To look and feel great you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. A healthy person is someone who is a healthy weight, has lots of energy, eats healthily, exercises and is hardly ever sick. Simple changes in diet, exercise and mindset can make you feel and look like a new person!
Here is a guide
Drinking alcohol is like eating a caramel covered donut. It has no nourishment, is bad for your blood sugar level and is high in calories. It also inhibits your fat-burning ability and becomes a fat storage promoter. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, making you more likely to stray away from your healthy eating goals and eat poor food choices like white bread or junk food. As that glass of wine or mixer also lowers your blood sugar, it will make you extra hungry! That evening or the day after you will feel tired and sluggish or have a vicious hangover. Alcohol can even prevent you from having restful sleep. One glass is acceptable every now and then, but remind yourself of the calorie content.
Alcohol consumption can cause gout, cancer, bad breath, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, acne, obesity, depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Cut out the junk food and takeaways.
Junk food and takeaways are foods that are high in calories, low in nutrients and usually contain bad fats, preservatives, loads of sugar, and harmful chemicals. Junk food is mostly processed food which has been stripped of nutrients as it is no longer in its natural state. People tend to buy junk food and takeaways because of the convenience, price and taste, but are they willing to swop good health for this kind of food? Eating junk food piles on body fat and can cause obesity, vitamin deficiencies, energy problems, heart disease and diabetes!
Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the world! Smoking can cause emphysema, heart disease, lung, throat, stomach, nose, bladder, ovarian and cervical cancer and death. It can also shorten you life by 10 years and cost you thousands of rands a year. It is not only harmful to you but also to those around you. Smoking is an unattractive habit as it gives you bad breath, discolored teeth and fingers, ages your skin and gives you a smoky stench that clings to your clothes. Even one cigarette every once in a while is very hazardous to your health.
Drink more water
Aim for more or less 8 glasses of water per day to keep your body hydrated and to allow your body’s metabolic processes to function optimally. Often when we are tired, have a headache or are hungry it is actually our body telling us that we need water. Keep a jug or bottle of water within reach to make sure that you get all the water you need.
Get enough quality sleep
Lack of good quality sleep can leave you irritable, moody and even give you similar bodily reactions to that of a drunk person, including slowed speech, reduced brain functioning and increased clumsiness. Continued sleep deprivation can lead to poor decision making, a poorly functioning immune system, lessened stress-handling capabilities and a general feeling of constant fatigue and ill health. 8 hours of unbroken sleep is optimal for good health.
The best thing to do is to not eat at least 2 hours before bed, to stay away from caffeine after 4 p.m., to quit smoking and to avoid alcohol. For an ideal sleep environment, darken your room (the darker the room the better the sleep), turn your clock away from you and put your cell phone on silent and face-down. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of your head and onto the page. This will help you put them into perspective so you can stop worrying about them. If you battle to fall asleep, try reading with a soft bedside light or taking a relaxing warm bath before you climb into bed.
Eat more vegetables
You need to eat 3–5 servings of vegetables per day in order to be healthy. Vegetables are great as they are so low in calories it is highly unlikely you will ever gain weight even if you over-eat on them. They contain vitamins and nutrients that help you to look and feel great and are rich in fibre, promoting an optimally functioning digestive system. Keep your potato servings to a minimum and rather choose other vegetables that are richer in nutrients and fibre.
Have 5 meals a day
You should eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack and then dinner every day. How often you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels up. It also helps to keep you slim and trim, more level-headed and focused and helps you to avoid cravings. The G.I. Lean lifestyle focuses on eating 5 balanced Low-GI meals a day in order to have a healthy body. Find eating plans in any G.I. Lean Step 1, 2 and 3 products.
Stick to Low-GI foods
Foods that are Low-GI help to balance your blood sugar level and promote healthy energy levels. Great energy levels and a well-functioning metabolism go hand in hand. Low-GI foods can also help you to stay satisfied for longer and help your body to use up your unwanted fat stores.
Exercise 6–7 times a week
Exercising daily is a great way to improve your health and promote a longer life. It helps to improve eyesight, normalise blood pressure, stabilise blood sugar, increase lean muscle, lower cholesterol, lower your body fat and improve bone density. 30–60 minutes a day is ideal.
Take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement
In our daily diet it is incredibly hard to get all the vitamins and minerals we need. Even if we eat a clean diet with lots of vegetables, fruit and the correct portions of fats, proteins and carbs, we will still miss out on some of the nutrients our body needs, thus taking a multivitamin is a good idea. Many of the foods that we eat today have lost their nutrients from being over-processed or from different methods of cooking or preserving. Being healthy means being devoid of vitamin deficiencies, which can cause everything from mood swings to exhaustion to dull hair and brittle nails.
Choose a multivitamin that suits your needs e.g. Patrick Holford Advanced Optimum Nutrition or Patrick Holford Essential Omegas (for those who exercise often), or Patrick Holford’s Chill Food, Mood Food or Advanced Brain Food (for those living in a fast-paced, stressful environment with lots of mental and physical challenges).
Have a positive outlook on life
Always seeing the glass as half full helps to boost overall health and promotes a better immune system. Your body believes what you think, so focus on positive thinking.
Eat good fats
Good fats are essential for great health as they are needed for nerve activity, mental wellness, vitamin absorption, protecting your heart, immune system function and cell health. Don’t get us wrong, low-fat products are the right choice but you still need to include good fats into your diet. Good fats are found in nuts, soy, soymilk, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, avocados, olives, peanut butter, olive oil, certain fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines) and tofu. If you are not getting good fats on a daily basis, take an omega 3 and 6 supplement.
Avoid the bad fats
Try swopping fatty foods for healthier options like olive oil instead of vegetable oil, low-fat cheese instead of cheese, low-fat milk instead of full cream, frozen yoghurt instead of ice cream, lean meats instead of fat covered meats like bacon or pork chops. Also avoid baked goods like cookies, muffins, pizza dough and oily crackers and fried foods like donuts, chips, fried chicken, etc.
Stress can affect your body more than you think, along with muscle tension and tension headaches it can cause and contribute to depression, diabetes, hair loss, heart disease, obesity, sexual dysfunction, tooth and gum disease, ulcers and cancer.
Stress during work hours is understandable but make sure that when you physically leave work you mentally leave work too, that means cutting all ties to work like checking emails and making calls. Get into a stress releasing routine, whether it means getting home and taking a bath, changing into comfy clothes, reading the newspaper on the couch, cooking a delicious meal, talking to your loved ones, or kicking off your shoes and watching your favourite TV channel. Other stress relievers include yoga, massages (ask a friend or partner for a free one or a one-for-one), meeting up with a fun friend, or a walk around the block or the nearest park.
Socialise with people who keep healthy habits
Birds of a feather flock together and when your friend is having a slice of cake or having a few drinks it will be hard not to give in to temptation. Encourage your friends and loved ones to change to healthier habits too. Utilise your friends’ best qualities, for example if you have a friend that always works out, then join them, if you have a friend that is lazy but eats well then plan a lunch social with them. You can motivate one another to be better, healthier individuals!