10 Easy to Apply Tips to Live a Happier, Healthier Life in 2021
So you should have read my Top 10 Money Saving Tips by now. Number 7 was the point of not joining a gym and signing up to monthly fees in January. It’s my belief that losing weight doesn’t need to cost money and to prove this I teamed up with Jay Reynolds (Personal Trainer and Nutritional Coach) to bring you his top 10 tips for living a healthier life in 2018! And here they are:
1. Move more – This could be something as simple as walking the dog every morning before heading off to work or arranging different physical activities with friends a few times per week such as 5-a-side football or hiking or even joining a dance class. All movement is good movement and in fact the lower intensity it is the more regularly you can do it, just make sure it’s something you really enjoy. All smartphones come with an app that tracks your daily step count, provided your phone is in your pocket. Try increase your step count. A good number to aim for is at least 10,000 steps per day.
2. Don’t crash diet – The first thing most people will do when adopting a new year diet is they drastically slash their food intake. This is not the answer. Dropping your calories extremely low will eventually end up with a crash and a rebound. Dropping your calories really low will actually “shock” the body and slow your metabolic rate down by subconsciously reducing your daily activity ,you will be too tired to exercise, your sleep quality will decrease, this will result in an increase in hunger. What we are ideally are looking for is just a small drop in calories paired with an increase in daily activity levels. This will get the fat loss ball rolling without extreme hunger or tiredness. Slow and steady wins this race.
3. Sleep – Adopt a good, regular sleep routine. Most people cannot fathom how many positive effects that consistent good quality sleep has not only on fat loss but on your physical and mental performance. Sleep no less than 7 hours per night. Go to sleep at the same time every night. Turn your bedroom into a cave. There should be no electronics in the bedroom. No TV, no computer, charge your phone in another room. Your bedroom should be tidy. There should be NO light in the room when you are trying to sleep, no even a standby light from a TV. The body likes routine. If you keep changing up your bedtimes it will negatively affect your sleep. The same goes for waking up. Wake up at the same time every day, even weekends. If you are “Snooze Whore” then put the alarm clock on the other side of the room so you HAVE to get up to turn it off. Start to “wind down” an hour before bed. Don’t go to bed stressed or with your mind racing. Get off your phone 1 hour before bed. The light that screens omit impacts the production of melatonin, a “sleep hormone”. We want to be sleepy when we hit the pillow.
4. Don’t keep junk food in the house – Out of sight, out of mind. It’s crazy that people have drawers full of crisps and biscuits. Why make things hard for yourself? You are so much less likely to eat junk if it’s not within easy reach.
5. Make a list – Write down easy to make, healthy meals that you actually like. Then write a list of ingredients needed and go get them all. Stock the house up with healthy foods.
6. Don’t fall for marketing – Stay away from the “health food” section. Things like protein bars, organic nut butters and gluten free products are just overpriced, heavily marketed nonsense.
7. Don’t reinvent the wheel – Stick to the old school stuff like lean beef, chicken, fish, eggs, fruit, veg and low fat dairy like Greek Yogurt.
8. Don’t drink calories – Your coffee should not resemble a child’s desert. It should not be laden with cream and caramel syrup. Black coffee with a drop of milk is okay. Swap full sugar soft drinks for zero calorie diet versions or if possible swap them for water.
9. Give up the “quick fix” mind-set – No one ever got in amazing shape in 6 or 12 weeks, regardless of what adverts say. By trying to rush things you are setting yourself up for disappointment. There is no magic diet, no magic pill, no magic workout plan. Success is the result of consistent hard work done over a long period of time. Instead of trying to drop 10 pounds in a week and then being annoyed when you fail (which you will), why not aim for 1-2 pounds. It will be a lot easier to lose 1-2 pounds and you won’t have to starve yourself.
10. Don’t fall for fad diets like detoxes and cleanses – Find a diet that A: You enjoy, B: Gets you results, C: You can adhere to and sustain in the long run.
Bonus Nutrition Guide
- Vegetables are your friend. They are super low in calories, they are packed with micronutrients and they keep you full for long. Half of every plate of food you have should be vegetables. All vegetables are good but greens in particular are the best of the best.
- Eat protein with every meal. Protein is highly satiating, meaning it keeps you full for long. It also helps retain lean muscle tissue which will keep your metabolism high. Guys aim for 2 palm sized servings of protein with each meal, girls aim for 1 palm sized portion with each meal.
- Carbs are not the enemy, just use them wisely. Carbohydrate rich foods are potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. Keep them for directly before and/or after exercise, depending on your goals. Even if your goal is purely fat loss there is no reason to avoid carbohydrates. They will help you train hard and recover fast. Just remember; if you are not training just fill your plate with protein and vegetables.
- Fats are an essential part of healthy balanced diet. Fat’s such as nuts, avocado, oily fish, olive/coconut oil, real butter. Be mindful here though, while fat is an essential part of your diet you don’t need as much as many people think. There is no need to put coconut oil or butter in your morning coffee. There is no notable health benefits to this so called “Bulletproof Coffee”. It’s just another fad and it will drive your calories through the roof.
- Don’t worry about counting/tracking calories until you have these few basics firmly in place. Most people are not looking to get “Hollywood lean” so becoming extremely detailed with nutrition isn’t necessary. If you are just looking to lose a few kilo’s, burn belly fat and tone up to look and feel better then these few steps listed above will work brilliantly, I use these with 97% of my clients. Only the high level, elite professional athletes need the highly detailed methods.
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