There’s no such thing as healthy and fat.
Because you’d rather swim than sink.
It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, but for those of us who take a little longer, let’s extend it to a month. Giving yourself adequate time is one of the most important factors in creating a new healthy habit, as it means that you are putting aside minutes of your day to do this one thing that you will continue to do for a lifetime once you’ve created it.
Healthy habits such as exercise, meditation, eating well and reading are often put on the back burner for ‘now’ objectives like work, television shows and nights out. But our bodies need us to create healthy habits to keep them in peak condition, so that we can better handle whatever life decides to throw at us.
Creating a healthy habit isn’t easy. It takes hard work and a bit of dedication, but once it becomes a habit, it becomes much easier to achieve every day. If you’re looking to create a healthy habit, follow our top tips on how to make it happen.
1. Set aside time
Set aside time for you to do your healthy habit everyday. Once you have the time, you will be more inclined to do it because you will feel like you can. This may mean shuffling around responsibilities, but your health is important and it deserves time too. Whether it means getting to the gym for an hour, or putting aside time to cut up vegetables for the day, health needs your time and effort.
2. Use your calendar
Use your calendar to mark down the days that you achieved your healthy habit. Use something that stands out, like a cross or a star on the days you accomplished what you wanted to do and try to keep this going for a solid month. By then, marking your calendar may well become a habit, too, and you can continue to keep track of how you are going.
3. Patience and perseverance
Keep at it. Keep trying and don’t give up. Be patient with yourself and allow your body and brain to become accustomed to something new.
4. Write down your goals
Everything becomes more official when you write it down on paper. Marriage certificates, divorce papers and loans are signed off on, so why not do the same and make a contract with yourself. Write down what you want so you know exactly what you’re working for and how you’re going to do it.
5. Prepare yourself
Maybe this means buying a gym membership, maybe it’s buying vegetables, or perhaps it means getting a yoga mat. Whatever it is, invest in the necessary equipment to ensure you have a strong base to work off.
Image via cereal4brekkie.org.au
Cutting down on sugar seems nearly impossible if you’re not going cold turkey, but there are actually a few ways to trick your body into making the switch.
Help to curb those cravings and slowly make the process with the following tips, which won’t feel as if you’re completely cutting it out.
Do your research
Sometimes sugar actually operates under a number of different aliases, so it’s important to understand what you’re looking for. Look out for evaporated cane juice, glucose, syrups, nectars, and agave at the supermarket.
Introduce some healthier food alternatives into your daily diet to make the transition easier for your body. This could mean cutting down the amount of fizzy drinks for water, chocolate for fresh fruit, and butter for avocado.
Cut down on sweets
The number one way to cut sugar out of your diet is decrease the amount of sweets you eat on a weekly basis. Instead, use fruit as a sweetener, and concentrate on creating healthy, wholesome snacks.
Rather than buying white or wholemeal bread, look out for sourdough which has less sugar, and is actually very cheap to make at home!
While we all enjoy the occasional glass of wine, sometimes it’s best to limit the drink to just one. Just think about all the added sugar in that glass of red wine?
Get the kids involved
If your kids are having a hard time cutting down on sweets, the best way to make this change is to involve them in the cooking process. This way, they can see what goes into each meal, and actually enjoy making their own healthy snacks.
Who knew that herbal tea could be so good? Not only does green tea aid digestion, but it’s a good way to keep your stomach full between each meal.
If you experience sugar cravings during the early afternoon, take a short walk or hit the gym. This is one of the best ways to clear your mind, and avoid binge-eating before dinner.
What are some of your methods to cut-down on sugar?
Image via About
Heading from a busy social summer to a sleepier autumn (hello, comfort food!), it might be difficult to tick all the boxes to embracing a healthy lifestyle. However, renowned physiotherapist and author of Get Yourself Back In Motion Jason Smith, shares his top five holistic lifestyle tips which can help make a noticeable difference for the year ahead.
1. Get 8 hours sleep
Dedicating your lifestyle choices to health and wellness requires adequate rest.
About 75% of us experience sleep interruptions or difficulties at least two to three nights a week. Getting at least 8 hours sleep a night should be a priority but often when we do go to bed, our minds are consumed with thoughts preventing us from relaxation.
Sleep loss is accumulative. Every hour you miss each night places extra stress on your body, and your ability to function during the day will be compromised. To restore your sleep deficit, try to add an extra hour each night until you’re feeling replenished.
TIP: Sleep requires quantity as well as quality. Since we spend one third of our lives sleeping, consider all the options available to ensure you’re investing in the right mattress for your needs.
Innerspring: Constructed using coils, the more the better. Innersprings are a good choice for anyone who is overweight or obese due to a maximum load capacity.
Memory Foam: Made with layers of dense foam, these mattresses contour your body shape, which reduces pressure points. The foam absorbs movement so you won’t run the risk of waking your partner with a restless sleep.
Latex: Created using synthetic or natural rubber, this mattress is rather bouncy, yet firm with good support. It has a similar functionality to memory foam and contours your body but pushes back for additional support. If you’re suffering from chronic back pain this mattress is a good choice.
2. Healthy eating
Healthy eating should be incorporated into your daily life and not be seen as a short-term diet. Managing your weight is an essential component of long-term health.
Eating in Moderation: Eat small meals every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism ticking over. Consuming a range of proteins, legumes, vegetables and fruits is the best way to achieve a balanced diet.
Don’t Skip Meals: Restricting your meals is counterproductive to losing weight. Chances are your hunger will catch up to you and you’ll risk binging on the closest food which may not be nutritious.
Be the Chef: Take control of your diet by cooking and preparing your own meals. Often when buying take-out we don’t see some of the nasties that go into the meal, i.e. the oils used, salt and sugar content. Start with some simple recipes to gain confidence as you get to know your ingredients.
Developing a positive relationship with exercise is key to living a life that is nourished by a natural promoter of endorphins. Commit to being life-fit and you can expect to feel and see the results. Back In Motion’s Results4Life® philosophy is about developing a tailored health and fitness pathway that is consistent and long term. The sooner you develop some sustainable healthy habits, the easier it will feel to stay committed. It becomes a new lifestyle with rich rewards.
* Walk or ride to work
* Join a yoga, Pilates, Zumba or dance class to mix it up
* Park your car further away from your destination
* Use lunchtime as a fitness break: stretch and walk
* Take the stairs not the escalators
Water is essential to maintaining your health, and even more so when you’re exercising. Drinking water before, during and even after exercise prevents muscle cramps.
Insufficient hydration reduces your ability to sweat, which is your body’s natural cooling process. Without enough water you can experience dehydration, dizziness and fatigue.
Purchase an aluminium water bottle to keep on your desk
After strenuous exercise, opt for coconut water over a sports drink. It’s high in natural electrolytes (potassium, sodium, magnesium and chloride) with no added sugar
Aim to drink at least 8 cups a day
5. Stress Managements
Your emotional well-being and mental health are critical to your overall wellness. Negative emotions trigger physical reactions that can have knock-on effects such as stress on your muscles, which lead to body pain.
Managing high stress levels means incorporating enough rest, healthy eating as well as exercising to release serotonin and thus emit endorphins.
Jason Smith is the founder of Back In Motion Health Group, Australia’s leading provider of physiotherapy and related services. Jason’s book Get Yourself Back In Motion is available at Back In Motion practices around Australia, major book retailers and online bookstores RRP $34.95.
Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat, has a simple message for Australian women: you can be a healthy weight and still enjoy good food and the things you like.
The international bestselling author is renowned for inspiring women all around the world to lose weight without dieting. Mireille’s philosophy is about a balanced approach to life and wellbeing that doesn’t include extreme diet or exercise regimes.
“We spend so much time worrying about eating bad food that we forget about the enjoyment that comes with eating good food, and sharing it with family and friends. Everything is fine in moderation,” says Mireille.
The French-born writer is in Australia to help bust the common myth that dairy foods are linked to weight gain and/or obesity. “Australians are blessed with some magnificent produce like cheese and yogurt that rivals some of the best in the world. There is no reason why you cannot enjoy this as part of a healthy lifestyle.”
Mireille says the secret to enjoying food and staying healthy is to not over indulge and to eat seasonal and fresh food. In her acclaimed book, Mireille writes about yogurt as a secret to tame hunger, revealing that French women often enjoy two servings a day to help them feel satisfied for longer.
“I believe we don’t need diets to tell us what to eat and drink but you need to listen to your own body to do it. Balance your food and drink with regular exercise on a daily basis.
“Enjoy food and all that comes with it, going to the market or shops, cooking and sharing. You will soon find that there is more to enjoying food and being healthy than counting calories,” Mireille advises.
Mireille’s healthy eating tips for Australian women:
1. Start each day with a real breakfast.
2. Introduce two servings of natural yogurt as a breakfast or snack food or dessert – the protein will keep you fuller for longer.
3. Enjoy milk, cheese or yogurt every day. Many people avoid these foods because they think they’re fattening – this is a mistake. Eating these foods as part of a balanced diet is not linked to weight gain.
4. Stop dieting.
5. Take the stairs and laugh more, it’s good for the waistline and for the soul.
6. Never let yourself get too hungry or over eat.
7. Good food isn’t pretentious. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t let recipes intimidate you – they’re a guide not a formula.
8. Cooking is slimming. Love is slimming. Happiness is slimming.
9. Eat smaller amounts of more things, rather than bigger amounts of less things.
10. Australians love their coffee, so take pleasure in the ritual of your morning latte or cappuccino.
11. Choose and enjoy your weekend rewards, like your favourite dark chocolate rather than worry about eating ‘bad’ food.
12. Explore Australia’s great outdoors with regular physical movement. Choose things you can do in street clothes like a daily walk or a leisurely bike ride.
13. Avoid anything that demands too much effort for too little pleasure.
14. Eat and serve what’s in season. With the Australian summer in sight, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables aplenty.
15. Don’t save Champagne for special occasions, being in good company is reason enough.
Do you believe everything in moderation is important for a healthy lifestyle?