A healthy lifestyle takes on a holistic approach. It’s not only about your meals, but also involves activity and rest. Activity referring to how active you are, and rest referring to how much sleep you get. While often undervalued, both are highly essential for a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some tips to starting and achieving a healthy lifestyle holistically:
1. Plan your meals, and have them readily available. This leaves less room for excessive hunger, which can result to binge eating.
2. Add vegetables and fruits to every meal. It can be as easy as tomato, carrot and cucumber slices with your breakfast, steamed vegetables with your lunch, and added vegetable (spinach/green/ugwu) in your stew (aka efo) with your dinner.
3. Drink a glass of water before every meal. Sometimes our bodies translate thirst as hunger. Practicing drinking water before meals will help in curbing overeating.
Drink water CONSTANTLY. Science show that when most people feel thirsty, they’re already dehydrated.
4. Be Concious when eating. So often we multitask while eating. This cuts off the conscious awareness and sensitivity to satiety cues, causing us to overeat.
5. Portion control. There is such a thing as eating too much of even the right foods. The stomach is a muscle, the larger you stretch it, the bigger it gets, and the more it takes to “fill it up”. The body only needs certain amounts of nutrients to perform optimally. Therefore make a conscious effort to give your body just what it needs; don’t under feed or overfeed.
6. Incorporate at least 30 mins of activity into your day. It could be as easy as walking several laps down your street; just increase your walking pace a little.
7. In order to sustain any activity, make it something you love. It could be Zumba if you love dancing, swimming, jump rope (aka skipping rope), kickboxing, yoga, etc.
8. Find creative ways to add some activity into your daily activities. Park further from an entrance, take the stairs, walk rather than drive to someplace nearby.
9. Use your phone (apps) or another devices to count your steps. This makes it more fun, and keeps you accountable. For beginners, aim for 10,000 steps daily.
It’s ideal to get 8 hours of sleep each night although it’s not the end of the world if you only get 3 hours. Make little changes in the structure of each day to increase your sleep hours by at least 1 hour.
10. Analyze your day and activities, and you’ll find ways to increase your hours of sleep.
Did you know the longer you stay up, the more you eat? Why?? Because you are more tempted to eat/snack more the later you stay awake.
A holistic healthy lifestyle begins with being actively conscious of your current lifestyle choices.