The new year is a chance to start anew. Though it is easier said than done, one of the few things that would greatly improve your lifestyle is to try living healthy. Here are a few steps you can take to make life healthier without necessarily depriving yourself with anything.
1. Reduce your soda intake (or better yet, avoid it entirely!)
One of the biggest contributor to weight gain is drinking soda. Because of the high amount of sugar found in these fizzy drinks, they will give you extra calories that will be stored as body fat. Keep in mind that a 12 ounce can of Pepsi contains up to 40 g of sugar which converts to 150 calories. If you can’t get rid of your cravings for a sweet drink, opt for natural fruit juices to help curb your appetite. If you feel like you’re ready, take it up a notch and minimize your fruit juice intake as well. By following this step, your sugar intake will drastically decrease, making your body less prone to weight gain.
2. Replace white rice with brown rice
If you’re the type of person who absolutely cannot live without rice but wants to stay healthy, then brown rice is just for you. Brown rice helps stabilize blood sugar levels and is rich in anti-oxidants that will help cleanse your body. Additionally, brown rice is high in fiber which will help improve your digestion and prevent colon cancer. Aside from these, brown rice is also rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
3. Choose whole wheat bread over white bread
Bread is one of the most common staple food around the world. However, white bread can be less healthy as opposed to its whole wheat counterpart. Whole wheat bread is high in fiber to help improve digestion. In fact, the amount of fiber found in just a piece of wholewheat bread can be found in eight pieces of white bread. A study in Harvard suggests that people who ate high fiber bread had fewer risks in heart diseases and stroke compared to people who consume white bread as part of their diet.
4. Spend at least 15-30 minutes to exercise each day
A short exercise is better than no exercise at all. Try saving at least 15 minutes of your time to get a little exercise. This practice will help jump start your metabolism as well as get rid of extra calories. Work around your schedule and see if a morning or an evening workout best suits your lifestyle. You can either choose to enroll in gym classes or follow several exercise routines available online. You will be surprised as to what 15 minutes can do to your body.
5. Drink more water
It is common knowledge that water is a natural cleanser, but only a few knows how water speeds up metabolism. Proper hydration can greatly improve your body’s energy, enabling it to burn fat easier. Reach out for a glass of cold water every one in a while to force your body to use more calories to warm it up.
6. Go for non-fat over regular dairy products
Some people might think that there’s not much difference between whole milk and it’s non-fat version, but they think wrong. In fact, whole milk contains almost 4 percent fat, and 1 cup of whole milk has 156 calories, 9 grams of total fat, and 34 milligrams of cholesterol. Low-fat, 1 percent milk has 54 fewer calories, 7 grams less fat, 22 milligrams less cholesterol, the same amount of calcium, and more vitamin A per cup. Nonfat, or skim milk, has only 86 calories per cup. Choosing the lighter option is the next best step into giving up dairy products entirely.
7. Improve your sleeping habit
Screw that belief that sleep is for the weak, because sleep can make you strong. An adequate amount of sleep can help the body can help reduce the risks of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and hypertension, and colds. According to Dr. Ann Rogers from Harvard University, insufficient amount of sleep alters insulin resistance which is associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So, try your best to follow a schedule that will help improve your sleeping pattern to give you more energy throughout the day, and to allow your body to fully rest.