Health advice has gotten complicated! We live in a culture where experts are ignored, science is questioned, and everyone has an opinion about health and weight loss. But at the end of the day, we are all trying to achieve the same result: the best (and sometimes the easiest) path to healthier living and an optimal weight.
The simplest path to healthy living isn’t always the easiest. However, I’ve listed 7 things that I think have the biggest impact, and I know that by practicing these, you’ll see incredible gains in your physical health, as well as mental health.
- Fast once a week. Fasting once a month has always been a religious practice of mine, but now that the science is catching up with the benefits, I’ve found it extremely helpful to fast once a week. Mostly this just means skipping breakfast and lunch on a Sunday, and resuming regular eating at about 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. Fasting helps the body take a break from digestion and allows your body to decrease insulin and release hormones like HGH.
- Don’t eat out. Make your own food. Studies show, the more you eat at home, the healthier you are. Making your own food allows you to control what the food is made with. Food at a restaurant will generally be much higher in calories, salt, sugar, and fat.
- Exercise 30 minutes a day. Every single day you should be physically active. Being active helps your body be more sensitive to insulin, keeps your heart strong, and is vital to your mental health.
- No blatant sugar. It’s not necessary to go “sugar-free”, to benefit from eating less sugar. The candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream etc., is considered “blatant” sugar. Ignore that, and the sugar you find in small doses like spaghetti sauce isn’t going to be a big deal.
- Don’t drink your calories. Drinking your calories is the least satisfying way to get your nutrients. Whether it’s juice, soda, or even meal replacement shakes, chances are you’ll be hungry for real food quickly, and then you’ll have ingested more calories than your body needs. The “Full” signals to your brain are less likely to be triggered when your food is in liquid form.
- I’m an adult, so the rules can be broken. This rule needs to be here, because although we like to have guidelines, living life with joy, and eating a healthy diet for 100 years can be possible. Know that it’s OK to break the rules once in awhile, without guilt or judgement.
- Practice portion control. This is what it’s all about! You can overeat healthy food, and I see people do it every day. If you aren’t at your desired weight, yet you eat healthy 80% of the time, you likely need to practice portion control. Grab some portion control plates, a scale, measuring cups, or whatever you need to avoid eating more than your body needs.