It is National Healthy Lifestyles Awareness Day in South Africa. Government uses this day to tackle the dangers of obesity, an unhealthy diet and a lack of physical activity by promoting health, well being among individuals, communities and populations. We at FabuFit want to do our part to help, by giving you 8 simple changes you can make to lead a healthier, happier life.
1. Eat breakfast – So many people neglect ‘the most important meal of the day’. The reason it has carried this tag for so long is not only does it set the tone for entire eating pattern for the day, but provides your body with those essential nutrients it needs after essentially ‘fasting’ while you were asleep all night. Good old fashioned oats is still the best breakfast choice, toss in some berries of your choice and you have a winner!
2. Drink more water – The average person should try to consume at least 1.5-2litres of water a day. This sounds like a lot but it’s not really. Simply drink a glass first thing in the morning and one glass before and after every meal, then one before bed and you would have hit your target.
3. Have more home cooked meals. Even if you’re not a great cook, it’s still better to eat something prepared by your own hand. The minute you eat at a restaurant or fast food place – you put the power in their hands as to what goes into your body. If you cook, you can decide how to prepare your food and manage your portions better.
4. Dessert on the weekends – This is a rule in the Obama house – according to former White House chef, Sam Kass – Barack Obama and his family only have dessert on the weekend. A great habit to adopt that would cut your calorie intake quite considerably – which would make a difference to your waistline (Have you seen the Obamas? – They’re all in great shape!)
5. Don’t reward yourself with food – It’s so in grained in us to reward ourselves with food when we accomplish any kind of milestone in life. Graduation, promotion, birthdays – it’s always centred around food. Try to find other ways that does not involved food to celebrate or reward yourself for a major achievement. Eg. Go for a spa day, shopping etc. You’ll be amazed at how many unwanted calories and unhealthy food you’ll be avoiding by making this small change.
6. Move your body – Be sure to do some form of physical activity for at least 20 minutes every day. This does not have to be at a gym – it can be as simple as playing outside with your kids, taking your dogs for a walk, using the stairs instead of the lift at work or even just pottering in the garden. It’s a good idea to get a workout buddy, that way you guys can motivate one another and hold each other accountable.
7. Reduce your alcohol intake – First prize would be to give it up all together, but if you absolutely cannot. Perhaps try to reduce how much of it you consume. Alcohol is basically liquid sugar. It stimulates the production of oestrogen in the bloodstream, which promotes fat storage (around the waist and tummy area) and decreases muscle growth.
8. Go to bed earlier – People underestimate the value of getting their 7-8 hours of sleep. It’s a little known fact that you could be eating and exercising enough but if you are not getting enough rest, this could hinder your weight loss process. So start off by going just an hour earlier to bed every night.
If you have more suggestions for some small changes one can make to a healthier lifestyle – tweet us at @fabufitsa.