Over the past year or so I have really changed my eating habits and generally improved my overall lifestyle. I know I could be doing more but for me it is all about balance.
I thought it would be useful for others to see the ways in which I have improved my lifestyle, perhaps it could work for you too!
Drink more water
We are constantly told to drink more water, roughly two litres each day depending on your height, weight etc. I always have a glass of water with breakfast and try and drink at least a litre of water whilst at work.
I then continue to have water on an evening, especially if I am going for a run.
Walking gives you that opportunity to enjoy the scenery, take in the fresh air and keep fit.
For the past few months I have been walking an hour each day to and from work. I find that the added exercise is helping me to concentrate better and to be more productive at work. It has also prevented me from getting stuck in traffic which usually results in me having road rage!
Not everyone is lucky enough to live walking distance from work but how about walking to the shop for a few bits instead of getting in the car? Or going for an evening walk during summer, might aswel make good use of those long light nights! I feel so much better for walking, puts me in a good mood.
Reduce your sugar intake
Over the past year I have dramatically reduced the amount of sugar in my diet. It is suprising how many food and drink items you think are healthy are in fact just full of sugar. Reducing your intake will help massively with your energy levels, skin and overall health.
- Reduce the amount of sugar in your tea/coffee – one teaspoon is roughly 4 grams of sugar, quite a lot if you have a few cups a day!
- Cut down on fizzy drinks, cordial and juices (unless 100% fresh)
- Most ‘healthy’ yoghurts have so much sugar in them, even the low fat ones. The best one in my opinion is either the Fage 0% or Skyr range. High in protein but very low in sugar. Choose the plain ones rather than the fruity flavours.
- Make sauces for your pasta with fresh ingredients and chopped tomatoes. The shop bought jars have up to 16 teaspoons of sugar in them! It is very easy to do plus you know exactly what has gone into it.
Try and get into the habit of exercising at least three times a week if you can. Choose an activity that you enjoy, makes it easier to keep at it. I love running so I try and go three to four times a week plus walking to work.
If you get bored easily then try and mix it up! Look out for local classes – Zumba, running club, dance class etc.
Get lots of sleep
I don’t know about you guys but if I don’t get eight hours sleep a night I find it very difficult to function. Any more than eight and I feel worse! Getting a good nights sleep is so important for your overall health; I find that my skin looks terrible too if I don’t get enough sleep.
If you struggle to sleep then try and have some down time before you go to bed. Read a book, have a bath etc.
Since doing the Bodycoach plan just over a year ago I have really improved my cooking skills and tried to cook from fresh most nights. Cooking from scratch really doesn’t take long and most of the time you already have the ingredients in your cupboard or fridge! There is so much inspiration out there, especially on social media platforms such as Instagram.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like to have the odd takeaway, pizza etc. I am human! But I really enjoy cooking and knowing exactly what is going into my body.
Reduce your alcohol intake
When I drink it’s classed as a treat, this isn’t something I do on a regular basis at all as I’m not a huge fan of the way it makes me feel the following day. I don’t really suffer from hangovers as I always make sure I eat plenty whilst drinking but the way my skin looks and the tiredness I feel is enough to only make me want to do it once every two months, if that!
I think we all know that reducing your stress levels is vital to live a happy and healthy lifestyle. Easier said than done I know!
I find that meditation really helps me to sleep better and relax. At times when I feel stressed or struggle to sleep properly, doing just 10 minutes of mediation on an evening really helps me to relax. The headspace app is a great option for people who are new to meditation.
Exercise, whether it be mild or intense really helps too. If you feel under stress as work, take a break and go for a walk. Stressed at home? Go for a brisk walk or get those trainers on and go on a run, you will feel so much better when you return.
If you work in an office like I do you will know how hard it is to resist the constant supply of cakes and biscuits. Taking healthy snacks to work with you might just help! I like to eat every three hours rather than just three main meals a day, I find that I get moody otherwise! Some options below for you:
- Selection of salad nibbles (celery, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes) with hummus
- Any fruit (add some Fage yoghurt if you need a bit of something extra)
- Handful of nuts
On a weekend I tend to relax a little more with food but having some healthy snacks in your handbag if you are out shopping will help prevent you from grabbing that muffin or chocolate bar whilst walking round the shops.
At times when you feel stressed or upset about something it is very difficult to stay positive about anything at that particular moment. Having a positive mindset does you the world of good so try get used to thinking about all of the good things in your life rather than focusing on the negatives.
One exercise I like to do is to write down all of the things that make me happy. It can be anything from seeing a friend/family member to eating my favourite food. Whenever I feel a little down I just refer to the list and do one of those things, it really works for me and makes you realise just how many happy things you have in your life.
I’m always looking for new ways to improve my lifestyle, let me know if you have any tips! Sian x