We all want to be a little bit healthier, but packed schedules can make it difficult to achieve. Who has time to cook a well-balanced meal at home when you're always busy? Being healthy requires so much more than drinking Diet Coke instead of regular or going for a light jog once a week; it has to be a complete change in lifestyle. While that may sound daunting, it's actually not so bad, but it requires self discipline, perseverance, and knowledge. These easy health hacks are convenient ways to stay healthier and happier.
Take a look. From skin regimes to exercising tips, we've put together a slew of ways to make living a healthy lifestyle just a little bit easier. Vote up which tips are the most helpful, and start transforming yourself into a healthier person.
Drink Water First Thing In The Morning
While you might prefer a white chocolate chai latte over a glass of water, the truth is there are plenty of benefits to grabbing a glass of refreshing water to start the day. The rule of thumb, after all, is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up is one of the best things you can do for your body. It hydrates you, jumpstarts your metabolism, and purifies your body of any lingering toxins. Plus, there are beauty benefits, too. Drinking water makes your skin glow, hair shine, and boosts energy levels and satiates hunger pangs.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “You haven’t had fluids for roughly eight hours, so drinking a couple of glasses when you first wake up will help rehydrate the body, allow for good digestion, and just get you going for the day,” says Paula Simpson, RNCP, a holistic beauty nutritionist.18120Is this good advice?
Chew Food Slowly And Thoroughly
Not only will your body be able to absorb more of the nutrients, but by chewing your food slowly, you will feel fuller faster and be less likely to overeat or feel fatigued afterwards. Fast eaters are up to 115% more likely than slower eaters to be obese.
People often forget to chew their food or get into a habit of swallowing before they’ve fully chewed it. Chewing is an important part of the digestive process and beneficial to overall health. People who don’t chew their food well before they swallow can develop digestive problems, putting them at a higher risk for choking, aspiration, malnutrition, and dehydration. Try to consume foods that actually require more chewing, such as veggies, fresh fruits, and lean proteins, rather than softer casseroles, mashed potatoes, or applesauce. Doing so can help speed eaters slow down.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: "Eating and appetite and digestion is this very complex interplay (that involves) hormones and cellular signals and mechanical tasks and muscular contractions and grinding food and sending signals to the brain. There's a feedback loop of energy availability or how much food is coming in and what it means, so there's tremendous complexity to this system. And it functions best when we can slow down," says Krista Scott-Dixon, Director of Curriculum at Precision Nutrition.1369Is this good advice?
Don't Grocery Shop While Hungry
Shopping on an empty stomach? We all know it's a bad idea. But research actually shows that you'll be much more likely to not only overspend, but also buy more unhealthy foods. Being hungry amps up your desire to acquire things, according to the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. In fact, shoppers who were hungrier spent 64% more money than those who were less hungry. Another study found that on average, hungry people purchased more high-calorie products than the group of people that ate before shopping.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: “Hunger makes us want to eat, which means that we think about seeking, acquiring and consuming food,” says Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor of marketing at the Carlson School. “Those acquisition-related thoughts may spill over and put consumers in the mode of getting more stuff in general, even stuff they can’t eat."12733Is this good advice?
Prepare Meals Ahead Of Time
The truth is, we have no idea what, exactly, goes into our food from a takeout restaurant. For all we know, it could be filled with fatty oils, processed foods, and ingredients like added sugar. When you cook your own meals, you're able to use healthier ingredients and control portion sizes. Choose a day to prepare all of your meals ahead of time, and pack them into containers for lunch throughout the week. You'll be eating healthier and saving money, too.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: "When we cook at home, we are in control. McDonald’s fries have 19 ingredients. We can make them at home with far less — and they will taste just as good," says dietitian Ben Atkinson.9317Is this good advice?