Resolutions are fun to make, but tough to keep, especially when they involve a habit you’ve had for your entire life. I’ve tried so many times to become healthy and actually stick with it, but it’s just so dang hard! Recently I’ve noticed a lot of signs that my body isn’t taking this unhealthy lifestyle too well anymore, so I’m committing to a single resolution: becoming healthier.
Now I’m not talking about starting a diet or working out for hours a day. Being healthy is so much more than just going on a juice cleanse for a week! It requires changing your entire lifestyle and living healthy, and I’m so ready for that. I know this is something a lot of y’all are trying to work on too, so if you want to join me, here are my tips for having a healthy 2016!
1. Get rid of all the processed foods
The first step to becoming healthy is just eating things that your body actually wants! That means eating clean: nothing with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), added sugar, unnecessary preservatives, and essentially anything that has a bunch of ingredients other than itself. I’ve been eating clean for a few weeks now and can already notice a difference in my energy levels! It’s hard to cut out the junk foods at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll eventually stop craving your old favorites and start craving real, healthy foods.
If you’re really struggling with putting away the chips and ice cream, try making your own healthier versions! Pinterest has been the best resource when I’m looking for healthy, clean recipes like baked potato chips and dessert alternatives.
2. Kick out the sodas and juices
You don’t need soda, I promise. Drinks are where you get the majority of your added sugar, and you might not even realize it when you’re getting 3 refills at dinner (because that’s definitely me). Most fruit juices have loads of sugar as well, and you’re essentially just drinking flavored sugar water. To get on the right track, cut out these sugary drinks and opt for water, coffee, or tea (without adding sugar!). You’ll feel so much better, and you’ll be saving tons of money!
3. Cut down on the sugar
You would be AMAZED at how many of the foods and drinks you have everyday are filled with added sugar. From fruit juices to salad dressings to soups, there’s added sugar everywhere and it’s working against you every time you eat those foods. This one is super easy to fix though; just read the labels of everything you buy and choose the option with the least amount of sugar. These new foods might not satisfy you at first, but once your body gets used to having less sugar, you’ll stop craving it so much.
4. Get moving
I’ll be the first to say that exercising is not my thing (yet). I’ve tried running, swimming, doing weights, and everything in between, but I’ve never loved any of it. That said, I know exercising is a big part of staying healthy, so I’m making a big effort this year to find something I’m excited to do. Whether you workout every day or just a few times a week, any amount of exercise is better than nothing! I’m starting out with some daily yoga sessions (myself and a laptop I mean), and once I’m back on campus I’m planning to go jogging a few times a week. Do what works for you, and if you’re not liking something, switch it up!
Classes are also a great way to get exercising. I took a barre class last year and loved it. There’s something about being around a bunch of other people struggling through the same workout that keeps you motivated!
5. Listen to your body
Your body will tell you when it’s not getting what it needs, and ignoring those signs will only leave you feeling worse in the long run. That could mean getting more sleep, drinking more water, or switching to a different type of workout. You might also be eating things that are upsetting your body, which is a lot harder to figure out! I had some dietary issues for a while, and the only way I was able to figure out which foods weren’t doing well with me was by starting a food journal. Just write down everything you eat, and note how you felt afterwards. Eventually you’ll narrow down which foods you need to cut out!
6. Treat yourself every once in a while
Being healthy isn’t just about how you look, it’s about feeling great! If you’re having a rough week, set aside some time to just chill and get away from reality. If you’ve hit an exercise goal, grab yourself a new workout outfit! Don’t get too caught up in to-do lists and schedules, or you’ll burn yourself out and fall back into old habits. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while and just do something for yourself!