By: Brett Van Zyl
A healthy lifestyle is something that everyone strives for, but many don’t actually achieve this. The key to a healthy lifestyle is balance, moderation and dedication. The most important part of a successful lifestyle change is your approach.
The following can be considered a guideline to help you achieve this:
1). Eat well: When changing ones diet, a lot of people make the mistake of trying to eat less. This is NOT the solution. Don’t eat less, eat more! The key is to make sure that you eat more of the right types of food. Make sure that your diet includes lots of water, fruit, whole grains (Oats, rice, pasta, whole wheat bread) protein, and vegetables.
2). Get some exercise: Exercise is a good way to fight off stress, promotes healthy heart function, and increases energy levels. You don’t have to get carried away and run a marathon every day, just commit to a bit of daily exercise.
3). Laugh more: Maintaining a positive attitude is good for you. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural feel good chemical, and promote an overall feeling of wellbeing and happiness.
4). Get more sleep: Sleep is essential to daily functioning and a healthy lifestyle. You should be getting about seven hours every night. So if you’re not currently getting that amount, try to set yourself a nightly deadline and stick to it as much as you can.
5). Don’t miss breakfast: I’m guilty of this more often than not. Having breakfast actually boosts your metabolism and gives you increased energy throughout the day. When you skip breakfast you actually end up overeating later on to make up for it without realizing.
Fruit, oats and low fat yoghurt are great options (Yoghurt contains high protein and calcium content). If you wake up not feeling very hungry, don’t force yourself to eat a big meal, simply eat something lighter. It’s better than eating nothing.
6). Write down everything that you eat: Sounds crazy, I know. But think about it. If you take note of everything that you eat or drink, you’ll be able to see what food you’re eating, either too little or too much of. This will makes it a lot easier to identify areas for change.
7). Don’t cut out chocolate, sweets and desserts altogether: This comes back to moderation. Don’t view your diet as torture. You can still enjoy your favorite desserts, but just in controlled amounts.