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14 Tips to Living Happy and Healthy: About Diet, Exercise and a Happy Soul

Updated on September 8, 2018
Yuval Barak profile image

I am a trained paramedic with a B.Sc. in emergency medicine acquired at Ben-Gurion University.

A Happy Soul and a Healthy Body

Too often people see me eat unhealthy foods and say things like “huh, you’re so lucky, you could eat whatever you want and you would still be skinny”. I’m a pretty stubborn person so I usually insist on saying “that’s not true, I watch what I eat, but doesn't mean I have to live solely on lettuce". First of all and most important; I believe we should be happy. Feeling like you’re torturing yourself to be “healthy” doesn’t make you healthy, it makes you frustrated. These tips are meant to pass on my approach, the way I live my own life, happy and healthy. Because you need a happy soul to have a healthy body:

Create Commitment Between You and Health

Sharing something with our surroundings makes us more committed to it-share your healthy approach to life

1. Make living healthier a formal part of your life. Share your decision with family and friends. Don’t hide it because of the fear of not sticking to it. Instead, don’t let failure be an option; this is how you live your life now. If you tripped once it doesn’t mean you failed and it’s over. It means you tripped once, that’s it. Tomorrow you will remember that and be stronger. Also, try reading often and enriching your knowledge on the subject. It’s a good way to make it a part of who you are.
2. Exercise in a way you enjoy. Of course, everyone knows exercise is a part of healthy living so I don’t even have to write about it. Just go to the gym, right? Wrong. Do something you like. If you hate going to the gym, don’t go to the gym. Find something you like doing; go swimming. Hate getting wet? No problem, take different kinds of dancing lessons (if it’s something you’ve never done before, even better). Didn’t like it? Doesn’t matter, find something else. The point is you shouldn’t do something that feels like a burden, it will consume energy you need for other things in your life. Instead, do something you actually enjoy.
3. Include exercise activities in your daily life. If you can, use a bicycle to get to work, an afternoon painting class or anything else you can think of that you do on a regular basis.
4. Try sharing. Any exercise or sport activity you enjoy will be better with friends or family. Making it something you have in common will make it even better and make you, as well as them, more committed to it. You'll actually be doing them a favor.

Have You Ever Tried Bossaball? Maybe This is Your Kind of Sport


5. Stay away from soft drinks. They’re all bad, full of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Make it a habit to drink only (or at least mostly) water and be proud of it. Drinking water is very important to our everyday basic functions and replacing your usual soft drink with it will reduce your calories consumption dramatically (if you would like to read more about the importance of water you can read this article[1] posted on the CNN website and let the knowledge enrichment begin).
6. Make it a rule: have a healthy breakfast. Breakfast refers to eating as soon as you wake up, no more than an hour later (if your first meal of the day is four hours later it’s no longer considered breakfast). No matter how early you have to wake up in the morning, try to make it 30 min earlier and have a rich breakfast; complex carbohydrates, proteins and some healthy fats. If this is too much for you, make yourself a nice whole-grain sandwich the night before and take it to go in the morning (if you would like to read further, here’s something about the importance of a rich breakfast on WebMD[2]).
7. Have small meals during your day. Don’t stuff two huge meals with nothing in between. Having smaller meals will make you feel lighter during your day and is much healthier for your body. Having big meals means feeding our fat cells.

8. Don’t eat with your eyes, eat with your stomach. Especially when you’re hungry, don’t just grab everything you can or fill your plate until the food pours out of it and go crazy. Have a decent amount of food that will satisfy your hunger. You think it’s not enough because you will be hungry again in three hours? Great! Go back to number 7 and smile :).

Less than 10 minutes breakfast. What is your favorite?

An omelet, whole wheat bread, white cheese and avocado spread
An omelet, whole wheat bread, white cheese and avocado spread | Source

9. Eat slowly. Enjoy your meal, every single bite of it. It will make your meal more pleasant and you will probably have to eat less to reach that point where you feel you’re getting full.
10. Don’t eat the plate. If you’re starting to feel full, it’s enough for you. Your body knows what it’s saying, you just have to listen. Merely having food on your plate is no reason for eating all of it. It would be best to save it for another time but if you can’t it’s still better to throw it away than to eat it and let it have a negative effect on you. It will make you feel bad that you ate something you shouldn’t have, make you feel too full and heavy and is simply unhealthy (because it’s an unnecessary big meal. Don’t you love how it’s all connected?).
11. Don’t have late meals. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before you go to sleep, and better not to have a big dinner. Your body is still active at night; if you don’t eat late it will use the content of your fat cells. If you do, it will work on what you ate instead and create more fat out of what’s left.

Live Your Life The Good Way

Don't torment yourself-live your life to enjoy them

12. Eat something you love. Again, the purpose is not to torment yourself. You want to live long and happy, not long, sad and frustrated. It’s all about proportions and limits, you just have to know when it’s enough.
13. Consult with experts. If you feel like you don’t know the right quantities, what is healthy and what isn’t or what is good for you, consult people who can help you with it, such as a nutritionist or your doctor. As my father says; don't do things half way. After you consult with these experts, follow their recommendations.
14. Do things that make you happy. It may sound like it has nothing to do with healthy living, but it has everything to do with it. Your mood affects your body, just like how we are often more tired when we’re sad or upset about something. Doing things that make us happy has the opposite effect; it makes us feel more energetic and more resistant to temptations.

Let yourself enjoy life. Eat something you like from time to time.

And a happy soul
Don't drink soft drinks
Find an exercise you enjoy
Declare living a healthier life
Eat with your stomach. Have small meals during the day and have them slowly
Include exercise in your daily life
Eat something you love
Don’t Have late meals
Try sharing it with family or a friend
Do things that make you happy
Consult with experts

Remember that these are just tips made to share my point of view and to express the way I find that fits me best. Feel free to alter it the way you think fits you best. Keep exploring, trying new things and find your own way to be happy. The point is to enjoy your life and no-one can tell you how to do that better than yourself.

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© 2018 Yuval Barak


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