins to ease the load. The bonus is that it can also boost your immune system.
Kick bad habits to the curb
Excessive drinking and smoking is one way to take a derail your health. Quitting smoking can improve your quality of life significantly and reducing your risk of heart disease, lung problems, and a stroke. You can also reduce your drinking to a glass of red wine each night which is healthier and a good way to keep the weight off.