How tired are you of fad diets? If you’re like me, even the phrase (fad diet) rubs you the wrong way.
It’s not that diets are all bad. Some are actually built on good principles that you can use to create a healthy lifestyle. But if you’re always betting on the latest craze, you’re never going to stick to anything. And sticking-with-it is where the real magic happens.
So, instead of rushing to buy the latest best-selling diet book, consider making the following simple lifestyle changes:
- Make a habit of exercise
We all know we have to exercise to be healthy. This isn’t groundbreaking news. But if you can successfully fit exercise into your regular routine, it’ll soon become a habit.
Try fitting a workout into your morning routine by going for a run or taking an exercise class at the same time each day. Instead of thinking about how many days you’ll workout, consider which day or days you’ll break. Framing it this way puts more emphasis on the exercise and less on the off-days. And fewer off-days help exercise become more of a routine.
- Cut out sugars
Let’s be real. Sugar is a demon that tempts even the strongest among us. But it’s not just cupcakes and chocolate tarts that are to blame. Actually, most of us fall victim to hidden sugars in our diet, and we don’t even know it.
Pay careful attention to the sugar content in your favorite foods and condiments. Even foods you think are healthy may be loaded with sugar. Yogurt is a great example. Some brands of full-fat yogurt pack close to 20 grams of sugar into those little cups. That equates to about four teaspoons of sugar. And their low-fat alternatives pack even more sugar in a 4-ounce cup.
- Eat more fruits and veggies
At the risk of sounding cliché, Mother Nature provides us with everything we need to thrive. If you always fill your plate with vegetables and eat fruits instead of sugary processed foods, you may not even need a diet.
Food that comes from the earth is the most nutrient-dense food you can consume. Try to cook with new veggies at least once a week to keep things interesting. Variety on your plate will also help you get a variety of nutrients.
- Watch out for liquid calories
The absolute worst liquid calories come from alcohol, especially those fruity mixed drinks. But any alcohol can help you pack on the pounds quickly. Binge drinking is especially problematic because you may consume enough calories for a meal or more in one sitting. But with alcohol, you’re not getting measurable nutrients.
- Avoid processed everything
Processed foods are easy, and you’ll often find great deals on them at the supermarket. Don’t be tempted. In order to make shelf-stable foods, manufacturers must add trans fats, which wreak havoc on our bodies and work against our health and fitness goals. In truth, the body does need healthy fats. But trans fats do not fit this bill.
What’s one thing you do every day to contribute to a healthy lifestyle?