A healthy lifestyle on the surface looks the same for everyone: proper nutrition, exercise, healthy weight maintenance, and emotional and mental support. But when you cut beneath the surface, we all have slightly different needs. And sometimes, it’s difficult to find those differences and what specifically works for you.
With all the advertisements out there trying to convince you that their gym, their personal trainers, their supplements, or their diet programs are the only way you’ll lose weight and get healthy, it can get confusing and messy. So instead of getting overwhelmed, try a few simple things to help you find the truly healthy lifestyle you’ve been looking for.
Be Patient with Yourself
Your journey to the ultimate healthy lifestyle for your body will take some time. Be patient with yourself as you look for all the elements that come together to bring healing, mental wellness, and physical health to your body.
Ignore the Advertisements and Look for Authority
There are millions of products out there that are advertised as “miracles” for healthy living. Skip clicking on links that use language like, “lose 24-pounds in two weeks!” or that use the word “diet.” Instead, look for reliable, nutritionally balanced, realistic, and medically sound options.
Check into legitimate programs and supplements that don’t have celebrity endorsements or hyped up miraculous promises, and are backed by qualified physicians and trainers who didn’t go into the weight-loss business to earn the big bucks.
Take Small Steps Instead of Giant Leaps
Taking giant leaps into goals of weight loss, better diets, or guzzling a gallon of water daily will most likely cause frustration, and possibly cause harm. You’ll also get discouraged because you won’t be able to keep up with your monumental plans. Instead, make one or two small changes on a semi-regular basis.
If, for example, you’re trying to improve your eating habits, try switching out your bag of chips at lunch for a pack of baby carrots or an apple. And then for dinner, switch out your routine of watching television with dessert to sipping a cup of herbal or green tea while relaxing with a good show.
After a few weeks of success, switch out another one or two small things, and repeat until you’ve replaced your bad habits with good ones.
Listen to Your Body
There are small things that vary from person to person, which can affect how healthy and happy your life is. Some people, for example, are simply better off not eating any kind of meat, while others just can’t be happy without it. If you’re struggling constantly to fight your craving for meat, you’re going to have stress over food. Stress over food may cause obsession over food. And obsession over anything causes unhealthy living.
Whatever you most love eating should be allowed in your diet sometimes, even if not all the time. Be kind to yourself, and those around you, by giving yourself permission to figure out what foods are healthy for you to include in your diet on occasion.
Keep an Eye on Everything
While it’s important to avoid obsessing over your health, keeping track of everything in your life can help you gradually improve your lifestyle. Keep a journal that allows you to make notes about things like how you feel on days you don’t drink enough water, how sluggish or energized you are with or without caffeine, or how certain foods affect you.
Listen to what your body tells you about new food options you’ve tried, a little extra walking you did, and how your interactions with your spouse affect your mental or physical wellness. Jot down your genuine observations, even if only using a sentence per category.
After a couple of months, look through your journal at all entries of the same kind. Are there significant differences in how you’ve felt after eating sugar, after drinking coffee after four p.m., or after arguments with your kids? How often did negative events happen? What positive things boosted your morale, weight-loss, or productivity?
From this gathered information, assess what you might do to change bad habits, even if slowly, to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Your Healthy Living Won’t Look Like Your Sister’s
Every person is different. Every human body is different. And that means everyone’s pursuit of healthy living will look just a little bit different from everybody else. Remember to be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself, and give yourself some time as you learn exactly what your healthy lifestyle should look like.