Changing the way we do things and adopting a few simple habits can make a huge difference to our weight – and our health.
If you look at the behaviours of healthy people, you’re likely to notice many of them share certain habits that help keep them healthy. While they may not seem that important, these habits can be easily adopted in everyday life to result in big changes. Take a look to see what habits you can pick up to become noticeably healthier.
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Having good food in your kitchen will make a huge difference to your diet. Reducing temptation and ensuring you eat well each day is the first step to staying healthy. That process starts with the grocery shop. First up, never shop hungry. Make a shopping list so you know exactly what to pick up – and what to avoid. Shop in the fresh food aisles as much as possible, picking up fresh veggies, fresh fish and fresh meat. If it’s an option, shop online to avoid impulse buying.
Focus on Quality
Steer clear of processed foods that are packed with salt, sugar, fat and preservatives, and focus on great quality foods that you know are good for you. Make a habit of reading food labels so you know exactly what’s in everything you eat - or better yet, pick foods that don't have a label. You may be surprised how much bad stuff can be crammed into one unassuming package.
You don’t need to be a Masterchef to cook at home. It can be just as beneficial to keep it simple. One of the main findings of the CSIRO Healthy Diet Score 2016 report was that we eat too much junk food - both takeaways and fast food.
Cooking at home is a great way to stay healthy. When you cook for yourself, you know exactly what’s going into your food. It allows you to focus on high quality foods, avoid unhealthy foods, keep an eye on portion control – and it can help you save money too.
Stick to your guns
When you have a routine through the week, it can be simple to stick to your healthy eating habits. When the weekend rolls around though, those habits often go out the window. Whether it’s having that extra glass of wine, indulging in fast food, or simply eating more because you’re bored, it’s all too easy to overeat on weekends. Try to stick to your healthy eating habits – no matter the day.
Eating healthily means snacking right. Starving yourself is never the answer. By eating well throughout the day, you can stay on track with your goals and keep temptation at bay. Need some ideas? We have plenty of healthy snack recipes!
Watch Your Weight
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to check the scales once a week – not once a day. Your weight will often fluctuate, so choose a day and time for your weekly weigh-in. This will allow you to see proper progress on a weekly basis, avoiding any disappointment or negativity day-by-day.
Just as your grandma always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your willpower tends to be better in the morning, allowing you to eat healthily and get your day off to a great start. Focus on foods that will provide you with the energy you need, and avoid sugary options.
Focus on Protein
Protein is an essential part of any diet. We need it every day to allow our bodies to perform at their best. If we neglect to eat protein, our bodies look to find the protein they need elsewhere, often sourcing it from our muscle tissue – which can lead to a loss of muscle mass. Try to include protein in most – if not all – meals.
Many experts recommend walking at least 10,000 steps in a day. While a sedentary person may only walk 1,000 to 3,000 steps a day, there are many health benefits associated with walking more. Try taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking instead of catching the bus, joining a walking group or taking the dog out more often.
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Probably one of the easiest ways to fall off the healthy eating wagon is to deprive yourself. You get sick of eating well and you binge on food you’re not supposed to eat. Instead, stick to your healthy eating habits, but find little ways you can treat yourself when you reach your goals.
Are you trying to lose weight? Read our comprehensive guide on weight loss to understand where to begin, what happens when you lose weight, and what doesn't work when it comes to dieting.