Getting and staying fit can be a challenge for someone who’s struggling with lifestyle changes, as it’s very hard to change a particular lifestyle or meal habits, or unhealthy behaviour. But trying to opt for a healthy lifestyle not only affects our risk of various diseases but also affects our ability to function in a healthy fashion later in life. These are some insightful tips and strategies specifically designed to help you maintain healthy eating habits, build strength, and live well. Try to follow the tips below one at a time and keep working toward your goals:
Fuel your body with a healthy and balanced diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, organic A2 dairy (in case you have no gut issues), organic and free-range eggs/ chicken/fish/lean meat, nuts, and fats, etc. Six days a week, follow this healthy routine and one day can be a reward meal as per your liking; try to enjoy that too in moderation and you will see the difference.
Completely avoid foods that are loaded with trans fats, and processed sugars, and limit intake of processed flour. Go for high-fibre and nutrient-dense foods like whole grain atta, millet, unprocessed rice, wheat, etc. And always remember to choose more fresh foods over processed or prepackaged meals.
Try to control your simple carbohydrate (too much carbs) intake because this can cause your body to store fat (too much burgers/buns/bread/maida rotis etc)
Follow healthy cooking methods like stir-frying, pan-frying, baking in OTG, grilling, steaming, or sautéeing foods. Frying once in a while is fine but having fried food daily will affect digestion as well as liver health.
Early to bed and early to rise is an important practice because sleep deprivation can lead to decreased energy levels, compromised cognitive health, and an inability to stay active or perform workouts. Aim for 7-8 hours of sound sleep every night, it’s the quality that’s more important so that your body gets complete rest and recovery to heal itself.
Also read: Dr Siddhant Bhargava on how to reduce weight: Do not abstain entirely from sugar
If you’re a beginner, start out slowly by walking, then brisk walking, then interval walking, which is alternating walking and running. You can also burn those extra calories throughout the day by taking a few easy and simple steps such as taking a ‘standing board meeting’, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking the car a short distance away from the office/your kids' school/any place where you want to reach and walk there instead. Walk at a brisk pace whenever possible. Try to get 30-45 minutes of activity per day and 10k steps throughout the day to stay active enough.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle then, just try to fit in two 20-minute high-intensity workouts in a week and aim at 4-5k steps daily. Gradually, you can start to work toward 10k steps.
An often-overlooked factor is to make sure that your gut is healthy. If this is in place, your body can absorb all the nutrients from the food you eat. Seventy percent of our immunity lies in the gut so if the stomach is healthy, your immune system will function well and keep away infections, allergies, and symptoms like a cold and cough. Good gut health indicates good immunity that helps us fight off diseases. Do this by consuming vitamins, fibre, and minerals from fruits and veggies, and probiotic-rich food like organic A2 curd or coconut curd or sauerkraut, etc. Drink at least 2.5-3 litres of water every day to flush out the toxins.