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Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle

Everyone wants to live a healthy lifestyle, but it can be difficult for people to know where to start. This blog post will outline the basic steps you should take to make changes that will last and help you achieve your goals. 

It is important to work on one thing at a time and to change other habits simultaneously. By following these tips, you may find that your life becomes easier and healthier than ever before!

This guide will give you the tools and knowledge to make your life better in many ways.  With some changes, both big and small, you can possibly improve your health by following these simple steps. 

Read on for information about nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, stress management – all of which are important for living a healthy lifestyle.

Are you looking to take your health and wellness game to the next level? If so, this guide is for you. It will give you tips on living a healthier lifestyle while still finding time in your day-to-day life. 

We’ll be talking about things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, staying hydrated, and more! Read on for some great information that will help make positive changes happen in no time at all! 

You’ll learn what foods to eat, how often to work out, and other tips on improving your health. This article is full of suggestions from experts in the field and first-hand experience from someone who has been living a healthy life for years. It’s never too late or too early to start taking care of yourself! 

We live in a fast-paced society where it is easy to find yourself sitting for hours at a time or not getting enough exercise. 

However, with some small changes, you can start living a healthier lifestyle that will help improve your mood and energy levels. In addition, it will cover how to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine, so you can be more productive and have the energy you need to tackle everyday life.

This blog post has been created with you in mind. It’s going to cover everything from what foods are most beneficial for a healthy lifestyle (green leafy vegetables!) to why it’s important not to skimp out on sleep (it can affect our metabolism!).

Let’s get started!

4 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

Think you’re leading a healthy lifestyle? Aside from occasionally veering off the path, most of us think we do a fair job of maintaining our health with good (or at least OK) eating habits and physical activity whenever we manage to fit it in. But is that enough to be considered “healthy?”

According to a recent study, very few adults actually meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that only 3% of American adults got a perfect score on what the authors say are the four basic criteria for healthy living. Just 13.8% met three of the criteria; 34.2% met only two criteria. Women scored slightly better than men.

See how well you measure up on the researchers’ four keys to healthfulness:

  • Do you smoke?
  • Are you able to maintain a healthy weight (a BMI of 18-25), or are you successfully losing weight to attain a healthy weight?
  • Do you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily?
  • Do you exercise 30 minutes or more, five times a week?

The good news is that these behaviours should not be foreign to you, as all but one are an integral part of the Weight Loss Clinic. Numbers 2 through 4 are the foundation of the WLC program, habits that we continually discuss, write about, and recommend.

Everyone knows smoking is bad for your health. So if you are one of the lucky ones who never became addicted to nicotine, pat yourself on the back. 

Smokers, we hope you are working diligently to kick your habit. It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of a smoke-free life for your health — as well as for the sake of those around you.

4 Steps and More

While those four habits are indisputably important for a healthy lifestyle, some may argue that more factors should be considered. So what would be on your list?

Just for fun, we came up with a top ten list of healthy behaviours (beyond the four basics) that contribute to wellness and satisfaction with one’s lifestyle:

  • Brush and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease.
  • Get a good night’s rest. Well-rested people not only cope better with stress but may also have better control of their appetites. Research has shown that a lack of sleep can put our “hunger hormones” out of balance — and possibly trigger overeating.
  • Enjoy regular family meals. This allows parents to serve as good role models, promote more nutritious eating, and set the stage for lively conversations. In addition, being connected to family and friends is a powerful aspect of a healthy life.
  • Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. It keeps you grounded and helps you cope with situations that would otherwise make you crazy. Read the comics, watch a sitcom, or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings.
  • Meditate, pray, or otherwise find solace for at least 10-20 minutes each day. Contemplation is good for your soul, helps you cope with the demands of daily life, and may even help lower your blood pressure.
  • Get a pedometer and let it motivate you to walk, walk, walk. Forget about how many minutes of activity you need; do everything you can to fit more steps into your day. No matter how you get it, physical activity can help defuse stress, burn calories, and boost self-esteem.
  • Stand up straight. You’ll look 5 pounds lighter if you stand tall and tighten your abdominal muscles. So whenever you walk, think “tall and tight” to get the most out of the movement.
  • Try yoga. The poses help increase strength and flexibility and improve balance. These are critical areas for older folks especially, and both men and women can benefit.
  • Power up the protein. This nutrient is an essential part of your eating plan and can make up anywhere from 10%-35% of your total calories. Protein lasts a long time in your belly; combine it with high-fibre foods, and you’ll feel full on fewer calories. Enjoy small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish.
  • Last but not least, have a positive attitude. Do your best to look at life as if “the glass is half full.” To succeed, you must believe in yourself, have good support systems, and think positively (“I think I can I can, I think I can…”).

Your list of healthy lifestyle behaviours may be different from this one. The most important thing to remember is that you can make a difference in your health and well-being. Take charge of your life, and be mindful of small behaviour changes that make your lifestyle healthier.

What To Do

1. Become more active

Good nutrition and exercise often go hand in hand. For example, exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.

These are the exact feelings that are most likely to contribute to emotional and binge eating.

Aside from strengthening your muscles and bones, exercise may help you:

  • lose weight
  • increase your energy levels
  • reduce your risk of chronic diseases
  • improve your sleep

Aim to do about 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise each day, or take the stairs and go on short walks whenever possible.

2. Replace sugary beverages with sparkling water

Sugary beverages might possibly be the unhealthiest thing you can drink.

They’re loaded with added sugar, which has been linked to numerous diseases, including:

  • heart disease
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes

Plus, the added sugar found in these drinks doesn’t impact appetite the same way as regular food. This means you don’t compensate for the calories you drink by eating any less.

One 16-ounce (492-ml) sugary soda contains about 207 calories.

Try replacing your sugary beverage with either a sugar-free alternative or choose still or sparkling water instead. Doing so will shave off the non-beneficial calories and reduce your intake of excess sugar.

3. Stay away from “diet” foods

So-called diet foods can be very deceiving. They have usually had their fat content reduced dramatically and are often labelled “fat-free,” “low fat,” “fat-reduced,” or “low calorie.”

However, sugar and other ingredients are often added to compensate for the lost flavour and texture from fat.

So, many diet foods contain more sugar and sometimes even more calories than their full-fat counterparts.

Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

4. Get a good night’s sleep

The importance of good sleep can’t be overstated.

Sleep deprivation disrupts appetite regulation, often leading to increased appetite. This results in increased calorie intake and weight gain.

In fact, people who sleep too little tend to weigh significantly more than those who get enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation negatively affects concentration, productivity, athletic performance, glucose metabolism, and immune function.

What’s more, it increases your risk of several diseases, including inflammatory conditions and heart disease.

That’s why it’s important to try to get adequate amounts of good-quality sleep, preferably in one bout.

5. Eat fresh berries instead of dried ones

blueberries-berries

Berries are very healthy and packed with nutrients, fibre, and antioxidants. Most varieties can be purchased fresh, frozen, or dried.

Although all types are relatively healthy, the dried varieties are a much more concentrated source of calories and sugar since all the water has been removed.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of fresh or frozen strawberries contains 31–35 calories, while 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of dried strawberries contain a whopping 375 calories.

The dried varieties are also often covered with sugar, further increasing the sugar content.

By opting for the new varieties, you will get a much juicier snack that’s lower in sugar and contains fewer calories.

6. Choose popcorn instead of chips

It may be surprising that popcorn is a whole grain that’s loaded with nutrients and fibre.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of air-popped popcorn contains 387 calories and 15 grams of fibre, while the same amount of potato chips contains 532 calories and only 3 grams of fibre.

Diets rich in whole grains have been linked to health benefits, such as a reduced risk of inflammation and heart disease.

Try making your own popcorn at home (not microwave popcorn varieties) or purchasing air-popped popcorn for a healthy snack.

Many commercial varieties prepare their popcorn with fat, sugar, and salt, making it no healthier than potato chips.

7. Choose healthy oils

Unfortunately, highly processed seed and vegetable oils have become a household staple over the past few decades.

Examples include soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, and canola oils.

These oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids but low in heart-healthy omega-3s.

A high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio can lead to inflammation and be linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disorder.

Swap these oils for healthier alternatives, such as:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • avocado oil
  • coconut oil

8. Eat from smaller plates

It has been proven that the size of your dinnerware can affect how much you eat.

Eating from a large plate can make your portion look smaller while eating from a small plate can make it look bigger.

According to one study, eating from a smaller plate was associated with increased feelings of satiety and reduced energy intake among participants with healthy body weight.

Also, if you don’t realize that you’re eating more than usual, you won’t compensate by eating less at the next meal. By eating from smaller dinnerware, you can trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more, making yourself less likely to overeat.

9. Get the salad dressing on the side

Simply getting to the point of ordering a salad at a restaurant is a great achievement for many.

However, not all salads are equally healthy. In fact, some salads are smothered in high-calorie dressings, which may make the salads even higher in calories than other items on the menu.

Asking for the dressing on the side makes it easier to control the portion size and amount of calories you consume.

10. Drink your coffee black

Coffee, which is one of the most popular beverages in the world, is very healthy.

In fact, it’s a major source of antioxidants and has been linked to many health benefits, such as a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, mental decline, and liver disease.

However, many commercial varieties of coffee contain lots of additional ingredients, such as sugar, syrup, heavy cream, and sweeteners.

Drinking these varieties quickly negates all of coffee’s health benefits and instead adds lots of extra sugar and calories.

Instead, try drinking your coffee black or just adding a small amount of milk or cream instead of sugar.

High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is a nutritious seed that has become incredibly popular in the natural health community.

It is classified as a pseudocereal, a seed that is prepared and eaten like a grain.

Cooked quinoa is 21.3% carbs, making it a high-carb food. However, it is also a good source of protein and fibre.

Quinoa is rich in many minerals and plant compounds. It has been linked to health benefits, including improved blood sugar control.

It does not contain any gluten, making it a popular alternative to wheat for those on a gluten-free diet.

Quinoa is also very filling since it is relatively high in fibre and protein. For this reason, it may aid in weight loss.

2. Oats

oats-bowl-milk

Oats may be the healthiest whole grain food on the planet.

They are a great source of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Raw oats contain 66% carbs, nearly 11% of which is fibre. They are particularly high in a powerful soluble fibre called oat beta-glucan.

Oats are also a relatively good source of protein, containing more than most grains.

Research suggests that oats may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels.

Eating oats may also lower blood sugar levels, especially in people with type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, oats are very filling and may help you lose weight.

3. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is also a pseudocereal.

Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and does not contain gluten.

Raw buckwheat contains 71.5% carbs, while cooked buckwheat groats contain about 20% carbs.

Buckwheat is very nutritious, containing both protein and fibre. It also has more minerals and antioxidants than most grains.

Additionally, it may be particularly beneficial for heart health and blood sugar control, especially in people with diabetes.

Buckwheat is the main ingredient in soba noodles, which are popular in Japan.

4. Bananas

Bananas are among the world’s most popular fruits.

They are made up of about 23% carbs, either in the form of starches or sugars.

Unripe, green bananas are higher in starches, transforming into natural sugars as the bananas ripen, turning yellow.

Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. They also contain several beneficial plant compounds.

Due to their potassium content, bananas may help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Unripe bananas also contain decent amounts of resistant starch and pectin, both of which support digestive health and feed friendly gut bacteria.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious, nutritious tuber.

Cooked sweet potatoes contain about 18–21% carbs. This carb content consists of starch, sugar and fibre.

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of provitamin A (from beta-carotene), vitamin C and potassium.

They are very rich in antioxidants and may help reduce oxidative damage, lowering the risk of several diseases (22).

6. Beetroots

Beetroots are purple root vegetables, commonly referred to like beets.

Raw and cooked beets contain about 8–10% carbs, mainly from sugar and fibre.

They are packed with vitamins, minerals, potent antioxidants and plant compounds.

Beets are also high in inorganic nitrates, which transform into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide lowers blood pressure and may decrease the risk of several diseases.

Beet juice is also very high in inorganic nitrates and is often used to enhance physical performance during endurance exercises.

7. Blueberries

Blueberries are incredibly delicious.

They are frequently marketed as a superfood due to their high amounts of plant compounds and antioxidants.

They consist mostly of water as well as about 14.5% carbs.

Blueberries also contain high amounts of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.

Studies have shown that blueberries safeguard your body from oxidative damage. They may also improve memory in older adults.

8. Oranges

Oranges are among the world’s most popular fruits.

They are mainly composed of water and contain 11.8% carbs. Oranges are also a good source of fibre.

Oranges are especially rich in vitamin C, potassium and some B vitamins. In addition, they contain citric acid as well as several very potent plant compounds and antioxidants.

Eating oranges may improve heart health and help prevent kidney stones. They may also increase your uptake of iron from food, reducing the risk of anemia.

9. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a sweet, bitter and sour flavour.

It contains about 9% carbs and has high amounts of several vitamins, minerals and plant compounds.

Eating grapefruit can aid weight loss and reduce insulin resistance (40Trusted Source).

Furthermore, eating grapefruit may help prevent kidney stones, lower cholesterol levels and protect against colon cancer.

10. Apples

Apples are a popular fruit with a sweet flavour and a distinctive crunchy texture.

They are available in many colours, sizes and flavours, all of which generally contain 13–15% carbs.

Apples boast many vitamins and minerals, but usually only in small amounts.

However, they are a decent source of vitamin C, antioxidants and healthy plant compounds.

Eating apples may benefit health in several ways, such as improving blood sugar control and reducing the risk of heart disease. Apples may also decrease the risk of some types of cancer.

11. Chickpeas

Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are part of the legume family.

Cooked chickpeas contain 27.4% carbs, 8% of which are fibre. They are also a good source of plant-based protein.

Chickpeas contain many vitamins and minerals, including iron, phosphorus and B-vitamins.

Chickpeas are linked to improved heart and digestive health. They may also help prevent cancer.

12. Kidney Beans

kidney-beans

Kidney beans are a variety of common beans. They are part of the legume family.

Cooked kidney beans contain 22.8% carbs in the form of starches and fibre. They are also high in protein.

Kidney beans are rich in many vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. They’re also rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins and isoflavones.

Their numerous health benefits include improved blood sugar control and reduced risk of colon cancer.

However, never eat them raw. Raw or improperly cooked kidney beans are toxic.

The bottom line

Completely overhauling your diet all at once can be a recipe for disaster.

Instead, try to incorporate some of the small changes listed above to make your diet healthier.

Some of these tips will help you keep your portion sizes reasonable, while others will help you add nutrients or adapt to something new.

Together, they’ll have a big impact on making your overall diet healthier and more sustainable, without a huge change in your habits.

 

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