Despite what you see in the media, there’s no secret formula or special pill that’s going to make you feel healthy, good looking, or happy.
But it’s easier to be the best possible version of yourself than you may have imagined.
Sure, having six pack abs will take some hard work, but if you’re just looking to feel great and look better, follow these tiny changes to your everyday routine to feel more energized and look your best.
Shop The Perimeter At The Grocery Store
On any given trip to the supermarket you’re bombarded with aisles of food options. The sheer number of products can be downright overwhelming.
However, if you’re on a quest to live healthier so you can feel great and look even better, navigating efficiently through the grocery store is your first step.
The majority of grocery stores are laid out the same way: the produce, meat, dairy, and seafood sections form a border around the interior aisles of shelf stable products. To shop the perimeter, stick with the outside aisles and only go down the interior ones for certain staple items like brown rice and cooking oils.
You see, the perimeter aisles are the freshest, healthiest aisles. The interior aisles are jam-packed with hundreds of boxed or prepackaged options – some healthy, others not so much.
But without really knowing nutrition, it can be confusing to assess whether an item is actually good for you. And if you’re in a rush, you may not have time to read all of those labels.
Save the money and skip the inside aisles.
Limit Your Alcohol
A recent Google search led me to this snippet from the Mayo Clinic:
But too much can still cause problems, so use moderation.
Try Herbal Teas
I have to admit that I’ve always loved tea. There’s something so comforting and warm about a steamy mug of heavenly scented tea leaves that it’s hard to believe most people don’t include it as part of their daily routine. Even on the hottest days, I’ll reach for an iced tea and will be just as refreshed and satisfied.
But most of us, including me, have been familiar with drinking black or green tea.
To avoid that dilemma, it’s time to discover the world of herbal teas instead.
The best part of drinking herbal tea is that you can sip as many as three to five cups per day. So whether you’re looking to relax, feel better, or boost your mood, or just drink more fluids, tea can be your natural go-to, saving you calories.
Limit Added Sugars
Added sugars are everywhere. Seriously – it’s in everything these days.
From oatmeal and salad dressings to fruit juices and condiments, the only way to limit hidden sugars is to read the labels and learn exactly what goes into the food you consume.
Sugar isn’t necessarily bad for you, it’s just much easier to overeat than other foods.
With low-carb fad diets came the notion that all carbohydrates are evil and should be cut from our diets completely.
Yet, the reality is that this is not true.
Carbs are the best source of fuel for hard workouts and many high carb foods are high in nutrients.
To get the most out of your carbohydrate intake, you’ll want to stick to whole, unprocessed grains such as brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta.
Enjoy Many Veggies
Remember when your mother told you to eat your veggies?
Yeah, I hated that, too.
But it turns out she was right this whole time.
While fruits are still considered healthy, but they don’t have all of the same nutrients as vegetables.
With vegetables, it’s almost impossible to overeat them. And I say almost here as I picture someone eating a mound of carrots while his skin turns orange. Trust me, it’s happened before, and you don’t want to go there.
Veggies are low in calories and sugar and take longer to eat. This additional effort makes us eat slower and realize when we’re actually full so we don’t overeat.
Have you ever sat down to a giant salad only to be tired of all that chewing halfway through?
That’s the power of vegetables.
Your best bet is to consume about two cups of fruit per day and two to three to six cups of vegetables per day, although more of both is generally better. The exact number depends on factors such as your gender and age.
There’s no doubt in my mind that following the recommended advice of nine servings per day of fruits and vegetables will keep you feeling and looking your best.
Omega-3s Are Essential
“We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them from food,” Dr. Frank Sacks, professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Harvard School of Public Health, explains.
Before you go reaching for an Omega-3 supplement, you should try to consume them naturally through your diet.
It’s important to note that some experts believe eating fish is the only way to properly consume Omega-3s. Supporters say reach for fish like salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and sardines, according to the American Heart Association.
At the very least, start taking an Omega-3 supplement on days when you don’t eat any of the suggested foods above.
Soak Up Some Vitamin D
So without giving away too much, here’s an important takeaway: you need to consume vitamin D regularly.
Without it, you may not be able to feel your best physically or mentally, thanks to the fact that vitamin D gives our bodies the ability to move freely and prevents brain disorders like dementia.
Supplements Are Helpful
I think supplements are great.
I take a multivitamin every day along with a combination of other essential fatty acids to keep me feeling at my best.
But you can’t supplement a poor diet by eating your fill of vitamins instead. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
You still want to eat as healthy as possible and only use the supplements to fill in the gaps, so to speak.