First of all, let me clear the air… the above title doesn’t translate to ‘exercise cannot make you healthy’. It is important to understand that being healthy doesn’t always count being physically active at all times. For people like me, there are challenges that come in the way and make exercising a bit more difficult (or rather, not feasible). Some people deal with health issues, and work-outs can only severe them.
What do we do then?
While this piece of writing is not just meant for people with health issues who can’t work-out, but it’s also meant for those who have an utterly hectic or odd schedule every day. When you have too much on your plate already, you cannot improvise by adding more. That would be ridiculously insane and also cruel.
Pushing yourself to do more doesn’t have to be physical labor. You can change a few food habits to get yourself on track of losing weight or at the least, maintain a healthy body. Isn’t that what we want at the end of the day?
I have a slower pace of gaining weight, therefore, managing it isn’t a trouble, but for those who have unforgiving genes might need attention right away.
Without further ado, let me tell you how you can maintain a healthy body without going crazy for dieting or exercises (well, a certain amount of physical activity/movement is a must, of course!).
- Drink Enough Water – Are you reading the stress on the word ‘enough’? You may have been told that 7 – 8 glasses of water is ideal but how do you quantify it? Putting down in simple words, drink as much as 1.5L – 2L water every day. Water is one of the simplest beverages and is found anywhere in abundance, so… you don’t quite have an excuse not to drink ‘enough’ of it.
- Eat Small Portions – Do you know that every time you serve yourself an all-in-one-go plate, you’re doing it wrong? The portion size of every meal you take matters! Even if you are eating a healthy meal, the amount you consume will affect your body. Limit that. In fact, you can do yourself a favour and choose a smaller plate for your meals (do that at home at least). A smaller plate makes the food look large, and also, it limits your intake.
- More Protein & Fiber – Why? For the same principle… ‘eating less’. Protein makes you feel full for a longer time and also reduces hunger. That way you’ll unconsciously keep away from munching between meals. Adding eggs to your breakfast or chicken breasts, yogurt, lentils, fish, etc. to your lunch can really help in reducing extra calorie intake for the day.
Also, fruits that are high in fiber such as apples, bananas, strawberries, oranges or even nuts can help in weight loss if taken regularly. You can choose your time of the day to include these in your diet.
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind – How many of us have those little ziplock packets or containers with our favourite chips or snacks in them? Almost all of us. But that’s one thing we need to work on. Keeping the unwanted, high-calorie snacks can burden your mind with urges. Why even have them in the first place?
No, there is nothing wrong with having unhealthy snacks once in a while, but at least you can refrain from storing them at home. Eat them while you are at the movies, or at a party. Stack your food cabinet only with low-carb or healthy snacks. You may not really like it, but you still have something to munch on for late nights… so, yay!
- The Lights & Sound – You know, we are strangely programmed beings. Even the sounds and lights affect our actions and mood. Now imagine watching an action-packed movie while eating. All that sound, the thrill, the adrenaline rush, can really, really get you in an active mood. That can result in eating more without chewing properly.
Next time you sit to eat, soften the room’s lighting (if it’s too bright with LED lights use floor lamps) and switch from TV to soft music. You’ll instantly understand what I meant today. It is really important to be mindful of what and how we are eating. It’s not just-food… it’s our health.
- Beverage – Grabbing a small bottle of aerated drink, or any such sugary drink on a hot day may seem normal. Well, it is… only if you can burn it up with sweaty work-outs. Sugary drinks may fill your belly for some time but can make you hungry soon. And since our brain doesn’t register the calorie intake through liquids, you may end up eating more than needed.
Try other beverages for a change; Black tea, green tea, ginger tea, coffee, high-protein drinks, etc. You can also make your own healthy drink with the help of recipes available on the internet (here is a link to one).
- Goodnight Sleep – As surprising as it may sound, sleep too contributes to our eating habits. When you don’t get good rest, your body tends to focus more on the stress offered and ignore what it needs. Your appetite may be affected, resulting in either eating more or unnecessary food items. Sleep deprivation also causes anxiety, which in turn dilutes your ability to decide what’s best for you.
A night of good sleep provides you more than just a fresh mind. It resets your ghrelin sensors and helps you prevent overeating or craving for carbs and fatty foods.
- Breathing – You must think this is silly, but breathing the right way really helps in weight loss! There are some good techniques that teach deep breathing exercises. It doesn’t really take a lot of time and can be done even while seated at work. Isn’t that great?
Deep breathing means quality oxygen, and quality oxygen in the body means your body can absorb nutrients efficiently. Mindful breathing can keep you calm and balanced, slows your metabolism (as required) for better digestion.
These were eight perfect and easy way to stay healthy if you aren’t exercising enough or at all. Are you going to try them? If you do, I’d love to hear all about it.
“You don’t have to be a wreck. You don’t have to be sick. One’s aim in life should be to die in good health. Just like a candle that burns out.”
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