Improving your health should not be a painful process by following too strict and restrictive diets and making radical changes in your lifestyle.
To change your health for the better, it is advisable to start with a series of small steps, rather than large jumps.
The truth is that strict diets can have a serious negative effect on your health, make you feel tired, and the weight loss you aim for can only be in the short term.
As a result of the tips in the article, you can expect to feel more vibrant, have a better tone during the day and even lose extra pounds.
When these easy steps become habits, you will feel a positive effect on your overall health and tone.
Small changes in everyday life can lead to great results in a positive direction and improve the quality of life.
1: Clean the fridge of excess stuff in it.
discard junk food junk
The first easy step to take on the path to a healthier lifestyle is to clean your refrigerator of all unnecessary things in it.
Although it sounds easy to read, the challenge itself comes when you need to take action.
That’s why I offer you a few steps to replace unhealthy foods for a long time with better choices.
Eliminate the most harmful and over-processed foods possible
These are sweets, biscuits, carbonated drinks, fruit juices with high sugar content.
Read food labels
woman how to read food labels
If you don’t read the labels of the foods you buy and eat, it’s time to start. This will give you a better idea of what to keep and what to remove from your menu.
Examine the composition of the product. What it contains in the largest quantities is listed at the beginning. If you see sugar and / or salt at the top of the list, you can be sure that the food or drink is not the best choice.
Review the portion size. Commonly used trick: A product contains only 2-5 grams of sugar, but this should be a value for 20-30 grams. Thus, for 100 g of “healthy muesli”, for example, you can add an additional 15-25 g of sugar to your daily menu.
Also review the calories that the product delivers to you per serving. This will allow you to keep track of how many calories you eat per day without strictly calculating calories with a kitchen scale (something I highly recommend, but most people prefer to save).
Limit everything between “Total Fat” and “Sodium”.
Consume in larger quantities everything (including) between “Dietary fiber” and “Vitamins”
After each macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat) or micronutrient (vitamins, minerals) there is a recommended daily intake in percentages. I recommend that you look at the suggested percentages in healthy choices (such as dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals) as minimum values to reach, and in those you want to limit (these are almost always trans fats, sugar, sodium (added salt)). ) as a maximum not to exceed.
We must take into account that during intense physical activity, vitamins and minerals are depleted faster and this is another reason to choose higher values for micronutrients.
As a general rule for calories per 2000 calorie diet (used for reference value):
40 calories per serving is considered a small amount of calories
100 calories per serving is considered the average amount of calories
400 calories per serving is considered a high amount of calories
As you begin to recognize and read labels better, you will find that many foods and beverages that you thought were good choices are not really right for you.
Related article: How many calories do we need and how to calculate them? For weight loss, muscle mass or maintenance
Stop and think before you shop
Make a shopping list and try to include healthy alternatives to the foods and drinks you have restricted.
Here are some examples of such healthy substitutes:
Chips or snacks for homemade popcorn that you can taste in person
Refined charlatan sunflower oil (cold pressed unrefined oil)
Roasted and salted nuts for raw nuts
Muesli or cornflakes for oatmeal, which you can taste personally (with cinnamon and stevia for example (total 0 calories))
Milk chocolate with dark chocolate – 70+ cocoa.
Ice cream for frozen fruits in yogurt.
Fresh for whole fruit, as well as fruits for vegetables (in case we eat a lot of fruit)
Flour pancakes for oatmeal pancakes
Bread and other pasta for their whole grain alternatives
2. Get quality sleep.
Get quality sleep
One of the best and safest ways to improve your health and quality of life is to get enough sleep.
It is recommended to sleep between 7-8 hours a night, but here too the truth is that each rule has its exceptions.
There are people who feel more energetic when they get more than 8 hours of sleep and those who feel better with less sleep.
Some benefits of getting enough quality sleep:
Improves efficiency in physical activity and sports
Fights and regulates inflammatory processes in the body
Helps regulate metabolism (studies link insufficient sleep to slow metabolism)
Helps secrete an important hormone (growth hormone) directly related to fat burning
It regulates stress, has a beneficial effect on heart function and has been reported to reduce bad cholesterol in the blood.
3. Balance your macronutrients.
I balance macronutrients
First, let’s clarify what macronutrients are.
Macronutrients are carbohydrates, fats and proteins, which are the main sources of fuel for the body’s tasks.
The amount and the recommended daily value that a food or drink provides can be found on the label.
An imbalance in macronutrient intake can lead to a lack of vitamins and minerals, a lack of proteins and amino acids, and important fats that help regulate hormones and other important functions in the body.
Often the effect of this imbalance is poor health, fatigue and weight gain.
Proteins and complex carbohydrates are the most commonly neglected.
Several sources of quality protein: pure meat, fish, eggs, dairy products (skimmed curd is used for fitness purposes due to its high protein content and minimal presence of fats and carbohydrates), some vegetables, quinoa, whey protein.
Several sources of complex carbohydrates: oatmeal, rice, potatoes, whole grains, legumes (lentils, beans, etc.).
4. Move more.
how to be more physically active
Exercise will make you feel more alert, more energetic and toned throughout the day.
To make sure you don’t miss a workout, something I highly recommend is starting your day with moderate physical activity.
It can be easily performed at home, even if you do not have additional equipment such as a cardio machine or dumbbells.
This type of training can be running on the spot, simulating a jump rope, yoga, abdominal exercises, and if you want something more interesting, try this complex for the whole body:
In the beginning, waking up 20-30 minutes earlier than you are used to will seem like a very difficult task, but it takes less than a week for the body to adjust and if you show very little perseverance you will add something. great on the road to improving your health.
5. Limit the intake of artificially added sugar
how to limit artificial sugar
Frequent consumption of artificially added sugar is a sure way to fail with a diet or diet.
Sugar provides calories that do not contain nutritional value for the body. It also increases the levels of the hormone insulin and thus helps to increase unhealthy pounds.
The constant rise and fall of blood sugar (because sugar feeds our bodies with energy only for a short period of time) is a major prerequisite for the development of diseases such as diabetes.
Still, our body needs sugar, but there are much better choices than refined.
Examples of healthier sources of sugar are less sweet fruits (such as apple, grapefruit), a small amount of honey or natural sweeteners without calories – such as stevia.
6. Limit the intake of artificially added salt
The same is true for salt. Our bodies need sodium (salt) to perform vital processes, but excessive intake leads to unwanted side effects.
Salt consists of two minerals (sodium and chloride) that control the water level in the body. Chloride is a major component in stomach acid, while sodium is needed for the proper functioning of nerves and muscles (achieving good muscle contractions during exercise).
Common side effects of excessive salt intake are high blood pressure, water retention and bloating, constant thirst.
How much salt do we need? It is strictly individual, but the most common recommended values vary between 4 and 5 grams or 1/3 tablespoon.
In the menu of modern man there are much larger quantities.
Options for balance that can be considered, in addition to reducing it, is the replacement with potassium or Himalayan salt.
Studies show that they are preferable to cooking.
Also, to taste good food, you can combine salt with lemon, natural apple cider vinegar, pepper, spices and herbs.
7. Hydrate your body.
proper hydration of how much water we need
Good hydration helps the body get rid of toxins, regulates temperature, helps transport nutrients by improving digestion.
Cold water speeds up the metabolism because our body works like a boiler, which must equalize the temperature with that of the body. This process requires energy and so burns calories even without physical activity.
How do we know when we are dehydrated?
A sign that we need water is not thirst. This is a signal that already suggests that something is wrong and swift action is needed.
Signals of dehydration that you can also watch for are: a feeling of dryness in the lips, skin and eyes; bad mood and constant feeling of tiredness; feeling hungry even though you have eaten; high cholesterol levels; dark urine, etc.
How do we know how much water we need?
Although the answer varies according to personal weight, age, physical activity and a number of other factors, a good example would be: If you weigh 70 kilograms, a healthy amount of water would be between 2.5 – 4 liters per day.
When deciding which limit to choose, be sure to consider – climate, physical activity and sweating.
8. Choose the right diet for you.
It’s easier said than done, but proper diet is crucial when it comes to improving health.
It is true that not every diet affects different people in the same way.
The fact is, however, that a diet based on the intake of unprocessed foods is suitable for any purpose or health condition.
Some people respond better to more carbs and fat restrictions, while others say they feel good without a lot of carbs, but compensate with more fat.
A major mistake in diet and nutrition is too much restriction of more than 1 macronutrient.
A similar example is the 90-day diet, which limits the intake of all 3, as there are days when you are only on fruit, and for fitness purposes they can be seen mainly as a major source of sugar.
The balance between macronutrients is of great importance not only for better health, but also for achieving visual changes in the bodies, which many readers strive for.
With so much information on the Internet, deciding which diet is right may seem like a daunting task.
Therefore, if you are in such a situation, I recommend that you do your own research and trust a professional.
9. Use contrasting showers
Instead of a regular shower with warm water, take a contrast bath, using hot water for 3 minutes, then run cold for 1 minute.
The cycle always ends with cold water, which energizes and detoxifies the body.
The alternation of hot and cold showers has a strong stimulating effect on the immune system and improves blood circulation.
10. Use nutritional supplements
Although nutritional supplements are not mandatory, with a well-established diet and exercise program, they can contribute to achieving goals faster.
Another case in which I recommend taking supplements is when certain macro or micro elements are intentionally restricted.
Many people do not want to eat large amounts of meat, but realize the importance of protein intake.
They can get extra protein through a dietary supplement such as whey protein.
Others say that they have a great desire to play sports, but do not have the necessary energy and tone after work or school to go to the gym and start training.
In this case, according to individual desires and goals, different categories can be considered, but in the article we will note only 2:
- If we want to lose weight and burn more fat, consider weight loss products
- If we want to gain muscle mass, strength and improve recovery, consider products such as nitrogen boosters
Remember to enjoy the process on the way to healthier. Choose these steps that make you feel good physically and mentally.
You will certainly encounter problems along the way and make many mistakes, but equipped with a good diet and a positive attitude, the results will not be late.