10 Little Health Habits that Make a Huge Difference
Leading a healthy lifestyle takes effort. The first step is recognizing a need for change, and then establishing new habits to make those changes. Using a “diet” to fit into that dress or be beach-body ready by summer is a short-term fix. Making entire lifestyle changes, however, creates a sustainable way to lose weight, feel better, and keep the momentum going. While some changes have to be drastic, it’s often the cumulative effect of little things that make a bigger difference. These 10 health habits could be a make-or-break difference in your journey to a healthy lifestyle:
1. Non-exercise activity. Even if you work out on a regular basis, non-exercise related activity is still an important priority. Many Americans lead a sedentary lifestyle; just getting up and moving around can help you burn more calories without eating more[i].
2. Eat for your body type. Did you know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet and exercise routine? In fact, everyone should develop a routine specifically designed for their body type. Learning your body type and figuring out how to eat and exercise most strategically will help you gain momentum.
3. Read nutrition labels more carefully. We’ve all been guilty of falling for good marketing when we’re standing in the grocery store aisle debating which granola to get. Getting an education in reading nutrition labels will help you spot unhealthy items in the ingredient list and easily see red flags on the nutritional facts. Overall, you’ll start making healthier choices.
4. Give your fridge a makeover. It’s true! Something as simple as cleaning and reorganizing your refrigerator can actually help you make better food choices and lose weight faster. Between strategically stashing your snacks out of sight and learning a few food prep tricks, you’ll be amazed at the difference a more organized fridge can make.
5. Eat breakfast. In a study of people who lost 30 pounds or more, 80% of the people who kept the weight off ate breakfast[ii]. Coincidence? Not likely! Eating breakfast is the key if you want to boost your metabolism, have more energy, and lower your BMI. Think you’re too busy for breakfast? Start your day with a protein-rich meal replacement shake! 310’s protein shakes have 15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber – all for under 100 calories.
Just do it: Get recipes for two weeks of healthy breakfasts
6. Stop making excuses for working out. I get it, you’re busy! But the truth is, fixing your diet alone will never help you lose weight or keep it off in a healthy way. Only by adding in regular exercise will you meet your goals.
7. Quit the diet soda habit. Yes, it has fewer calories and yes, it uses the word “diet” in the name. But diet soda is anything but a good idea and has been linked to heart disease, headaches, diabetes, and even cancer. You’re much better off sticking to drinking your weight in water. Not convinced? Just take a look at what happens in your body one hour after you drink a coke.
8. Ditch the junk food. Just because you bought it ah your local health food store doesn’t mean it’s a healthy snack. In fact, many foods marketed as “health food items” are just junk food in disguise. Do yourself a favor and call it like it is… and ditch it!
9. Eat internationally. The Western diet is what has gotten so many of us in trouble in the first place. Learning to eat less like Americans and more like other (healthier!) cultures is a great way to change up your diet, and lose weight!
10. Plan your food. Hunger is a powerful force, with the ability to drive us to make terrible choices out of the desire to satisfy our stomachs. Choosing what you will eat ahead of time is your greatest line of defense against this tyranny of the urgent. Predetermining what you will eat at each meal and for each snack might be work, but it’ll reduce the amount of times you make in-the-moment mistakes.
Learning new health habits is as easy – and difficult – as simply choosing to do it. Chances are you’ve already made some of these ten health habits part of your daily life. Use the tips and resources available to you and make it your job to continually learn new health habits!