#GOALS! We’ve all been there, scrolling through Instagram, where we discover pages of people with our #dreambody, or seeing models that are the definition of #fitnessgoals. Or perhaps we find accounts where people post their incredibly organized lives; planners and to-do lists galore! There is one central theme to all of these accounts and posts, and that is healthy habits.
We are so used to thinking of salads and exercise when we hear the word ‘healthy’, that it is easy to overlook what is in the heart of the concept. Healthy habits can apply realistically to anything- our diets, lifestyle, mentality, and personal relationships. So, without further ado, here are 20 tips and tricks to develop healthy habits!
Balance is without a doubt the most important concept to understand, since too much of a good thing can be a bad thing! For example- both overdoing exercise and not doing any at all is unhealthy for you, so find a balance!
in any form, this is a good option! Get to the gym a few times a week and do your favorite workout to get your heart pumping. If gyms aren’t your thing, maybe grab a pal or two and go for a hike, or play a sport such as soccer or Frisbee.
3. Drink More Water
This is a very simple solution to most of our problems, especially since most people don’t consume enough a day. Drinking more water detoxes your digestive system, gives you more energy, and lets you see those gym results sooner!
Sleep is one of the most important thing for human functionality, and most college students don’t seem to be getting nearly enough! If you can’t seem to get the recommended amount of sleep, instead aim for higher quality sleep over quantity. Use sleep calculators like www.sleepyti.me to make sure you finish your REM cycles!
5. Limit Fast Food
Although fast food is a cheap and quick meal, often times it lacks proper nutrition, leaving you hungry sooner than a filling, balanced meal. At your favorite fast food joint, try to find a healthier option: grilled chicken over fried, whole wheat bun or a lettuce wrap over white bun, more veggies and less sauce!
6. Meal Prep
Try to prepare most of your meals at home, this way you can avoid extra additives or preservatives put into frozen or fast food meals. For instance, pre-made food is notoriously high in your daily sodium amount! Salt is an anti-diuretic, where it holds on to water in your body and often times is the case of bloating.
7. Dessert Alternatives
processed sugars such as brownies, cakes, ice cream and donuts are a huge source of empty calories. However, many brands are making better desserts! Companies such as Halo Top and Arctic Zero are making ice creams with only 200-300 calories per pint; these ice creams contain good amounts of protein, taste better than regular ice cream, and actually fill you up as well. Try to swap out your favorite unhealthy desserts for a guilt-free option!
8. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is genuinely the most important meal of the day, and if you don’t have time to eat before you run out the door, grab a protein bar and some fruit, or a smoothie. When you eat soon after waking up, you kickstart your metabolism and are less likely to over-snack throughout the day!
9. Watch Your Meals
Make sure your meals contain veggies (grilled, raw, steamed), lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, beans), and whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, lentils) so they properly fill you up and provide the nutrition your brain needs to function. Also, try to eat 6 smaller meals a day rather than 3 huge feasts. If you really are running low on time, then try to have a huge breakfast, a large lunch, and a smaller dinner.
10. Aim For a Colorful Plate
Often times the fruits and veggies with the strongest, brightest colors contain more nutrients and antioxidants!
If you think you aren’t getting the proper nutrition you really need, daily multivitamins can be a good supplement until you’re on the track to getting everything you need in your diet.
12. Start a To Do List
Often times when you have everything written down on paper, you can organize your thoughts, and alleviate your stress if you have a set game plan for every day! Not to mention, it is incredibly satisfying putting in a check mark or crossing out the things you’ve accomplished.
13. Get Some New Workout Clothes
Whenever I buy new workout wear, or training sneakers, you may instantly feel a million times more motivated to work out!
14. Make a Goal Mood Board
Whether you make this online on Pinterest or Polyvore, or print it out and make a poster is up to you. Choose your favorite mantras and motivational quotes, recipes to your favorite healthy snacks, your favorite fitness inspirations, calming colors and aesthetically pleasing photography, and last but not least some pictures of your favorite personal memories.
15. Throw Out Your Weighing Scale
The scale plays a harsh mind game, whether you want to lose or gain weight, it seems as though what you want is never displayed. In fact, on a fitness journey, the visual is more important. Look in the mirror, or take progress pictures. Since muscle takes up less space than muscle, it translates to you looking leaner, slimmer, and toned with a higher number on the scale! Stick to the visual for tracking your gains.
16. Find a Buddy
Often times, it is hard to find and maintain motivation for a lifestyle transformation. If you can find a friend who also has the same goals as you, you can compete and motivate each other! Not to mention you now have a gym buddy, and someone you can indulge in your favorite unhealthy foods (in moderation!) on cheat days.
Stress is one of the biggest factors in weight gain and retention. When your body is overworked, you may find yourself overeating, unmotivated to work out, or even just feeling a little bloated. Find a way to decompress weekly, whether you meditate, take a yoga class, or drive up to the beach and watch the ocean, or chase sunsets/sunrises.
18. Be Understanding
There will ALWAYS be setbacks. Maybe you go on a yearly camping trip with family, and the only foods available are hot dogs and hamburgers, or maybe it’s finals week and the only food you want to eat is comfort food. This little hiccup won’t change your whole fitness journey, it is a mere bump!
19. Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
While many people say they want to look just like models with incredibly narrow figures, often times this is an unrealistic expectation! Many of these models do in fact live unhealthy, extremely over-exercised lifestyles. Instead, look towards the fitness Instagram users, where people post pictures such as ‘posed’ vs ‘relaxed’. Sometimes no matter how fit you are, you will be bloated, or have belly rolls. When you sit down, your thighs will spread out, and that’s okay!
20. Love Yourself
As long as you are healthy and happy, know that you are living the best version of yourself, and wear those jeans that make you feel confident, or wear those favorite shoes that make you feel like you can conquer the world. There is only one you, and don’t waste time trying to become a carbon copy of someone else. You are unique, and never let anyone change that!