People who want to have a healthier lifestyle often start out with incredibly lofty goals that ultimately fizzle out after a few days or weeks. In their quest to lose weight, they may declare “I will never eat Oreos again” and as a part of their new exercise plan, they may announce that they will work out at the gym every day for at least an hour.
Rather than try to stick to such restrictive changes in their daily routines, health-minded people will have much better luck in reaching their weight loss, fitness and related goals by adopting a number of smaller changes. For example, the following four baby steps will quickly add up to a healthier you:
- Eat a Breakfast Packed with Energy-rich Foods
As you have probably heard a million times, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Of course, what you eat first thing in the morning makes a huge difference; if you find yourself dragging and feeling kind of shaky by 10 a.m., it might be because you ate a small bowl of sugary cereal or a piece of white toast with butter and jam. To keep your body fueled all morning — and less likely to hit the vending machine for a pick-me-up before lunch — choose protein and nutrient-rich breakfast foods that are quick and easy to prepare. As Amway notes on their Facebook page combine a protein-rich and delicious BodyKey breakfast bar and a nutrient-filled XS drink from Amway with some avocado slices for a meal that will give you tons of energy throughout the morning. You can also swap your butter and jam on your toast for almond butter, and add a banana for extra nutrients. Some other quick and easy ideas is to try some of these delicious drinks that can super boost your energy each and every morning.
- Swap out Beverages for Plain H2O
If you routinely sip a Diet Coke at lunch or enjoy large glasses of fruit juice with dinner, consider swapping at least a couple of your beverages for water. As Coach Calorie notes, this is a simple way to reduce the number of calories and amount of sugar you consume each day — or in the case of diet drinks, cut back on the chemicals that are found in these sodas. Start by replacing one beverage a day with a glass of water and gradually increase it over time; increasing the amount of water you drink will also help to flush toxins from your body and it may help your skin look better.
- Slowly Switch White Foods for Whole Grains
Take a look at your pantry and choose one “white and refined” item to trade for a whole grain version. As Skinny Mom notes, don’t get rid of all of the foods you are used to eating at once — start with maybe the white rice you enjoy with stir fry and purchase brown rice or give an another grain like quinoa a try. Then, after a week or so, purchase a box of whole grain pasta instead of the traditional refined spaghetti you usually get. This approach will allow you to try new and healthier versions of foods gradually rather than some all-or-nothing approach that is probably doomed to fail.
- Get up and Move a Little Every Day
Come up with a physical activity that you enjoy and see if you can do it three times a week for about 15 minutes or so. If you like walking, have your dog join you for a trot around the block. If hip hop music makes you feel like dancing, put on your favorite tunes and boogie around the living room for several songs. Over time, you can increase the number of days you exercise and the time, but when starting out, any type of increase in movement will make a difference in your health.