Taking proper care of your body can seem like a daunting task. Getting eight hours of sleep, exercising on a daily basis, eating well and meditating like a guru are nothing short of impossible to the majority of modern-day people.
Even with the best intentions in place, hectic schedules, deadlines at work or home duties often get in the way and just the thought of all the effort needed to kick start a healthy life can make one’s head spin.
Well, the good news is you don’t need to be perfect to succeed. Let’s take a look at how super-healthy people manage to stay that way without employing superhuman properties.
Exercise Portion-size Control
Let’s face it. A balanced diet involves anything from broccoli to pasta and pizza. It’s not reasonable to expect that anybody would survive, sticking to the first one without exception. The key to success here is not going wild with portion sizes. Believe it or not, how much we eat is just as important as what we eat.
Sadly, most people don’t have a good idea of the amount of food we need to consume in a day. This is especially true of desserts and the wildly popular healthy fats. If you eat out often, you might also have the wrong image of a regular food portion, as restaurants are notorious for doubling or even tripling that.
No, we do not recommend counting calories (you can read some of what we would recommend here). Just get informed about what size your plate should be in order to fit into the healthy portion category.
(1) Avoid Boxed Stuff
An easy way to watch the amount of food you eat is by choosing fresh food over the packaged, processed variety. It is a fact that we tend to over consume the bad stuff. The reason for that is that it is void of any nutritional value and it takes a lot to satisfy our hunger (temporarily).
At the same time, veggies and fruit (especially those with a high fiber content) are so packed with the good stuff our bodies crave that we feel full after just one serving. That’s why you rarely hear about someone tackling a whole bunch of bananas at one go.
If you think you are too weak to avoid the temptation of packaged stuff, you can strategically shop in the supermarket perimeter, as isles with junk foods are usually located in the middle of most shops in as a buying incentive.
Make it your goal to roam that parts of the shop where you are less likely to encounter unhealthy treats and you would be surprised at the subtle but steady shift in your shopping cart towards proper food choices.
(2) Keep Your Drinks In Check
Not hinting that you have an alcohol problem or anything but drinks do count and include anything from soda to juices and alcoholic beverages, as per http://www.dietfitnessking.com advise. Especially the sweet kind.
More often than not people have the wrong idea of how many calories are in a glass of wine or fruit juice. Well, calories are calories, regardless of whether you eat or drink them.
The bad thing here is that these are sneaky ways in which body weight can fluctuate, sometimes considerably.
If you are trying to keep your calories in check, look further from your plate. If you suspect you might be consuming stuff that interferes with your health and weight-loss efforts, start writing down all the liquids you are having in a day. Then check the calorie amount per glass of anything that’s not water.
Try to make water intake prevail over teas, coffee, juices, and alcohol. Do have an occasional glass of dry wine of your choice, of course, because if you put alcohol on the no-no list entirely, that’s all you will be thinking about, and it will only be so long before you call the whole thing off.
(3) Get Active But Make Time For Rest Too!
Despite the fact that working out is not directly related to your diet and the general food choices you make, engaging in physical activity does impact our decisions about what to eat.
The reason for this lies in the fact that we strive not to undo our effort to get and stay fit, so we tend to think twice before we reach out for unhealthy stuff. Not to mention the fact that bad stuff will not give you the necessary energy for your next training session.
And a wonderful side effect is the balancing of hunger hormones that will enable you to start controlling your appetite better.
Talking about being active, it’s crucial to keep in mind that if you do not take sufficient rest, nothing else you do really matter. If you never tried napping in the afternoon, it’s time to embrace the idea.
If you feel sleepy in the afternoon and your schedule allows it, get a little bit of shuteye. You will not only feel rested and energized as a result – it has long been established that taking naps improves overall health, cognitive function, motivation, and even sleep during the night.
(4) Create Rules
You need structure and a good plan to succeed in everything, right? Well, building habits for life-long health and wellbeing is a huge project that requires no less planning and preparation than any other.
If you want to guarantee your success, you need to create rules and stick to them. While the word rule itself might seem a little harsh for an already difficult path, there is actually one pretty simple and easy to follow. It’s the famous 80/20 rule, and you are going to like its application here.
What 80/20 means in our case, is that you are supposed to follow a healthy eating regime 80 percent of the time, enjoying your favorite items on the “bad” list the remaining 20.
It has already been proved that strict deprivation does not yield any long-term effects as it is virtually impossible to fully give up on your guilty pleasures for long, as they are going to come back with a vengeance. If you have to steer clear of pizza, you are going to dream it, smell it and see it around every corner.
On the other hand, if you know that you can have that slice of pizza any time in moderation, it is much easier to let the thought go by.