20 Life-Changing Health Tweaks You Should Try Now
Everybody wants to make big changes, but fail to do so. They swing for the fences with their goals and end up flopping.
While this may seem counterintuitive, making big changes in your life comes from making small attainable goals. These goals are much easier to tackle and have specific purposes.
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Below are 20 different tweaks you can try now. They are all habits you can pick up that will lead to a healthier you. Make this year count and take some serious strides to a healthier you.
20 Life-Changing Health Tweaks
#1 – Try One New Recipe Every Month
Being adventurous in your cooking allows you to find flavors you may not have known you liked. If you focus on learning one new recipe each month, you will have 12 new dishes you can prepare.
Keeping meals interesting and fun is what keeps you wanting to eat healthy.
If you don’t know how to cook, now is the time to start. Don’t be afraid of the kitchen, that’s where abs are made.
#2 – Try Black Coffee
If you are guilty of picking up a sugar-laden coffee or one of those fancy sugar bombs known as a Frappuccino, you know they pack a lot of calories.
I recently started drinking black coffee for energy during my calorie deficit and it works.
I highly advise you to pick up some whey protein and mix it in with your coffee — think of it as a supercharged protein shake. I personally like the MTS Vanilla whey protein mixed with my coffee.
#3 – Try the Stairs
If you are fortunate enough to have the choice of taking an elevator or stairs, try taking the stairs every once in a while. Every flight of stairs will help us burn around 9 calories… and that adds up.
If you were to take two flights of stairs per day, that would equal around 13,140 calories over the year. That’s roughly 3.75 pounds worth of calories.
Taking the stairs along with parking further away from the building and walking around the office more all will compound how many calories you burn.
#4 – Quit Sleeping Next to Your Phone
Something I’ve always been proud of is my ability to put my phone down when I need to. The more you focus on getting plenty of quality sleep, the more important it is to have boundaries.
Unplugging from your phone and even sleeping in a different room than your phone is ideal. This will keep you off of it and not scrolling through Instagram or sharing memes to your friend.
Sleep is important to your performance, both physical and mental, so take the time to get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep.
#5 – Take Time to Stretch
Stretching after you get out of bed has many benefits and it feels great. You will loosen up your body, work those kinks out, and you will be prepared for the day.
This is even more important for those who deal with pain. I personally have an ankle issue that I have to stretch before I start walking or else it’s painful. When I do stretch, however, I feel more mobile and my ankle does not hurt as bad throughout the day.
Help yourself and take the time in the morning to stretch.
#6 – Stand Up More
It’s well-known that sitting for extended periods of time can increase your risk for serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Try to set your alarm to stand up and move every hour. This can be hard in a professional setting, but simply standing up at your desk can help.
Something that’s helped me is to take the less-efficient routes at work — make multiple trips when I can, stand up and walk to a coworker’s desk, or simply walking to the break room and back. No one really notices your increased walking, but you will notice it in your waistline and overall health.
#7 – Measure and Log Your Food
Eyeballing portions will get you so far. Actually, I recommend eyeballing your portions as you start — especially if you have treated food as a free for all.
You see, when we eyeball our portions, we don’t really know how many calories you’re getting. Sure, being mindful of your portions is better than nothing, but taking the time to measure and log your food will help a lot.
It’s been the main reason I’ve lost 120 pounds twice. The first time I lost 120 pounds I was winging it, now that I measure and log my food, everything is calculated.
Seriously, buy some measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a food scale. If you were to pick anything from this list to start, I feel this could help you the most.
#8 – Start Lifting Weights
Strength training builds muscles, strengthens bones, and helps promote longevity. No, you won’t get “bulky,” and you definitely won’t turn fat into muscle.
You will, however, get stronger, produce more power, look better naked, and have a healthier body composition.
Instead of slogging along on the treadmill all of the time, pick some weights up a couple of times per week.
#9 – Start Your Day off Healthy
Eating a nutritious breakfast will energize your day and keep you from making unhealthy choices at lunch.
Get plenty of fiber, protein, and fats in during breakfast to stay satiated. Drink plenty of water, and try out one of those supercharged protein shakes I was talking about… they are tasty.
Eating a healthy breakfast starts your day off healthy. You’ll feel compelled to keep the “healthy streak” up and that’s what matters.
Don’t be afraid of eggs, oatmeal, and fruit for breakfast.
#10 – Cut Out Soda
I used to drink a lot of soda. In fact, that was the biggest reason I lost 120 pounds the first time. I had built up such an addition to Mountain Dew that I would have at least six cans per day. That didn’t count the other ice creams and pizza I would eat, too.
As I stopped drinking soda, many things besides my weight changed — I feel less addicted to sugar, my taste buds enjoy new flavors, and most importantly, naturally sweet things actually taste sweet.
I had a caracara orange last night and it was divine.
Seriously though, you’re getting about 150 calories per can of soda and that adds up fast. If you were to drink one per day that would equal more than 54,750 calories that you have ingested. That could be the reason why you’re gaining 15 pounds per year.
Try tea, black coffee, and drink water. I like the Mio flavor packs along with other low-calorie flavoring. I don’t use it often, but it definitely cuts through the “blah” flavor of water. Try sparkling water if you enjoy the carbonation.
#11 – Get Into a Sleep Routine
I still struggle with getting into a sleep routine, but I do have some rules. Instead of only going to bed when you can, establish a sleep routine and stick to it.
Once your body gets acclimated to your new sleep schedule, you will start naturally waking up and wanting to go to sleep at that time. Keeping a healthy circadian rhythm will improve overall health and performance.
#12 – Start Mornings off With Water
If you can, keep a water bottle next to your bed so you can drink water as soon as you wake up. This will rehydrate your body and jumpstart your brain to get ready for the day.
I’ve found if I slack on my hydration in the morning, I struggle all day to catch up. Drink plenty of water in the morning and give yourself that buffer.
#13 – Count Your Steps
With technology getting more advanced and cheaper, even our phones can give us an idea of how many steps we’ve taken.
Getting a pedometer will allow you to see how many steps you are taking during the day. The recommended daily steps are 10,000 steps per day — but I don’t even hit that.
Instead of getting frustrated at your lack of steps, aim to add more by taking the stairs, parking further away from the building, and taking multiple trips.
These all will add up to results.
#14 – Use Fruit for Dessert
Once you start cutting back on your sodas and other sugary sweets, you’ll start noticing fruit is pretty sweet.
If you need something sweet, opting for fruit provides fiber, vitamins, and nutrients our bodies need. My desserts are usually an apple or two and some oranges. If I am really craving something sweet, I’ll drizzle one or two tablespoons of honey on them.
#15 – Try to Meditate for 10 Minutes Daily
When you think about meditation you probably think about sitting in uncomfortable positions chanting mantras.
Meditation doesn’t have to be that. If that’s not your style then it’s not your style.
Instead, spend 10 minutes daily thinking about what you are grateful of. Take time to sit there in complete silence and relax. You aren’t thinking about your issues, you aren’t thinking about that guy that made you mad yesterday, and you definitely shouldn’t worry about your bills.
Just for 10 minutes.
So take 10 minutes to completely shut out the world, and take time for you. Sit or lay, exercise, or walk around. Think about your goals, what you are grateful for, and anything that makes you happy.
#16 – Try Healthier Alternatives
Cooking at home allows you to try different alternatives and come up with some unique dishes.
Instead of always opting for fries with your meal, try some fresh steamed veggies, a salad, or even opt for a something with fewer calories. This means making an open face sandwich instead of using two pieces of bread.
Small changes can make huge differences in the long run. Focus on adding nutrition to your plate. If you do decide to have fries or something more calorie dense, you should meticulously weigh and measure it out so you know exactly what you are getting.
#17 – Try Signing up for a Race
Signing up for a race or competition helps give you something to work toward. Plan a 5K or a marathon out, find a charity bike ride, or find some adult sports to participate in.
Any movement is better than none, so find something you are interested in and sign up for it.
#18 – Pack a Healthy Lunch and Snack for Work
When I first started working in the office I do now, we almost always had unhealthy foods delivered. I would blow a lot of my food budget ordering food out and it was ruining my weight loss progress.
Pack a lunch for work every day and enjoy knowing you don’t have to be tempted by other foods. Having a lunch packed keeps you from eating pizza the office ordered.
#19 – Get a Physical
If you want to be on top of your health, it is important to get a yearly physical. Let a professional give you a check up and see how everything is going.
Being able to catch something early can save your life.
#20 – Commit to Your Goals
I left committing to your goals as last, even though it should be first.
Look, when I say commit to your goals, I don’t mean make a goal and then say it’s too difficult. I don’t mean tell all of your friends you are going to “try to eat healthier” and then the next hour post how awesome your Taco Bell was.
When I say commit to your goals, I mean commit to your goals with so much conviction that no one can tell you otherwise. You know what it takes to get healthy, so why aren’t you doing it?
I’m certainly not in great shape, but I’m making my way there. But without a doubt in my mind I can tell you that if you aren’t going to commit to the goal of getting in shape and take the time to change your lifestyle, you are wasting your time.
So if you are tired of wasting your time, it’s time to commit. There is no “well I’ll just try again Monday” crap. It’s do it or don’t.
Oh you messed up today? Move on and do your best the rest of the day.
I overeat some days, I choose unhealthy foods some days… but I don’t stop. I don’t listen to people who think they know nutrition, and I definitely don’t take advice from people who are in worse shape than me.
One of my coworkers tells me all of the time how I’m going to die from eating eggs and fruit while she is choking down her chicken fingers, fried shrimp, and Caesar salad that has at least 600 additional calories on it.
You tune them out. You do the work you know needs done. And you don’t have to explain yourself or answer to anyone.
Commit to your goals or quit telling people you want to lose weight. It’s that simple.