As the new year draws closer, many of us are already turning our minds to resolutions. We want to make positive changes in our lives that help us to be healthier and happier. But why wait until January to put these into place? Sure, the festive season may be approaching and we may indulge in a few unhealthy habits. But it’s better to lead a healthy lifestyle the majority of the time with a few slip ups here and there than to lead a downright unhealthy lifestyle for the next couple of months. One area that many of us end up focusing on is diet. We all need to eat a healthy, balanced diet to provide our bodies with the fuel they need to thrive. But where should you start with this venture? Here are a few suggestions that can help on this journey:
Consider Your Goals:
First, ask yourself why you’re setting yourself this goal. Have you noticed that your diet lacks certain elements and you want to fill those gaps? Have you been feeling run down or out of energy? Are you experiencing obesity and want to return to a healthier weight? The goal of your challenge will alter how you approach it. If you feel that you are experiencing health problems as a direct cause of your diet, consult your doctor before getting started. They may be able to make recommendations, such as target daily calorie counts or carry out tests that could find that the issue isn’t your diet at all. For example, if you’re drained and tired, you may be experiencing a B12 deficiency because your body can’t absorb B12 naturally. You might find that bloatedness is due to lactose intolerance and you need to cut dairy out. Alternatively, they may be able to recommend specialist treatment for obesity such as bariatric professionals.
Five a Day:
A good place to start is ensuring that you get your five a day. There’s a good reason that five portions of fruit and vegetables are recommended. Many of us fail to achieve this, but we need a variety of fruit and vegetables to give our bodies the vitamins and nutrients it requires. Make sure your portions are as varied as possible. Your plates and snacks should be colorful.
Cut Out Junk:
Way too many of us eat way too much junk food. Ideally, you should avoid junk food on a regular basis. These types of food – fast food, takeaways, junk snacks – are often packed with excess sugar and salt. They also tend to have high levels of saturated fat. Try meal planning and meal prepping to get yourself into a better habit of eating freshly prepared foods at home.
Of course, you need to stay hydrated too. Make sure to drink roughly eight glasses of water a day. You should also try to eat plenty of water rich foods, such as melons, berries, cucumber, and celery
Eating well is a habit that you will need to form, so stick with it over time and you’ll quickly find you’re doing it without even having to focus on it!
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We all know that hydration is important but few of us realize how much proper hydration can do for us. Many of the aches and pains that we feel could be caused by a lack of proper hydration. The recommended amount of water per person per day is 3 liters. In other words, 13 cups. If you’re not convinced that this applies to you, take a look at how your life could change with proper hydration.
Increases Energy: Good hydration increases your energy levels by allowing you to get proper rest. Water is magical! It’s not the water itself that will give you energy but the hydration. Hydration increases your body’s productivity. It allows you to convert food into energy more efficiently. Keeping hydrated is also a way to avoid weight gain. If you’re burning the calories you ingest, they won’t stay on your hips!
Speaking of energy, it is so important to keep well hydrated if you live an active lifestyle and work out frequently. There is nothing more refreshing than water after strenuous exercise! You might even want to buy hydration supplements to nourish your body more after a work out.
Jumping Jack Flash
Keeps Kidneys and Bladder Healthy: Being hydrated will also be a huge help to your bladder and kidneys. A lot of bad bacteria gathers here. Drinking plenty will ensure that they are flushed through at all times. Not drinking enough means the bacteria will stay and fester, which can cause a lot of problems. Checking the color of the water you pass is a good way to tell whether everything is functioning. If the color is dark yellow, you can be sure you aren’t drinking enough. It’s also worth mentioning here that the purer your water, the better it is. Hard water comes with its own health risks, so it’s well worth looking around for the best water softener you can find.
Reduces Acne and Aging: Proper hydration will work wonders for your skin. By drinking plenty, you can reduce acne and dry skin. You can also slow down the aging process! Skin wrinkles when it’s dry and dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water will ensure that your skin stays firmer for longer. Dehydration is a huge cause of acne, too. The skin is unable to clear any toxins when not given proper hydration. Drinking more will leave your skin looking bright and glowing. It will also ensure that you stay wrinkle free!
Reduces High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: We’ll end this list of magical benefits with the fact that hydration reduces blood pressure and cholesterol. That’s right; hydration is a medical miracle! Your blood predominantly consists of water. Proper hydration allows it to stay thin and so will lower your high blood pressure. High cholesterol can happen when cells aren’t hydrated enough to function. The body releases more cholesterol to allow them to continue working. This creates a cholesterol overload. Hydration allows the cells to function without this added cholesterol.
If this list hasn’t convinced you of the benefits of hydration, why not try it out yourself? Try keeping yourself hydrated for a week and see if you spot any differences. Once you’ve felt what hydration can do, it’s unlikely you’ll go back!
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