5 Healthy Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle
By PW Nutritionist Steph Evans
Colder nights and darker days can leave many of us unmotivated, lethargic and out of routine. You may be finding yourself sleeping in, staying inside, avoiding work and possibly ordering more take outs to avoid cooking. If this sounds familiar, it’s definitely time to start forming some healthy habits to prioritise your health and wellbeing. Here at Protein World we want to make both your physical and mental wellbeing a priority by giving you the best tips you need to make healthy living so much easier! Whether you want to lose weight, stress less or simply feel more energised, these healthy lifestyle tips are not purely only focused on diet and exercise but will provide you with all the steps to live the most out of life!
- Prioritise your sleep
We here it time and time again. The importance of sleep is essential for living a healthy lifestyle. Prioritising your night-time rest with around 7-9h sleep per night can do wonders to reduce stress levels, tiredness and improve your day to day mood! Getting enough sleep is vital to allow your body to repair, regulate its hormones and reset ready for the next day! Not only is sleep linked to improved immune function and glucose metabolism but it can also decrease your risks of heart disease and stroke compared to those who sleep poorly.
It is good to get into a routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, ensuring you are well rested to complete your daily tasks.
However, for some people, sleeping isn’t as easy as just going to bed and turning off the lights. If you find yourself lying awake at night, consider reducing your screen time before sleep, listening to calming music and you could even try our Slender Night Tea which contains valerian extract (nature’s own natural sedative). For more advice on how to get a good night’s sleep check out our blog post: Why Can’t I sleep?
If you find yourself short on time before work in the morning, grabbing lunch on the go and coming home exhausted there’s no surprise you don’t want to spend time cooking! This is where meal prepping will be an ultimate game changer for you! Preparing healthy meals at the weekend will take all the difficulty out of eating healthy throughout the week. I admit, it will take a couple of hours out of your Sunday, but you will definitely thank yourself for it later!
Some great healthy meals to prep in advance can be a hearty vegetable curry, homemade soups/stews, risotto – or my personal favourite a pesto pasta! Ideal for lunches and dinners - prep a few choices to have on hand in the fridge/freezer for throughout the week. As a general rule of guidance, we suggest making your meals up of 30% lean protein, 30% complex carbs, 35% veggies and 5% healthy fats. Not only will this ensure you are eating good healthy food throughout the week – but it is a great budget friendly choice to commit to! Stuck for ideas? Why not make up a double batch of our Mediterranean roasted veg quinoa salad for some healthy lunches!
- Exercise Mindfully
A healthy lifestyle isn’t complete without physical activity, but exercise is a tricky one to get right. On one side, you could be doing nothing at all and lack motivation to move your body, whereas on the other hand you could be over doing it and leading yourself to burn out! If you are the former of people, then scheduling in workouts in advance can be great to set you up for a routine! Find an exercise you enjoy, whether it be taking a lunch time walk/run or heading to the gym first thing in the morning. It is recommended for adults to take part in 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity each day so there is no need to go overboard – and remember rest days are important!
Some of us can find ourselves going down the route of over-exercising, where a rest day fills us with dread and the guilt creeps in. However, without days of rest scheduled into your week, your body will lack the time to repair and recover which can leave you feeling worn-out, immensely tired and resulting in complete burn out. We suggest working out no more than 5 days a week and to prioritise your rest days by keeping exercise to a gentle walk or stroll in the fresh air, to keep you on top form!
- Be a Smart Snack-er!
It is not only important to think about your meals, but also be careful of those unhealthy snacks which can creep in when your mood is low. Being more mindful about what snacks you have on hand during the day can help keep your energy levels topped up in between meals, without hindering your weight loss goals or leaving you with guilt! Healthy snacks such as apples, bananas, a handful of nuts or a high-protein PW Slender Bar are some great options to keep at the desk or in your handbag! These can prevent you reaching for the biscuit tin or being tempted by the daily cake run in the office.
That being said, a healthy lifestyle is all about balance and not about banishing foods from your diet. Yes - high protein, low sugar healthy snacks are a great healthy habit, but occasionally we all have a day where we just really want that slice of cake or cinnamon roll from the café and that’s totally okay! Remember, it’s okay to cheat every once in a while – but don’t let it derail your diet!
- Don’t focus on numbers!
Finally, we want you to be happy! Don’t live your life by the number on the scale, or the calorie counting app on your phone. Yes, these tools can help you understand and motivate your progress but ultimately health should be measured by how you feel and not how you look! Food is more than calories as sometimes the lowest calorie choices aren’t always the most nutritious! Take diet cola for example, low calorie but full of artificial sweeteners which can leave you feeling rubbish!
Instead of focusing on your weight as a marker for health, ask yourself: do I feel good? Do I have energy to do things? Am I able to live my life to the fullest without complications? If so – then you are already well on your way to a healthy lifestyle!