Many chronic diseases are caused by lifestyle issues. People tend not to exercise as much as they should, they allow themselves to become overweight, and they eat unhealthy foods that lead to things like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and strokes.
The problem with lifestyle issues is that they are difficult to turn around. Many people try to change their lifestyle all at once, which is extremely difficult to accomplish. As a result, they often give up all of their healthy habits and resort to the usual negative health habits that they had been doing before they attempted a healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes it just takes a few days or a few weeks of trying to live healthy before the individual becomes overwhelmed and stops living healthy. They stop exercising and go back to eating processed foods and junk foods.
This is why it is better to change your health habits one habit at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stop trying to be healthy altogether.
Most weight loss programs work if they are done carefully and don’t deprive the individual too much. The same is true of exercise programs. If you choose an exercise that you really enjoy or increase your physical activity more gradually, you can usually stick to the program so that you don’t become discouraged and quit exercising altogether.
The trick to health living is to begin gradually. Don’t try any trendy diet or fitness fad. If you try these things with gusto, you are likely to respond negatively and you won’t stick with the programs.
There are a few simple things you can do to live a happier and healthier life. Start with just these 5 changes in health habits:
- Try eating one healthy meal a day. Even if you eat processed foods most of the time, if you try to eat just one healthy food each day, you will feed your body with good nutrition and healthy proteins. Healthy meals consist of mainly fruits and vegetables, supplemented with whole grain products, and lean meats.
It doesn’t matter how much you eat because, if the food is healthy for you, it won’t usually contain a lot of calories and won’t cause weight gain as can be seen when you eat junk foods or highly processed foods. Even so, you should try to watch your portion sizes.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal. Water is perhaps the best liquid you can drink. When you decide to drink a glass of water before meals, (an 8-ounce glass is enough), you will feel fuller before eating, and you won’t eat as much at the meal that follows a drink of water.
- Be active during lunch. Even if you are given a half-hour to eat, it usually doesn’t take that long to eat your meals. Try eating your meals and then take some time to exercise. You don’t have to work out excessively but you should be able to take a brisk walk. Not only will this energize you but also it will help burn off the calories you just ate and will aid in the digestive process.
It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do as long as you choose something reasonable that will help you feel better after eating your lunch. Exercising during lunch also helps decrease the stress of your job and will make the rest of your day go easier.
- Try a Meal Replacement Bar. This involves eating a healthy protein bar as a snack instead of junk foods. Most meal replacement bars contain a lot of good nutrition and fiber. They are also not as calorie-rich as you would think. They help stave off hunger pangs that are so typical of the midafternoon time.
Keep a stash of these protein bars in your desk at work or in your purse or brief case so you can grab one whenever you feel hungry. It will keep you from going to the vending machines and eating poor food choices. Try eating a meal replacement bar that is high in fiber and that has at least 10 to 15 grams of protein per bar.
- Exercise regularly. If you have a gym membership, try going there at least 3-4 times per week. Choose an activity you enjoy and make the most of it for at least a half hour per session. This will help energize you, may build muscle mass, and will help you lose weight by burning off excess calories.