Being healthy doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult. Super-strict or restrictive diets and exercise regimes can, for many, be setting you up for failure.
By making smaller changes more consistently you may find you have a much higher success rate, all for seemingly less work. Here are five tweaks to create healthier habits and a happier life.
- Your plate matters
You’ve probably heard before that the size of your plate can affect how much you eat. Eating off a smaller plate ensures that you are not over serving yourself at mealtimes. Most of us are inclined to finish everything that’s on our plate and not waste food. Serve yourself a smaller portion and if you’re still hungry once you’re finished, you can always go back for seconds.
Another trick is to consider the presentation of your food. When food is plated thoughtfully it can make the meal more appetising and enjoyable, leading us to feel more satisfied and less likely to overeat.
- Put food away
If you want to avoid overeating at all costs get into the habit of putting any leftovers straight into the fridge once you’ve served yourself. This will easily reduce any temptation of a second helping, which often you don’t really need.
As they say, out of sight out mind. Even better, there’s a lot less to clean up after dinner.
- Drink more water
Given that our bodies are mainly comprised of water it’s not surprising that staying hydrated is essential for the proper function of every organ. The trick, however, is to not get dehydrated in the first place. If you wait until you’re thirsty to drink, your body is already dehydrated.
Get into the habit of drinking at least eight glasses throughout the course of the day. If you find you’re forgetful, there are smartphone apps which can help to remind you to refuel. And if you need extra incentive why not flavour your water with lemon, cucumber, mint or your favourite fruit?
An added bonus is that often when we eat, it’s because our bodies are actually craving water, so you may find yourself consuming less food without even trying!
- Wash your hands
While this may seem obvious, washing your hands more often is an easy way to live a healthier life. Public facilities such as ATMs can carry similar germs to public toilets, ending up in your car or home. Wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser afterwards to avoid exposure to unnecessary germs.
- Get the right amount of sleep
It’s nothing new that getting enough sleep is incredibly important. Sleep impacts every aspect of your health. It’s essential for our bodies to recharge and for our brains to repair pathways associated with memory and learning new things.
However, more isn’t necessarily better. Research suggests seven hours is the perfect amount, but it’s worth experimenting to figure out how much sleep makes you feel at your optimum and commit to getting that number of hours each night.