Modern conveniences developed over the decades have made it hard for us to know what “healthy” means or looks like anymore. Here are a few instinctual habits of healthy people that are more in line with our human design.
1. Eat real food. When we eat food that comes from the earth instead of a factory, the body can naturally regulate appetite and weight. Those of a healthy weight are rarely on a “diet” thanks to their healthy relationship with food. Lean people know when enough is enough, although they may indulge on occasion without guilt because their diet is otherwise well-balanced.
2. Stay active daily, and fidget. Lean, active people seek out activities they enjoy and stick to it. Studies show that choosing social sports such as tennis and golf can extend our life1, but any exercise will do. It is much easier to create an exercise habit if you schedule it as part of your normal routine. It also turns out that fidgeting while sitting or standing increases the number of calories you burn by 29 percent and 38 percent respectively.2 That can add up to hundreds of calories, so start moving!
3. Cook at home, which means plan ahead. Healthy individuals tend to prefer home-cooked meals and have an average of 5-10 staple recipes they rotate during the month. Controlling ingredients, creating meals you love, and getting all the good food your body needs by just taking a few minutes of planning before shopping are all benefits of cooking at home. Try to find a new 5-ingredient recipe to try this month and see how delicious and simple cooking can be.
4. Drink mostly water, and plenty of it. Healthy people prefer water and crave it! Sugary drinks significantly contribute to weight gain and diabetes in our country and the quickest way to lose weight is to get rid of those empty calories. Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, so if you are 140 pounds, your goal is 70 ounces of water per day.
5. Get good sleep. Likely the most underrated healthy habit is consistently getting good quality sleep. Getting 7 to 9 hours per night, keeping a consistent schedule and following proper sleep hygiene such as avoiding screen time hours before bed and sleeping in a cold, dark room will rev up metabolism, boost detoxification, and regulate those hunger hormones.
If you have old habits to work on, remember that change is a process. Making goals, setting a plan, and being disciplined but patient with yourself at the same time is vital. Without self-love and a life purpose, disappointment can take over which may trick you into returning to those old habits. Focus your mind on the benefits of change, and before you know it you will be a naturally healthy person, setting a wonderful example of good habits for others!
Tiffany is a certified nutrition consultant and functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner and can be reached at (760) 285.1221. For more information visit www.tiffanydalton.com