Healthy Lifestyle - How to Make a Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Changing ones lifestyle can be hard, and confusing sometimes. Especially when we are trying to change our food habits. If one grows up with unhealthy eating habits, it's very hard to suddenly wake up one day and try to reverse them. Everything around us is a temptation, from million dollar TV ads, to food in our houses. If we go out we see food everywhere; junk-food-lane with its big signs calling you to come and have a bite, to the junk food aisle at the supermarket.
One has to have a mountain of self control to stick to any kind of healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips that will help you to make an easy transition, or at least make things easier to make that transition.
First step toward making that transition toward healthy lifestyle is to change things at home. For a healthy lifestyle the changes should be made for the whole family rather then just one person. It makes it easier to follow through when everyone is involved, and concerned about their health. There are two ways of doing this, one is to go gradually, which I find does not work with lots of people where food is concerned. Gradually changing your eating habits with all the tempting stuff around you, will gradually bring you back to your old eating habits!
The other one is to go cold turkey! A complete change, take everything out of sight and out of mind....
The first place to focus on is the kitchen!
Kitchen tends to be the master storage of all junk food in the house. So the first thing we will do is go into the kitchen and clean it out! Places where food is kept have to be reexamined and sorted out.
Go to the refrigerator first; take out everything and dump them on your kitchen table. Now you can clearly see what was hidden in there. Take the items that are high in fat content and calories and put them on one side of the table. The things with no fat, or low calories,on the other side. Things like fruits, veggies, lean meat, fat free yogurt, milk, cheese, etc. on the lean side. Then the soda, butter, fatty meat, processed food, cakes, cookies, cream, whole milk, etc. on the other side. Here you can tell what was your diet like, if your table seems heavier on the fatty side then you know your eating habits weren't up to par! Do the same with your freezer. Take out all that frozen pizzas, hotdogs, processed chicken nuggets, etc.
Sort It Out!
If you're not sure which foods belong on which side, that's ok. That's also probably where the problem started in the first place! The easiest thing to do is to check the nutrition label. Large percentages of sodium, calories and fat belong on the bad side, while things high in fiber, protein and vitamins can stay. You do have to be careful though; healthy things like nuts and yogurt are often high in fat and calories. So if you're going to be really careful with your new diet, always check the ingredients. Words like hydrogenated or complex chemicals with a dozen different prefixes and suffixes are things that can't be broken down by our bodies, so those are the fats that stick. It might be good to lean toward items labeled "natural" or "organic", but don't rely on that alone. Always check the ingredients and familiarize yourself with the bad fats and preservatives. In no time, you'll be able to tell how bad something is for you just by looking at it!
Take everything from the fatty side and put them in a cardboard box, or bags, and take the out of the house! Do whatever you want to do with them, throw in the garbage, give them to the neighbors, donate to a food pantry, homeless center, anything..... But don't bring it back in the house!
Next place to raid are the cupboards in the kitchen where you usually keep the twinkies, cookies, chip bags, chocolates, and all the junk foods. Also go through your cupboards where you keep can foods. There are lots of soups, luncheon meats, etc in can that are high in fat, calories, and incredibly high sodium content.
Your freezer should be stocked with lean meats, fish, veggies, home made frozen yogurt, etc. your refrigerator should have more veggies, salad, low or skim milk, yogurt, cheese, fruits, etc. Your cupboards should have more herbs, and spices, healthy snacks such as nuts, or home made granola bars, pop corn, can tuna, can beans (rinse before you prepare), etc.
Now that your kitchen has almost next to nothing, let's get some healthy food in here.
So, the Second thing to focus on is the Shopping List:
What will help you stick to your healthy lifestyle is how you shop for food at the stores, and how you think when you are there. Be Prepared: best thing to do before you go grocery shopping is to have a shopping list with you. Make a list at home before you go. One think that can help you prepare your shopping list is to have a menu prepared for the week, or two. Make a list with that and then go shopping. Stick to your list and don't grab things that are tempting. Avoid SALES!! There can be hazardous to your health! We tend to buy more when things are on sale, and buy the wrong things. If there are things on sale that are healthy then go ahead get few extra items. Skip the aisles that have all the junk food, soda, chocolate, etc.
Third And The Conclusion
Third thing to focus on is Eating out:
Quick stop at a fast food joint has to stop! These are the biggest killer to any healthy lifestyle. If you are one of those people who get a sudden hunger attack while driving back from work, or the gym, then keep some nuts, or trail mix, or healthy crackers, in you car and munch on them rather then stopping at a fast food restaurant. Believe me when you think you are just eating a small burger, or just the fries, you are actually eating the almost an equal amount of fat and calories of a big healthy meal! So Avoid it!
Going out to eat with family and friend does not have to stop. But as you are changing your lifestyle that means also changing what you eat outside. Choose restaurants that provides a healthy menu. Or get your mind set that you don't have to eat a five course meal, a nice salad with chicken, or tuna, will do. It's all about self control.
We have cover the changes in our eating habits, and the next thing is to incorporate exercise to your daily routine. This you CAN start gradually at your level and build up as you go.
Sticking to a healthy lifestyle takes lot of motivation, courage, and hard work. There will be days that you are tempted to eat something that you shouldn't, or you do sneak in a burger on the way home, or eat some potato chips with your friends, it should not stop you from continuing with your plan. The motto is to never give up, and you will see the benefit of you hard work when you start feeling healthy and see your energy level go up.