10 Healthier Habits you can start today by Whitney Vaughan

10 Healthier Habits 

Are you looking for ways to start living a healthier lifestyle?  I’ve put together a list of some things that I feel are easy habits to start and maintain.  I hope you’ll find at least one helpful and begin your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Drinking Water

Water does more than just prevent dehydration.  It aids in gut health, flushes out your system, carries nutrients to cells throughout the body and can help prevent constipation.  It’s recommended that you get half of your weight in ounces or 60-80 ounces of water daily.  I always have water with me: sitting at my desk, beside the couch when I’m watching tv, at the gym, and I even keep a bottle with me when I’m outside working or playing with the kids.  The fact that it’s there and ready to grab holds me accountable for drinking it.

2. Add a Portion of Protein with Every Meal

Having protein with breakfast, lunch, and dinner creates a well balanced meal.  If you can add smaller amounts of protein to your snacks also then you’re really doing well.  Including proteins in your meals will help you feel highly satisfied while eating.  Some examples of proteins you can add to your already existing meals are: eggs, yogurt, lean meats, and protein powders or protein bars.  You may eventually be able to get to my recommendation of three meals and two snacks a day.

3. Fruit or Vegetable with Meals

Start adding a fruit or vegetable with each meal.  Throw in a banana or orange in the morning with your toast or cereal.  Add a small side salad at lunch.  You can even throw in broccoli or green beans at dinner with your spaghetti.  Adding a fruit or vegetable with each meal will help you incorporate the habit of eating whole, unprocessed foods in your diet.

4. Smaller Portions

If you’re feeling overly stuffed by the end of your meal, then start serving your meals on a smaller plate.  This will help you build smaller portions and result in eating less food which will help you stay away from that miserable feeling of eating too much.  If you’re eating out, ask for a to go box as the beginning of your meal so that you can go ahead and put some of it in the box for another meal.  You may also find that you’ll become satisfied quicker if you try eating slower.

5. Don’t Skip Meals 

For some reason, most people think they should skip dinner if they ate a large lunch.  This is not the case.  When we skip meals, our bodies are more likely to begin storing what we eat when we eat it as fat in “fear” that it doesn’t know when it’ll be fed again.  When trying to burn fat and lose weight, this will not get you optimal results.  The best thing to do is to eat less or smaller portions at your next meal.  Give your body something to use!

6. Remove “trigger” Items

To help establish good eating habits and if you’re trying to burn fat and lose weight, I recommend removing tempting foods from your cabinet or pantry.  I view tempting foods as anything you might grab even if you’re really not hungry, but you just think it sounds good in the moment.  Or it could be foods that you find yourself binging on.  I’m not saying you have to say goodbye to these foods forever (unless you choose to).  Just give yourself time to adjust to mindful eating and then reintroduce your favorite “snacks” a little at a time.  Listen, I have Oreos in my cabinet…I just eat a small serving crumbled on top of my yogurt instead of eating out of the package with a glass of milk.

7. Exercise

Try getting in a reasonably challenging 30 minute exercise 3 times a week.  If possible, don’t rely just on cardio.  Throw in some weight training as well because this helps to burn fat.  Remember, what’s reasonably challenging to one person is different for another.  You know your limits and what your body can handle.  Maybe a light jog or some exercises with light dumbbells is where you start.  If you find that your schedule will not allow for this due to work maybe then try these: park farther way from entrances so you’ll get a few more steps in, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or maybe try a 10 minute workout beside your bed after you wake up in the morning.

8. Get Outside

It’s recommend that you get 5-30 minutes of direct sunlight each day just to help with Vitamin D.  Spending this time outside can also help aid in restful sleep.

9. Get Better Sleep

If you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep, then you’re not getting enough.  Sleep helps us with muscle recover and burn fat.  It’s also important for hormone regulation, blood sugar regulation, hunger and appetite regulation and it helps clean up and get rid of waste products.  If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, you might try shutting down screens an hour before you plan to go to bed.  If you find yourself staying up too late, then you might try setting an alarm as a reminder that it’s time to go to sleep and let your body get to work.

10.  Self-Care

I feel like this is the one that we push to the wayside because we feel it’s not as important as all of the others you’ve read about today or in the past.  It’s hard to take care of others if we’re not taking care of ourselves.  Self-care can lower levels of stress.  Some recommendations to show yourself some love are: getting a massage, taking a bath, stretching or yoga before bed, exercising, or even reading a book.  (This could also be a good habit to start before bedtime instead of scrolling through your phone or falling asleep to the tv.)

Which ones will you start incorporating today?

Read more about Whitney: https://frontporchnewstexas.com/2022/06/09/introducing-whitney-vaughan-founder-of-fitwhit/

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