– Co-authored by Vidisha Shahani and Hena Shah
Each one of us wants to feel more energetic and less stressed, in a state where our mind, body, and soul is in harmony, but when it comes to giving these three your time and attention, we are unable to keep up. So how do we commit to a healthier and fitter lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed?
To help make it a little easier, I’m sharing seven simple habits that people who are fit and healthy follow which positively impact their wellbeing and encourage them to thrive.
This might seem like a lot to change at first, if you’re not already doing these things, but change one habit at a time, start small, and it won’t be that hard. All you need is a little patience, positivity and discipline.
1) They always ask “why” and that helps them stay motivated.
If you constantly ask yourself questions like “Why am I doing this?” Am I eating because I am bored, sad or angry? Am I binge-eating? Am I craving for sugar or salt? Am I eating to fuel up for my work out? We often eat to celebrate, mourn or socialize. Instead of going for a dessert to celebrate your friend’s promotion, why not meet them for a walk in the park? It is very important to have that clarity by pinpointing why you are eating because it will help you identify issues with emotional eating. It will make sure that you are focused on always doing things for the right reasons.
2) They start early and wind up early at night.
The gallbladder detoxes the best from 11pm and 1am; while the liver detoxes the best (by filtering the blood) from 1am to 3am according to a study. And this cannot be done when you are up and about. The body needs to be horizontal so that the body can direct the blood to the parts of the body that need it. Hence it is important to be in bed before these elements comes into power. This is the scientific reason behind going to bed early.
Also, eating before 8 pm is beneficial because after 8 food will sit in your digestive tract all night, making you feel heavy when you wake up. Health conscious people have a habit of starting their day early around 6 to 7am and continuing that momentum forward throughout the day. They understand that their time limited hence they waste it on social media for hours. They focus on creating amazing content instead of consuming.
3) They practice long and slow eating.
According to a research by Journal of the American Dietetic Association, there is a direct relationship between eating speed and body mass index (BMI). For each step upon your eating speed, your BMI increases by 2.8%. When you chew your food slowly until each bite liquefies you are giving your mind the time to process that your body is full. Also, removing all distraction while you eat is important to become aware of every bite. No phone, no tv, no laptop should be your mantra while you eat. Savor all that you are eating, feel the texture, enjoy the flavor of your food. The process of digestion starts the moment your saliva comes in contact with your food. Good digestion will allow your body to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients from the food you are eating. Small things matter. You must have never thought about it right?
4) They plan ahead and go DIY
Planning definitely goes a long way in incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle. People who are healthy take time to set draft a menu, make a list of groceries required, go to the store themselves, pick ingredients and prepare their meals on their own. They know when they are going to eat and what they are going to eat in order to avoid scrambling when they are hungry. It also helps them resist the temptation of junk, unhealthy food.
When you are preparing your meals yourself, you can control the ingredients and size of the portion. For times when you must rush for a meeting and don’t have the time to cook, you can stock your pantry and freezer ahead of time with vegetable soups, boiled beans, brown rice etc.
5) They drink plenty of water (a minimum of eight cups) every day.
Drinking water every hour certainly doesn’t hurt. I’ve never heard someone get water poisoning unless the water is contaminated. Not just water, but if you include all fluids like juices, smoothies, milk, etc. when it is hot and humid or when you’re exercising you will not just feel great, your skin will glow because of hydration! Keep water on hand at all times and keep sipping it throughout the day. As a rule of thumb, if you are drinking enough water, your pee is clear and that is a great sign!
6) Avoid salt in your food rather season your food with healthy spices.
Besides adding flavor to your food, some spices like cinnamon, turmeric, basil and ginger are highly loaded with nutrients. Sprinkle some cinnamon on your salads or fruit bowls instead of salt. Use rock salt or black pepper. Most packed foods contain heinous amounts of salt (which in turn is sodium) which is responsible in raising blood pressure and eventually heart disease and stroke.
7) They only eat real foods
You should purchase food that comes directly from nature because it is unprocessed. This includes vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, etc. They do not have refined flour or artificial sweeteners or preservatives. They say don’t buy food that has ingredients you cannot pronounce. Keep with you a bag of dry fruit and nuts so you aren’t tempted to buy chips and cookies. Fruits contain natural sugar that is better than ice cream any day. Feeling like eating a dessert? Eat fruits.
When you think of diet as a lifestyle of healthy eating rather than a quick weight loss ordeal, you might go through it for a short period of time, only to return to burgers and french fries later on. The trick here is to focus on making a healthy choice in any given moment, rather than looking at all the things you must do in the long term.
Having said that, getting enough physical activity is also equally vital for having a fit body and a long and healthy life. It helps prevent diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, obesity and depression.
Here’s to better health,
Co-authored by Vidisha Shahani and Hena Shah
An Indian Blogger and Social Media Marketer based out of Boston with 3+ years of experience in Content Management and Digital Media. I love creative writing, educating people about current trends in social media, health and wellness. I feel that marketing has become more social over the years because of the way it is empowering people to make meaningful connections with their friends, colleagues, customers, clients and partners. I believe in networking and building relationships through social media so that I can learn from the industry thought leaders and also share my knowledge with them at the same time.
Vidisha Shahani, B.Sc in Food Science and Quality Control (Gold Medal) and M.Sc in Dietetics and Nutrition is a health and fitness enthusiast certified in AntiGravity by Christopher Harrison, Iyengar Yoga, Prenatal yoga, Acro Yoga and Zumba. She believes in making healthy choices and creating a lifestyle which is healthy In the long run. Yoga, gym and indulging actively with her daughter keeps her active all the time. Her pursuit is to help successful yet stressed out youth of the society to find their healthiest and most radiant selves. She practices all these forms mentioned above to bring a mind-body-soul balance in people. Vidisha believes that our overall health and wellness affects every aspect of our lives, from professional growth to personal relationships and everything that is in between.