Making the switch to a healthier lifestyle can feel overwhelming. We find comfort in our unhealthy habits, and we fear that we’ll enjoy life less if we have to give up our favorite fatty and sugar-loaded comfort foods (not to mention our cherished sit-on-the-couch time).
The truth is that, in addition to increasing our potential to live longer, we enjoy life more when we adopt a healthy lifestyle. And, the best news is that there are a few virtually painless steps you can take right now to get started.
1. Eat What You Like. Not everyone likes salads and quinoa. Luckily, there are other types of healthy foods out there. When you’re just starting out, try eating healthy versions of your favorite foods. Try grilled, steamed, or baked foods instead of fried ones. Swap out the ice cream for Greek yogurt recipes.
2. Do Whatever You Want to Exercise Your Body. If you like being outside in nature, start by taking walks with your significant other, friend, dog, or even by yourself. Take up tennis. Zumba to your heart’s content. Just find whatever motivates you, and give it a shot. A 5K run that may have once seemed impossible, just got easier with our step-by-step “free” downloadable training guide.
Or maybe you just want to exercise in the privacy of your own home. Well, SkinnyMs. can help with that, and you don’t even need to own a treadmill! Try our 10 Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do at Home.
3. Take Baby Steps. If completely changing your lifestyle overwhelms you, take it one step at a time. Take your vitamins. Try veggies and nuts for snacks. Go for a walk. Start small, and keep pushing yourself a little more each day.
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your health is drink more water. Learn more about how water benefits your body in 4 Reasons Why You Should Drink More Water.
4. Set Goals. Recognize that those “baby steps” you’re taking are actually small goals, and each time you are taking a step in the right direction, you have accomplished a goal. Then use the pride you gain from accomplishing those goals to make even more healthy choices.
5. Reward Yourself. All hard work with no pay-off is no fun at all. Acknowledge your hard work with a reward of some sort, to keep you motivated. If you have the extra cash, maybe you can buy a new outfit when you reach different weight loss milestones. Or, maybe you can plan occasional massage, mani-pedi, or facial appointments to complement your new healthy lifestyle. You can even start a ritual of enjoying one square of dark chocolate (yes, chocolate!) each day.
6. Give Yourself a Break. Remember that improving your overall wellness also involves reducing stress. Try taking some time out each day to reflect, meditate, or just enjoy a few minutes of silence.
7. Take Note. Of your portions, that is! If you pay attention, you’ll most likely notice you are putting way more on your plate than what you need to satisfy your hunger. Start reducing your portions, and you will most likely start to notice a difference. Consider taking our 30 Day Skinny Plate Challenge and discover how with a few simple adjustments you can lose weight and get healthier.
8. Start Over. Listen, this isn’t a competition, and no one is judging you. If you “fall off the wagon,” eat junk, or forgo exercise, don’t get discouraged and give up. Each day is a new opportunity to recommit to the new, healthier you.
9. Find a Buddy. Let’s face it. Most activities are more fun with a friend, including exercising and eating right. Do a recipe-swap of your favorite healthy recipes. Make a regular date to go on jogs, hikes, or other fun aerobic outings. You’ll enjoy it more, and you’ll also have someone to help keep you accountable.
10. Go Ahead and Indulge. Just because you’re trying to be healthier, it doesn’t mean you can never have dessert again. Recipes like SkinnyMs.’s low-calorie, sugar-free desserts allow you to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt.
No matter what you do, do something. Any step you take toward a healthier lifestyle can only help your overall health and well-being. You’ve got nothing to lose (except the weight) and everything to gain in terms of healthy, energy, and longevity!