If you are trying to be healthier, you might find that a quick fix or a fad diet never lasts and you find yourself slipping back into old habits. This is because as humans, we are creatures of habit, and if we want to see and make long-lasting positive changes in our daily lives, we need to work on improving habits one at a time. However, this way to a healthier and happier life doesn't need to be difficult or overwhelming. Making one small change every day for two weeks can be the secret to transforming your habits.
Here are 14 simple habits you can add to your day, over the course of two weeks. Feel free to add these daily intentions to your daily yoga, in YogaDownload's upcoming FREE 2-Week Yoga Challenge: Root and Rise.
Day 1 - Drink more water
We need water to function, and we need to drink it every day! Generally, an adult should be drinking around two liters of water a day - but listen to your body and your thirst and drink accordingly. When we are hydrated, this is the first step to a healthier lifestyle!
Day 2 - Think about what you’re drinking
This one will come easily once you increase your water intake. Whenever you drink something, try to be mindful of if it is good for you. Sugary drinks are one of the ways we consume more sugar and calories without realizing - and they don’t give our bodies any nutrients. Try water or green tea instead of sugary drinks or alcohol.
Day 3 - Eat more mindfully
Now we’ve nailed the drink, it’s time to think about what you’re eating. When we eat while on the go while working, or watching TV, we don’t pay attention to what we’re putting in our mouths. One of the best ways to be more healthy is to be mindful of your food, and if it will give your body nourishment and nutrients. Try to only eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you’re full. And try to chew more, as this helps digestion.
Day 4 - Prioritize sleep
Sleep is a vital part of our health - from producing serotonin to managing blood sugar, it impacts every part of our health. Getting at least seven hours of sleep a night is important for improving your health - but listen to your body, as you may need more.
Day 5 - Reduce junk food
Our favorite foods can be hard to resist, and hard to consume in moderation. But regularly indulging is not great for our healthy diets, so try to remove temptation. Don’t stock your cupboards with junk food, and delete those delivery apps off your phone. Removing things that are sugary, fatty, and greasy from temptation makes it so much easier to resist.
Day 6 - But avoid too many low-fat products
This might seem counterintuitive, but many low-fat and nonfat products can actually contain sweeteners and artificial flavors - which are not good for us! Dietary fat in moderation is fine, and it actually adds flavor, which makes our mindful eating more enjoyable!
Day 7 - Practice self-love
Day 7 is a big achievement! Practice some self-love and appreciation for yourself. Kicking old bad habits is really hard, and if you’ve been sticking to the above steps you’ve been working really hard. So try to take some time out for yourself and do something nice to make you happy.
Day 8 - Cut out sugar
Cutting down on sugary beverages will have helped, but now it's time to cut back in other areas. This can be a very hard challenge, but if you cut back on the amount of sugar you consume little by little, it can transform your health. So many studies show that the amount of sugar you consume can affect your health in a negative way, so it’s all about moderation.
Day 9 - Consume more fruit and vegetables
Eating more fruits and vegetables will improve your health, but it can be hard sometimes to incorporate them into your diet. Make a list of the different fruits and vegetables you like to eat, and think about your plan to add them into your diet. Try to make them a part of every meal and snack, and buy a little at a time so they don’t go to waste.
Day 10 - Try protein in the morning
A high-protein breakfast can help to curb snacking throughout the day. Protein in the morning reduces the amount of a hormone called ghrelin - this stimulates the feeling of hunger - in the blood, way more effectively than a high-carb breakfast. Try eating protein and see how you feel afterward, and incorporate it into your morning routine.
Day 11 - Brush your teeth properly and floss
We all know we’re supposed to floss twice a day, but sometimes we can forget. Try to carve out a good amount of time in the morning and before bed for a proper oral hygiene routine, and you’ll soon start to see the difference.
Day 12 -Move more
It’s time to start exercising. However, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming, try to make some small changes to get moving every day. Try to take the stairs, go for a walk instead of getting the bus, do at-home online workouts or yoga classes, anything to get you moving at least 30 minutes every day.
Day 13- Start to meal prep
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to keep a healthy diet on track. Healthy snacks and meals in the fridge mean we are more likely to choose them rather than ordering takeout. Pick an afternoon or an evening each week that's dedicated to preparing your meals. Try salads, vegetables that can be cooked, fruits, boiled eggs, and other healthy treats that you can eat throughout the week.
Day 14 - Practice gratitude
Finally, this one’s for your outlook on life. People aren’t happy because they have nothing going wrong in their lives, they choose to look at the positive in each situation. So try to find one thing each day that you’re grateful for.
By Amy Cavill
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