Ways to Stay Healthy

Calorie Counter

For most of my life, I was one of “those people” who could eat whatever the heck they wanted and never gain weight. It was awesome! However, it was also not destined to last forever. The other day, I noticed that I was looking a little chubbier than usual. I managed to put off my “freshman fifteen” for a couple of years, but it seems that it arrived, and I’m not thrilled by that at all! So, I’m looking for some tips--not just diet tips (though I guess I wouldn’t mind some of those, too), but also lifestyle tips for my post-graduation life. I know I’ll be busier when I’m out in the world and have a full-time job, so I’m worried that my newfound ability to gain weight is going to catch up with me in a big way. Experts, can you help?

We sure can! First, congratulations on your commitment to stay thin and healthy. If you continue to focus on your health throughout your life, you’ll reap incredible benefits. You’ll live longer, you’ll have fewer medical issues than you otherwise would, and you’ll enjoy feeling more energetic and happy!

However, before you can get all those benefits, of course, you’ll need to do the things it takes to stay healthy. So, what does that mean?

For starters, since you say you’re overweight, you’ll need to shed some of those pounds. There are many ways to go about losing weight, and some of them might work better for you than others. You could just count calories or, better yet, count macronutrients and calories--while doing so doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to personal fitness, there’s no denying that it offers a useful and functional approximation. You could buy ephedra diet pills and other supplements, appetite suppressants, and meal replacements. You could even try out fad diets and exercise.

Any of these tactics might help you lose weight, and we’re not here to naysay any of them. However, you should also remember that losing weight isn’t your only goal: you need to keep it off, too!

Lucky for you, you already grasp the key thing about sustainable weight loss. You’re looking for “lifestyle tips,” and that is the right thing to look for. When you change your lifestyle for good, you ensure that the healthy habits that help you lose weight are in place for good, which means you’ll keep that weight off.

Again, this doesn’t mean that you’ll skip dieting--that’s not realistic for your needs, because the weight loss could be slow and frustrating, unless you step things up a bit in the near-term. However, you need to be careful not to shut down your entire diet when you reach your goals, and you should design your diet in such a way that it is natural for you to maintain it once you cross the finish line--upping the amount, perhaps, but not changing the nature, of what you eat.

The best sustainable healthy living plan is to eat lots of whole foods and very few processed ones. Emphasize plants, especially vegetables, in your diet. Also, be sure to exercise on a regular basis. You should get a half-hour of exercise every day, at the least.

That’s the big picture. However, you wanted specific tips, so let’s talk about some of the ways in which you can “hack” health as a working adult!

Your most valuable tool in staying healthy will be the power of habit. We humans are more habit-driven than many of us realize. Exercise may seem brutal the first few times you do it, but if you can turn it into a habit, you’ll find it takes less and less effort each time. The same goes for the ways in which you eat: if you become accustomed to eating chips and drinking beer after work each day, you’ll have a lot of trouble breaking that habit. However, if you swap that for water and veggies, you may find yourself craving those healthy snacks in the same regular, routine way that you once craved the harmful stuff. You can “hack” habit loops by identifying things your “triggers”--the things that lead to your bad actions--and then making a conscious effort to replace your reward with something else that’s sustainable, yet healthier. It doesn’t always work, but a hacked habit can be a powerful tool in your quest for healthy habits.

Habit “rewards” are rewards for a reason. If you hate a certain form of exercise, you may never like it--and that’s okay! When it comes to building a lifestyle, you can and should focus on the things about healthy living that you enjoy. If you can find a form of exercise that feels more like a hobby (and less like work) to you, then you’ll have found an incredible way to turn at least one aspect of healthy living into something that you want to do and will seek out.

Of course, life isn’t only full of routines and habit triggers. You will sometimes find yourself out of your normal routine, for reasons that can be good or bad. This is another spot where you’ll have to be careful!

If you find yourself working late on a regular basis, examine how that’s affecting your habits. Things like getting a full night’s sleep can be very important to weight loss and healthy living, so try to stay on top of that and do your best to keep your sleep schedule regular even when your waking schedule isn’t. Consider toting around healthy snacks, too, so that disrupted schedules don’t always mean take-out and bar food.

On the other side, have a plan for those times when your schedule is different for good reasons. Vacations are fun, but they can be tough on healthy diets! There are a lot of ways to make vacations healthier. The experts at Henry County Convention & Visitors Bureau tell prospective tourists to look for exercise and outdoor opportunities as they explore Henry County, Georgia. Choosing to take a vacation that involves hiking or swimming instead of just drinking and eating can make a significant difference in how you feel when you head back to work. Vacations can make us more productive, but they can also make us fatter--and if your body feels drained after an unhealthy week of binge eating and drinking, that can undo much of the good that you would otherwise enjoy from your week of recharging.

There are more ways to stay healthy than just the ones we mentioned above, of course. However, the important thing is that you understand why these tips work: it’s because they form a lifestyle. It’s only by making healthiness second nature that you can ensure a life free of weight gain and other unnecessary, avoidable health concerns. Good luck!

“The greatest wealth is health.” - Virgil

Content Provided by Scholarship Media

UTA Radio on Facebook

Twitter Feed

UTA News