10 Simple Changes for a Healthier Lifestyle
As Aristotle once said, “We are what repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
A vast majority of individuals in America are overweight. This is due to minor, but nonetheless unhealthy habits they have in their daily lives. These bad choices add up over time, leaving us looking and feeling awful.
The good news is that these bad habits can be changed. You can perform a bad habit hack, inserting in much healthier lifestyle choices.
Try incorporating some of these tips. You will be amazed by how these small differences will add up to tremendous results over time.
10 Good Habit Hacks for a Healthier Life
Hack #1 – Drink water instead of _________
This is likely the easiest change to make. There will never be a better beverage choice than water. This is especially true if you are attempting to lose weight. Cutting out beverages such as soda, juice, and milk will go a long way towards trimming back your daily calorie intake.
To put this in perspective, consuming a calorie-filled beverage with every meal adds up to an additional 360 calories per day. By simply cutting out these calories you will lose an additional 3 pounds per month, all other factors being equal.
This is not to say that there can’t be a place in your diet for coffee or a post-workout protein shake, but for the most part your calories should be eaten.
Hack #2 – Use lower calorie condiments
Now nobody enjoys eating plain food. We’ve all been there; sitting at the lunch table with our plain chicken and broccoli when we realize – SHOOT – we forgot condiments. Now we have nothing but our saliva to digest this food.
However, certain condiments are better choices than others. Hot sauces, mustards, and buffalo sauces are among the best low-to-no calorie options, each having fewer than 5 calories per serving.
On the other hand, condiments that are sugary or creamy have far more calories. Examples include ketchup, BBQ sauce, and ranch dressing.
When in doubt here’s a good rule of thumb to remember. Sauces that are more vinegar or spice-based are likely lower in calories than creamy or sweet sauces.
Hack #3 – Weigh your food
Weighing your food is a difficult concept for some to comprehend. When someone first comes to me and asks why they aren’t losing weight, stating they are eating healthy, I then ask if they weigh their food and count their calories.
99% of the time their response is but that’s OCD or that’s too much work. My response to them is… too damn bad!
Food scales generally cost around 10 dollars. With today’s technology counting calories takes less than minutes per day. At the end of the day it’s not what you eat but how many calories you consume.
Hack #4 – Get up and move
If you are like me, you are one of millions of Americans stuck sitting behind a desk for 8-11 hours per day. However, no matter how busy you are or how much work you have to do, you must find the time to go outside 2-3 times per day.
Go outside, get fresh air, and take a walk for 5-10 minutes. Not only will this provide some additional cardio, but it will also help to stave off sedentary-related issues such as back problems.
Additionally, getting away from the desk will provide you with a renewed sense of focus. This will likely make you much more productive than you were before you left your desk.
Hack #5 – Park further away or walk more
Make an effort to park further away, whether you are at the office, at the gym, or at a grocery store. It always kills me when I’m getting in my car after a workout and someone waits 10 minutes for me to leave my spot. Yes, I know it’s 10 spots closer, but you’re at the gym. Get out and walk a few extra feet.
We are at the gym right to concentrate on improving our fitness and to live healthier lives, right? Why not walk an extra 20 feet instead of blocking traffic so you can be a few steps closer to the gym entrance?
If you’re at the office the same rules apply. Park in a back far spot. Those extra steps add up over time, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
Hack #6 – Get more sleep
This one seems like a no-brainer but sleeps affects our ability to function, our metabolism, and our overall motivation level for the day. Try working out on a well-rested day versus a day with far less sleep, and the difference is clearly noticeable – regardless of how much pre-workout you took that day.
Not everybody needs 8 hours of sleep, contrary to popular belief. But try to strive for at least 7 hours. Don’t be one of those people that gets under 5 hours a days.
Hack #7 – Keep junk food out of the house
This is a huge issue. Most people get in trouble by simply having unhealthy options around the house to begin with.
Instead of stocking up on Ben and Jerry’s or Oreos, try to keep these options out of the pantry. When you feel like having a treat simply go out and buy a single serving.
This way you won’t be sitting in your underwear at 12:00am debating whether or not you want to pound that pint of Chunky Monkey before you go to bed. Because, trust me, if its there to begin with you are 1000% more likely to consume it.
Hack #8 – Watch less TV
So many of us are extremely stressed out and consumed with our daily lives. By the time we get home we want nothing more than to zone out and watch the latest episode of the Walking Dead.
Try to limit yourself to no more than one hour of television per day. Read a book, or some Tiger Fitness articles for extra stimulation!
Hack #9 – Do activities outside of the house
It could be as simple as going for a walk down the street or going for a hike on the weekends. Not only is this a good way to add in some unexpected cardio to your daily routine, but it also keeps life from being overly mundane.
If you hate doing cardio, this is a good way to get your blood flowing and moving. Do this and your body will thank you for it.
Hack #10 – Sit and reflect
Now before you sit there and think I went all hippy on you, I’m not saying you have to become the Zen master of the universe. However, it helps with your stress levels to simply sit down with your eyes shut and reflect upon the day you had.
Ease all thoughts out of your mind and simply relax. Allow yourself to enjoy times with those around you.
At face value this may appear to be important. But far too often we become so wrapped up in our daily lives that we don’t stop and simply enjoy it!
Now Go…Be Healthy
Leading a healthy lifestyle is not as cookie-cutter as it may seem. You don’t have to eat bags of kale each day, or drink the latest detox juice drink in order to be healthy.
There is no single, clear-cut answer when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. My best words of advice are to practice living in moderation, stay moving, and stop and enjoy it.
I hope these words of wisdom will help you in striving to live a healthier life!