Nine health habits for a leaner & longer life.
You may think you are a healthy person, but sadly that may not be the case. In today’s society, people become incredibly fixated on what makes them physically appear their best. For women, that may be super skinny with a huge butt. For men, that may be super jacked. That being said, many believe if their lifestyle helps them attain that ‘perfect’ image… it means they are ‘healthy’. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Let’s analyze a meal replacement for example. A lot of the protein bars nowadays are labelled ‘low calorie’, ‘low-fat’, and ‘no-sugar’… But when you look at the ingredients, you can’t even pronounce half the names in the bar. My theory is: if you can’t pronounce or recognize an ingredient, it is probably not a healthy item. You are better off getting the ‘nut and seed bar’ will no chemical additives, at 300 calories and lots of healthy fats. Nowadays people are programmed to think these kinds of bars are ‘unhealthy’ for you. However, it is these bars that will actually help clear your skin, increase your energy and fill you up for longer… Trust me! Stop reaching for the processed ‘dessert’ protein bars and try a handful of almonds instead.
Let’s talk about calories. “Do calories really exist???”
Yes and no. Certain foods tend to actually raise your metabolism and counteract the calories. For example, eating hummus and veggies may be 200 calories on paper. A protein bar, on the other hand, may read 150 calories. But the difference between the two meals is the protein bar is filled with artificial and unhealthy ingredients that do nothing for your body, while the hummus and veggies will ramp-up your metabolism and actually burn calories for you.
Don’t focus on eating less, focus on eating more of the good stuff!
Below are a few of my favourite tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When you implement healthy habits, your natural weight will take its course and your energy will vastly improve.
1. Drink Your Water
You don’t need to drink 4 litres of water a day… All you really need is 8 cups. If you workout or drink caffeinated beverages, I suggest adding a few more cups for sure. Water is essential for detoxifying the body, keeping a stable metabolism and keeping your mind sharp.
2. Start the AM with Water
I suggest you start every morning with a glass of warm water and fresh lemon. If you really want to ramp up your metabolism, you can add some turmeric, cayenne pepper and a splash of apple cider vinegar. When you drink warm water first thing in the morning, it helps flush out any toxic waste, cleanse the kidneys, and replenishes the body from a long slumber.
3. Eat More Whole Foods, Less Processed Crap
Enough of the pumpkin spiced protein powders and sugar free brownie protein bars! Start actually eating whole foods! A wholesome diet consists of: whole grains, plant based proteins, fish (if you are not vegan), lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. If it comes straight from the earth, it is most likely better for you than anything from a wrapper. When you make this change, you will notice a huge difference.
4. Cut Your Sugar Intake
Sugar in any form is addicting. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can eat as much natural occurring sugars as you want. Limit your fruit intake to a few helping per day. Drinks can be incredibly high in sugar. Limit your alcohol and juice consumption to a few glasses per week. Then again, don’t cut this out entirely… You only have one life, live it!
5. Move It
Healthy people like to move. Try to get in some form of exercise at least 4 to 6 days of the week. On top of that, try to get your daily steps in. Park the car a little further from work than usual. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Instead of binging in Netflix, go for a bike ride. The more you move, the longer you’ll live.
This one is huge! Sleep is so crucial for a healthy lifestyle. I aim to get 8 hours of sleep a day; even if that means heading to bed at 8:30pm. Some people can run better on little sleep, however, I am not one to mess around with my zzzz cycle. The more you sleep, the less you’ll crave unnecessary sugars and caffeine.
7. Listen to Your Body
In today’s society our bodies get distracted and confused so easily. When your body is screaming for food, actually ask yourself, “am I really hungry?”. Sometimes when your body is asking for food, it is really asking for comfort or love. Do not confuse loneliness or stress for hunger. Sometimes hunger pains are actually a sign of dehydration. Drink a cup of water if you think that might be the case. If you tend to over eat, try using a smaller plate or bowl. This will prevent mindless eating.
Make breakfast your dessert if you have to! Healthy pancakes, a creamy smoothie, a chocolate muffin… Anything is almost better than nothing! After hours of fasting over night, your body need nutrients and fuel for the day! Always eat a healthy breakfast thirty minutes after waking. The more protein and fibre you add to your breakfast, the better. This will stabilize your blood sugars and prevent binging later in the day.
9. Heal The Relationship Between Your Body and Food
It is too easy to get wrapped up in hating certain parts of your body. All that hate can lead to a very unhealthy relationship to food. When you deprive yourself of the things you love, it only backfires. Once you let go of your little imperfections and start loving your body, the way you eat will seriously improve and you’ll start looking your best. If you find you are constantly fad-dieting and binge eating, you may have a lot of mending to do.
I will preach balance till the day I die. If you want ice cream for lunch on a Tuesday, go have your ice cream… Just don’t have eight scoops. Learn what balance means and stop being so hard on yourself.
Life is too short to be unhappy and unhealthy. Be grateful for your health and your beautiful body!
With Love, E