Most of us are creatures of habit. We buy the same foods each week from the same supermarket and prepare the same recipes over and over because it’s all that we know, and let’s face it, it takes less effort. If you have made the decision to start a healthier lifestyle, then you will need to change those bad habits, and build healthy habits.
The problem is that we get so comfortable in our ways that it’s hard to give up those old habits. Having a system in place, such as a weekly meal plan can be a good way to get organised and teach you which types of foods are healthiest to buy.
In order to build healthy habits in your diet, you can start with these 3 steps:
Identify the bad habits you want to fix
Figure out why these habits exist
Slowly adjust your bad eating and exercise habits into healthier new ones
What if you’re part of a big family?
Wouldn’t it be great if the whole family could change their bad habits all at once?
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Just because you’ve decided to make a change and start eating healthier, doesn’t automatically mean the rest of the family will be on board.
For example, if you have a recipe containing salmon and non-starchy vegetables, then you can maybe toss a garlic bread under the grill for the other family members that need it or would like to eat more calories. Or, for the Asian-style recipes, you can make up some quick rice or soba noodles and serve them on the side. If your partner wants to eat a huge steak with mash and pasta, you can also have steak but a smaller portion. And maybe serve yours with a salad or steamed veggies rather than loads of starchy carbs.
Use this change as an opportunity to get the rest of the family eating healthier. If you would like your family to start eating healthier, you all need to be doing it together. The goal is to eventually be eating the same meals.
Here are 5 ways to build healthy habits
Creating new healthy habits sounds simple enough but it’s a lot easier in theory than it is in practice.
You might start off with the best of intentions but then after a few weeks, you slip back into your old habits of finishing inhaling a packet of chips without blinking an eye.
Developing and sticking to new healthy habits is not for the faint-hearted, it’s tough and it can be a little boring, especially when you realise you can no longer smash back a snickers bar at the check-out while you’re waiting to be served.
The benefits, however, will be a healthier and happier you, we promise.
5 simple and practical ways to help you when creating healthy habits.
1. Keep it simple
All the clichés in the world aren’t enough to adequately describe how important it is that you should not try to change every single bad habit you have in one sitting.
Be specific and simple in your goals, make it drinking more water, stopping chocolate and beer during the weekdays or reducing your coffee intake. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day – sorry couldn’t help it!
2. Preparation is paramount
It’s so easy to eat whatever is in front of you – often that’s rejected toast, cereal or leftover pizza (yum) from the kids.
The trick is to have your Healthy Man Meal Replacement shake all ready to go in the morning so you’re not tempted to indulge in other foods. Fresh fruit for your shakes can be packaged the night before and frozen.
Setting a day and time each week for meal prep can save you so much time during the week and help you stay on track with your healthy eating plan.
3. Come up with a ritual
You don’t have to wear a feather in your hair and chant around the house every time you’re about to make yourself a salad, but make it the same way every time and soon your healthy new habit will stick.
It will become second nature and become embedded in the way your brain. Building healthy habits save time and energy.
4. Swap out a bad habit for a good one
It’s super easy to lie to yourself that you deserve to eat six chocolate biscuits or drink a few beers because you’ve had a crappy day, but you’ll feel worse afterwards.
When the urge hits you like a ball to the head, down tools and head outside for a walk around the block or do some star jumps or plank for 10 minutes instead. Remember, a bad day does not make a bad week.
5. Ignore the enablers
We all know that well-meaning person who tells us we look great and should not feel guilty about having some treats because we deserve it. These people are enablers and when you’re trying to create a healthy habit they should be avoided at all costs.
This might be hard if you’re married to one, but remember that they aren’t doing you any favours, so stand strong or remind them to join your team and help to reinforce your new healthy choices instead of giving you a ‘get out of jail free’ card.
Top tips for creating healthy habits
Move your body in the mornings. The longer you delay exercise, the less likely you are to do it. Even just get out and go for a walk.
Shop online. If you don’t go to the grocery store you are less likely to be tempted into buying products that you don’t need and that don’t benefit your journey.
Be proud of yourself for every choice you make that is a good one. If your scales don’t change or your cm don’t move, focus your energy on your good choices instead. Results will follow! You didn’t put on all of your weight in one week, so you’re certainly not losing it that quickly either.
Buy meat in bulk and portion it into single or double serves. It defrosts faster and prevents overeating as it’s already portioned.
Trust in the process. It works and it will change your life too.
Build healthy habits to help you overcome nighttime eating
Check out the 10 healthy habits you can put in place to help overcome nighttime eating. One aspect of the weight loss journey which can have an impact on all of your hard work throughout the day is the night-time temptation to eat ‘just that little bit more’, or reach for the yummy sweet sugary biscuit.
It can have a real impact on your weight loss so it’s important to make sure you stick with your meal plan and not overeat or ‘cave’ in.
Skipping meals throughout the day can be a trigger for overeating later in the day. The Healthy Man Meal Replacement shakes are a great way to supplement a meal when you’re on the go, to ensure you stick to your daily eating plan and don’t fall off the wagon come nighttime.
1. Brush your teeth
This will help your mind switch to a better bedtime routine, once you brush your teeth you don’t eat and prepare for bed.
And let’s face it, nothing tastes good after you’ve brushed your teeth!
2. Put your meal plan where you can see it
Have your meal plan visual in front of you so you can see what you have eaten and be accountable to YOUR plan.
Stick to your daily meal plan. Make sure you are eating enough food throughout the day and drinking enough water.
Whilst we’re all about having a plan, some weeks you may need a little more flexibility when it comes to time, budget or family commitments. We’re here to make your journey as easy as possible.
9. Try some relaxation techniques
Instead of going to eat or snack, try some relaxation techniques, like deep yoga breathing, stretches or gentle exercises.
Add 14 YEARS to your life by building these 5 healthy habits
Want to know the secret to old age? Well, a team of Harvard researchers may have found the answer to adding years to your life!
The researchers analysed almost 80,000 women and 45,000 men over a 30-year period and found that those who lived healthy lifestyles were 82% less likely to die of heart disease and 65% less likely to die of cancer over the 30 years. Wow!
Those participants who stuck to all five of these healthy habits saw their life expectancy at 50 rises from 26 to 38 years for men and 29 to 43 years for women. But just 8% of participants stuck to all five!
So come on, how many of these healthy habits do you follow?
1. Not smoking
The researchers found that people who had never been regular smokers were healthier. It’s time to toss the ciggies!
2. Having a healthy BMI (body mass index)
Your BMI determines whether you’re in a healthy weight range based on your height. The researchers stated that a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25.
Just 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day is proven to add years to your life!
4. Cut down on the alcohol
Don’t worry, the scientists didn’t say cut it out totally! Just no more than one 150ml glass of wine a day for women and no more than two for men.
5. Eating a healthy, balanced diet
Fill your diet with fruit, vegetables and whole grains and reduce your red meat, saturated fats and sugar consumption.
This Mexican lasagne is a great healthy meal that the whole family will enjoy!
5 scientifically proven ways to stay on track when you build healthy habits
1) ‘Breakfast like a King’
This old saying rings true when it comes to weight loss so you should definitely incorporate it when you build healthy habits.
An experiment involving a restricted-calorie diet for obese adults, saw them split into two groups: eating either a protein-rich 600 calorie breakfast or a 300 calorie breakfast.
Those eating 600 calories in the morning were more likely to stick to their calorie-restricted diet and were less tempted to eat unhealthy foods during the day.
Eating breakfast, especially a protein-rich breakfast, not only keeps you full but also affects the way in which your brain reacts during the day.
Dopamine known as the reward chemical increases when you eat a protein-rich breakfast, reducing the cravings for high-fat foods.
2) Vegetables actually are good for you
You don’t need scientific research to tell you eating vegetables are crucial to weight loss and living a healthier life.
Scientists investigated over 300 dieters and found that regardless of what diet people were on, i.e. Atkins, Mediterranean, low fat/high carb, the most significant predictor for weight loss was the number of vegetables eaten.
Depending on your fitness, you may be delighted or upset by this scientific fact: 30 minutes of exercise is all you need for weight loss.
Researchers looked at obese men who exercised for 30 minutes and 60 minutes and surprisingly found that the 30-minute group lost more weight than the 60-minute group.
Scientists attributed this to the exhaustion of willpower, making the 60-minute group more vulnerable to giving in to cravings or that this group justified eating an unhealthy diet due to their exercise time.
If you haven’t got a 30-minute chunk of time available to you, space your workouts in 10-minute intervals over the day.
Mindful eating has been often overlooked in this hectic and fast-paced world we live in.
If we all ate mindfully, obesity and related health issues would be greatly reduced.
In one research study, obese adults on the same calorie-controlled diet were separated into two groups: mindfully count the number of bites taken per meal while the other group ate normally.
The group that was counting, that is, mindful of how much they were eating per meal, not only lost more weight, they also reported feeling satisfied quicker than the other group.
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