Are you struggling with nutrition or weight loss? You’ve probably heard it before, but we’re going to say it again: You can’t out-train a bad diet (or terrible sleep patterns, or chronic stress). That’s why it’s important to develop healthy habits to supplement your workouts.
Now, our members hear us talk about habits all the time. Just why are we so hung up on them? Because it doesn’t matter what you know, unless you actually do what you know. Most people think all they need for change is knowledge, so they spend hours and hours searching for that perfect meal plan or diet.
But all we really need is a little CHANGE itself. And change occurs when you practice it each day — forming a HABIT.
Below we’ve included 7 of the best habits you can adopt to improve your health. But remember to start small. Pick one of these habits that you know you can conquer, then practice it, make sure it’s part of your daily routine (mostly — you don’t have to be perfect), and move on to the next one.
1. Eat until you’re 80% full.
This is an easy and important habit to implement. When you’re eating, by the time you feel “full,” you’re actually overfull. That’s because it takes the stomach several minutes (some experts say up to 20) to communicate to the brain how full it is. That means we need to eat slowly, mindfully, and only until we’re no longer hungry.
2. Have veggies with every meal, or at least 5 servings per day.
The health benefits of vegetables are legendary, and for good reason. Veggies are loaded with nutrients, reduce the risk of many illnesses, and aren’t loaded with extraneous calories. For this reason, they make the perfect fuel for your body. Aim to have veggies with every meal — or about 5 servings per day.
3. Stick to zero-calorie drinks like water, green tea, or even coffee.
When you’re working so hard in your workouts, you don’t want to add extra calories with no nutritious value into your diet. But many people are doing just that in their drink choices. Instead of grabbing a sugary drink, stick to zero-calorie options like water and green tea. And coffee! Coffee actually has a negligible calorie count — as long as you skip the extras, like cream and sugar.
4. Eat whole foods.
Skip the processed junk. Processed food is high in excessive calories and other troublesome added ingredients. Meanwhile, whole foods (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) are chock full of fiber, which keeps you feeling full longer.
5. Sleep at least 7 hours a night.
How much sleep you need each night varies from person to person, but most experts agree it’s between 7 – 9 hours. And it affects your body’s all-around performance. Studies have shown that well-rested individuals shed fat and calories at a much higher rate than their tired counterparts, even when on the same diet.
6. Take 10 mins each day to de-stress.
This will look different for everyone, but find out what helps you de-stress and practice it every day, even for just 10 minutes. Stress can contribute to a myriad of health problems and combating it each day will keep your mental and physical health in check.
7. Exercise for at least 4 hours each week.
The health benefits of exercise extend far beyond weight loss. It can improve mood and energy levels, aid your brain function and memory, and even reduce your risk of chronic disease. Get in at least 4 hours a week to give your health that all-around boost!