Thrive/Strive

7 Small Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle

Plan, Eat, and Read Carefully

We’ve all heard abs are made in the kitchen, but what does this really mean? Well, lets put it this way, if you have extra fluff, busting your ass in the gym won’t get rid of the fat alone. You need to address the fat, by focusing on what you’re eating. Unfortunately, if it were that easy we wouldn’t be trying every fad diet out there, skipping meals, or cutting certain foods out completely.

Most of us want to make healthier food choices, but the nagging question of when and how to start may seem overwhelming.

The trick to starting is to take small steps each and every day – whether you’re trying to lose weight or are simply looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Here are 7 steps you can implement that will make a big difference over time.

1. Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients you need to start your day off on the right foot. Eating a healthy breakfast can also help you maintain a healthy body weight.

Here are a few tips to help you get your morning breakfast in:

  • Plan your breakfast the day before.
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier and make an omelet! Shorten preparation time by chopping up your vegetables the night before.
  • Pick up portable breakfast items like fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole grain breakfast bars, or granola bars.

2. Plan Ahead

Find time in your schedule to plan out nutritious meals for the week. When planning your meals keep it simple and choose as many different-colored fruits and vegetables as possible. The variety will keep you from getting bored. Planning out your meals will make regular trips to the grocery store less stressful and will help eliminates the temptation to purchase things that are not on your list.

3. Carefully Read Nutrition Labels

You may be surprised to find that food items that are marketed as “healthy” are high in calories, sugars or sodium, and have few good nutrients or fiber. To understand how to read nutrition labels check out (another article)

4. Be Conscious of How You Fill Your Plate

Your plate should contain a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. A well-balanced plate will include the five basic food groups.

The percentages for a well-balanced plate are as followed:

  • Fruit and vegetables: 33%
  • Bread, rice, potatoes pasta and other starchy foods: 33%
  • Milk and other dairy products : 15%
  • Meat, fish, egg, beans and other non-diary sources of protein: 12%
  • Foods and drinks high in fat or sugar: 7%

If math isn’t your thing check out these awesome products to help with portion control:

5. Don’t Drink Your Calories

For someone trying to get healthy, the calories that sneak in through beverages are usually overlooked or forgotten. This is especially true with sugary drinks including soda, diet soda, fruit juices, and yes alcoholic drinks.

The absolute worst culprit is soda and fancy coffee drinks which we all seem to love. But calories are calories so whether you drink your calories or eat them, your body will process them in a similar manner.

So instead of filling your body with empty calorie from sodas trying replaces a sugary drink with some fresh water. It might be hard at first but try adding some flavor to your water with some lemon juice, mio or crystal light.

6. Pay Attention To Your “TRIGGERS”

Triggers are one of our biggest downfalls when trying to get healthy. Try to notice when you tend to make your unhealthy choices like watching TV late at night, or when you are tired or stressed. once you nail down what your triggers are and look for an alternate defense plan. Try preparing healthy snacks in advance, or instead of munching get up and go for a walk.

7. Don’t Give Up

Even people with excellent nutrition habits have a hard time not overindulging or making unhealthy choices. But don’t worry if you get off track tomorrow is another day to get back on track.

And finally… I would just like to say that achieving a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight it has taken me almost a year to really see the results I was looking for, so please stick with it cuz, in the long run, these small steps will seriously work.

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