Healthy living is perhaps one of the main goals many people set for themselves each year. You are probably reading this article because you, too, are considering a healthier lifestyle and looking somewhere to start. Health is crucial, especially in a time of the pandemic, when you might be living a sedentary lifestyle–or always facing a computer.
Though not to worry! This post will guide you through five tips you should practice to achieve a healthy lifestyle. We’ll cover tips from learning how to practice good sleep hygiene to choosing anti-inflammatory food like delicious habanero peppers.
We understand that our bodies are complex and unique. So in case you have existing medical conditions, it wouldn’t hurt to check with your doctor or dietitian before making significant changes in your diet or routine. That said, continue reading if you’re ready to start living healthy!
1.Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
If you haven’t heard of this term before, sleep hygiene refers to your overall sleep health. Well, it has so much more to do with your eyes than sleep itself! Did you know that light has a massive effect on your sleep? The same is true with blue light, which your phone or computer produces. The more you expose your eyes to light, the more likely your brain slows down or stops melatonin production.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep. That’s why during bedtime, you may sometimes find trouble sleeping because it is likely that you’ve just checked your phone or used your computer! It is inevitable, especially when reading a book by a bright lamp or using your phone or computer before hitting the sheets.
That said, the best thing to do is ditch checking your phone at least 30 minutes before going to sleep. If it’s possible, try to stop watching TV, checking emails, or exposing your eyes to any bright light two hours before bedtime. So, the moment you retire to bed, falling asleep wouldn’t be a huge problem! Practicing good sleep hygiene will give you not only a good night’s sleep but also a more energized and productive day ahead!
2.Monitor Your Calorie Deficit
Monitoring your calorie deficit is an excellent way to be mindful of what you eat, especially for people who want to lose weight. So, what is a calorie deficit? It means burning more calories than the amount that you eat or drink.
There are tons of factors to consider, such as weight, height, and sex. But on average, a person consumes about 2,300 calories per day. On the other hand, a person burns an average of 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day by doing absolutely nothing.
These are merely estimates, but can you imagine your body taking in an extra 300 to 500 calories per day? This case is an example of a calorie surplus, which would be your goal to achieve weight gain. Otherwise, you would need to determine your daily servings and cut them into smaller portions. Say, if you eat a meat sandwich per meal, you may try eating only ¾ or ½ of it per meal, and monitor if you are losing or still putting on some weight. It can look like a trial-and-error basis at first, and it would also depend on your lifestyle–whether you are always on the go or working on a chair.
Take note that a 30-minute running exercise per day is good enough to help you burn as many as 500 calories. It would certainly make an excellent start towards weight loss! Though it’s okay if you’re in doubt because it’s always best to seek professional help from your doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian.
3.Cut Down on Added-Sugar
Sugar is present in most of the food that you eat, such as fruits, bread, and vegetables. Most of these sugars are naturally occurring, so they don’t negatively impact your body. Added sugar, on the other hand, does! Some examples include the sugar cubes in your coffee, the syrups in your kitchen, and the soda you drink. A Harvard study suggests that a person should consume no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, which roughly equals a 12-ounce can of soda.
Let that sink in, and try to rethink how much sugar and sweets you consume daily. It’s good to be aware since too much sugar is a potential cause of stroke, diabetes, weight gain, and various types of inflammation. And as cited in the Harvard study, added sugar often comes from dairy-based desserts, sports drinks and sodas, candy, fruit drinks, and grain-based desserts. So, avoid the irreversible health risks by moderating your sugar intake! Slowly but surely, eliminating added sugar from your diet will help you become less prone to inflammation and other diseases.
4.Control Your Caffeine Intake
It’s a no-brainer that coffee and energy drinks make staple beverages to start the day. If you are dependent on caffeine, you already know how helpful they are to boost your productivity! That said, it’s also essential to know when to stop, especially if you’ve already had too much.
So, what happens if you drink too much caffeine? Some of the symptoms include dehydration, dizziness, anxiety, palpitations, insomnia. And among specific individuals, they sometimes suffer a fever. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, a healthy adult can drink up to 400mg of caffeine per day, and it is equivalent to about 4 cups of brewed coffee. Also, note that while some don’t experience palpitations (pounding/racing heartbeat) when drinking coffee, they do when drinking soda or energy drinks, and vice versa. It is also why it would be best to be familiar with your body and its limitations, so you wouldn’t have to suffer from the symptoms of drinking too much caffeine.
5.Add Anti-Inflammatory Food to Your Diet
Last but not least, adding anti-inflammatory food will help you enjoy a healthy lifestyle! But first, what are inflammatory foods? These include processed food and red meat, margarine and lard, sodas and other drinks with added sugar, fried food, and white bread.
So, why should we avoid them? It’s because we want to prevent medical conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, among others. And since you cannot eliminate inflammatory food 100%, the best way to control inflammation is to introduce anti-inflammatory to your diet! These include berries, red peppers, olive oil, and green leafy vegetables. These will help boost your immune system and reduce the risk of diseases that inflammation causes.
Enjoying a healthy lifestyle will be a long journey, one that won’t take place if you don’t begin! Even though it could be challenging to devote yourself to a healthy lifestyle, knowing practical and informative tips can help you slowly but surely make better health choices moving forward. We hope you found this post helpful, and be sure to check out Recipes.net for delicious recipes and guides on everything food!