Posted on 24 January 2018
What do healthy people have in common, apart from a zest for life and glowing skin? Usually, there’s dedication and motivation behind them, and a whole host of healthy habits that keep them on track, whatever the day of the week. They also make health a priority.
We explore some of the most common habits, the ones that can be easily applied to you and us. Here’s how to nail healthy habits.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day – and the most delicious – so we’re not even sure why you’d want to miss out on those glorious eggs or bowls of oats, but if you struggle to get food into you first thing in the morning, you may want to look at ways to make the change. Breakfast is literally breaking the fast; you’ve been asleep for hours and so this is your time to fuel the body ready for the day and lift that brain fog that we’re all plagued with early in the morning.
Avoiding breakfast will also make you hungrier later in the day, and no one wants that. So fill up on a meal that’s rich in protein, healthy fats or carbs.
Listen to Your Body
It’s the old adage of listening to what your body is trying to tell you, and it really is true. No one knows your body like you do, so if your body is calling out for something, you should take heed. It’s important to note that if your body is showing you something plain damn obvious, you need to act fast. For example, if your urine is dark, your body is already dehydrated, so it’s time to get on the water.
If you’re tired, skip the gym; if your body is telling you to rest, rest.
Make a Goal that Isn’t Weight-Related
Having a goal in the gym is super important. We’ve said it thousands of times, but we really mean it. How will you know if you have progressed if you’re not tracking what you’re doing or making a goal to work towards?
In order to look after your mental well-being, it’s a good idea to make a goal that isn’t to lose a certain amount of weight, because these types of goals usually get out of hand: when you get to that weight, you want to lose even more.
It’s hard to quantify a goal if you’re not setting it for the right reasons. Instead, sit down and work out what is really important to you and what your specific goals are, and then identify how you’re going to reach your goal.
Having an overarching goal is a great idea, but making smaller, more achievable steps to help you get there is where the real magic happens.
Avoid Weighing Yourself
This totally ties in with the habit above, but y’all really need to get off the scales. The numbers on the scales do not measure your self-worth, and so why would you make yourself feel bad by stepping on them regularly?
Checking in with your weight every so often is a good way to stay on track, but some of the healthiest and happiest people in the world do not weigh themselves.
Weighing scales measure your gravitational pull on the earth, nothing else relative, because they can’t differentiate between what is muscle and what is fat, let alone bone density, water retention, organs… literally anything of worth.
Believe in Yourself
In a world where we are glued to our phones and constantly scrolling through the perfect world of Instagram, this might not seem possible.
Now you may be thinking, “How the heck do I do this?!” But this one is worth being a real stickler about; it’s really quite important that you figure out how to truly believe in yourself and your ability.
Whatever your goal, you really can achieve it. We believe in you, your friends and family believe in you and so you should really believe in yourself. Working out and living a healthy life can really have you questioning your self-worth a lot, especially as you scroll past the perfectly airbrushed fitness accounts on Instagram and wonder why your peach doesn’t pop like that. Well, aside from popping a hip to achieve the look, these Instagrammers have only one thing that you don’t: they believe in themselves. But don’t worry, soon you will too.
Maybe even chant the ol’ “fake it to make it” mantra to yourself. Eventually it’ll stick.
Say Goodbye to Crash Dieting
Honestly, if you do one thing this year, say goodbye to crash diets. Seriously. They do not work. Okay, so they will help you lose weight quickly, but then what? They will slow your metabolism to such a point that you’ll put it all back on, if not more, in a short space of time.
Fad diets can also weaken your immune system and cause other serious health issues. In order to live a sustained and healthy life brimming with healthy habits, you need to kick crash dieting to the curb.
Avoid Drinking Your Calories
There are calories in absolutely everything bar water. So, if you’re looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to consider giving up your calorie-laden Starbucks drinks.
Drinks like this contain a scary amount of sugar, and no healthy person lives a life of sugar. They will cause spikes in your insulin, which will inevitably see you crash, not to mention the damaging effects sugar can have on other aspects – you can kiss goodbye to glowing skin and healthy teeth if you’re a secret sugar fiend.
Stop Counting Calories
Driving yourself crazy counting every individual calorie and macronutrient? Yeah, we’ve been there. The most liberating thing you can do is delete your calorie-counting apps and just eat intuitively.
If you’re just starting out on your new fitness regime, you may need to keep an eye on what you’re eating and obviously be in a calorie deficit to lose weight – and we’re all up for counting macros – but after you’ve got over the initial hurdle, intuitive eating will see you eating things that your body is asking for and needs, and meals that you actually enjoy.
Try it out; you’ll see such a difference in this sustainable way of eating.
Stop Depriving Yourself
There is no way you can live a happy and healthy life if you are depriving yourself of the things you want or missing out on fun foodie memories with friends and family because the meal didn’t fit your macros or you think that eating one burger will derail months of hard work. Spoiler alert: it won’t.
Life is all about balance, and we’re big believers in the 80:20 rule – 80% healthy and 20% naughty. This sees us having meals out and ingredients that we love but we know are more of a treat. And you know what they say: treat yo’self!
Quit Snacking for Good
You may have got to this point in the habit chart and be thinking, “But hold up, Tikiboo; why is snacking bad?” Well, we’re very glad you asked.
Snacking is when you consume smaller meals or “snacky food” in between meals. The reason this isn’t ideal is that your body then learns to expect food at certain times and can actually make you hungrier, even when you don’t need to eat.
There is some research that supports grazing, but having three square meals a day, or six smaller meals, is a way to combat hunger, keep your sugar cravings at bay and maintain that all-important healthy life.
If you live that snack life and you are by no means going to quit, plan in advance to have healthy snacks to hand, such as an apple with peanut butter, activated nuts, protein bars or oat balls; one or another, though, guys; not all of them.
Rest and Recover
The notion that you need proper rest and recovery is one of those really obvious things that everyone knows, but not all of us are doing it properly.
If you’re short on time, you’d be better off swapping one of your gym sessions for a rehabilitation, mobility and stretch session. Your body will thank you way more than it will when you’re shredded.
In addition, you need a rest day; your body needs to take a full day off so it can repair your muscles and restore energy levels. It might be hard to take a day off in the short term, but in the long run, you’ll feel much better.
Avoid Low-Fat or Diet Options
We bet corporations were laughing all the way to the bank when they invented diet food options.
The short of it is: low-fat food options are not good for you, and nor are they diet versions of anything.
Here’s the easiest way to explain it.
Why Are Low-Fat Foods Bad for You?
Fats have got a bad rep over the years. Decades ago, when the food industry was removing fat from its products in order to make them “healthier”, manufacturers realised that the flavour was missing. In order to put it back in, they added lots of sugar. Research shows that sugar is worse for you than fat, so if you’re looking for low-fat yoghurt, you’d be nutritionally better off choosing the yoghurt with the higher fat content.
Why Are Diet Foods Bad for You?
In a similar vein to low-fat options, for the food industry to make food that has a lower calorie content, it needed to remove a lot of ingredients, but when it did this, it also removed the flavour. To put the flavour back in with zero calories, it added lots of chemicals. So yes, your diet drink or diet-ready meal has fewer calories than other options, but if you see “diet” written on anything, it should ring alarm bells.
See “diet”, Think “chemical sh*t storm”.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Lately, it seems as though all everyone cares about is outdoing each other. This “keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle is not one that’s going anywhere.
Remember, the grass is only greener on the other side because you’ve stopped watering your side.
It’s important to treat yourself every so often; otherwise, what’s the point in being part of the rat race, ay?!
We would obviously recommend some Tikiboo workout wear as a great way of treating yourself, but there are loads of ways to reward yourself with something you deserve.
What about working on as many of these healthy habits as you can and, when you can confidently say you’re doing the majority of them, treat yourself to a weekend away for some much-needed R&R?
We love picking up little things to put a smile on our face. Some scented candles and a nice bath usually do the trick.
Try it; self-love is just as important to work on as anything else.
If you recently saw our blog post entitled “How to get started with a new health and fitness regime”, you will have seen us talking about the importance of properly hydrating yourself.
Getting enough water is vital for keeping hydrated, cleansing your body and helping your organs work properly. Water can also help give you energy, encourage you to avoid snacking and lift brain fog.
You should be aiming to drink at least two litres or eight glasses of water a day. If you’re keen on ticking off the “treat yourself” habit, you could pick up a nice, new water bottle to help you stay on track.
Be Mindful of Alcohol
We all enjoy a glass or two every now and then, but being mindful of how much you are drinking and how much of an impact alcohol can have on your physical and mental well-being might have you reassessing whether those weekly drinking sessions are worth it.
Alcohol can seriously impact your liver, kidneys and digestive systems; these organs work hard to detoxify your body and keep everything running smoothly, but alcohol puts them under pressure, and regular binge sessions can see them struggling or slowing down.
Alcohol is almost empty calories, and as we saw above, this is a no-go. Not to mention that alcohol increases your appetite as it triggers signals to the brain. So if you find yourself at the kebab shop after the bar, you know it’s time to think about how much alcohol you’re consuming and how much it’s preventing you from reaching your goals.
Evaluate Your Day-to-Day Routine
Routines are good, but if you’re bored of your mundane routine, it’s time to re-evaluate what makes you happy and what you can change to help you reach your goals.
Equally, if you’re stressed with work or other commitments, now is the time to look at what really needs to be done versus what you want to do.
Splitting your to-do list into two sections – “must do” and “‘can wait” – can easily free up your time and your mental capacity, so you can cut out things you don’t need or want to do and focus on the things you do need or want to do.
Doing things for yourself can lower your cortisol levels and therefore increase your happiness levels – win, win!
Consume Healthy Foods
Well, this sounds like the obvious one, doesn’t it? If you want to be healthy, you need to eat healthy foods. Fuelling your body with nutrient-dense foods with give you quick gains in the health department. And we don’t mean bro-gains, we mean bundles of energy, glowing skin, strong nails and bones, and so on.
Fill your plate with the colours of the rainbow and lean proteins and you’ll soon see results.
Ensure you eat regularly and strike a balance between the macronutrients: complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins.
Boost Your Nutrition
In addition to eating well, you can add herbs, spices and nutritional boosts to maximise your intake.
A great anti-inflammatory that can help combat nausea, reduce muscle soreness, fight colds and flu and much more.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Start each day with a shot of apple cider vinegar for a boost of potassium and to help balance your insulin levels.
Throw this into your cooking for a myriad of health benefits; great at fighting inflammation and one of this year’s must-have antioxidants, turmeric helps fight arthritis and diabetes and can boost the brain.
Ideal to throw into smoothies, soups and juices, spirulina has almost 3000% more beta-carotene than carrots and is a source of protein, B12, iron, magnesium and more.
Get Enough Sleep
We love to talk about sleep. We are keen snoozers and so we buzz when we talk about it. That’s why it’s surprising to us that the majority of you are still not getting enough sleep.
Sleep is a wonder cure and really helps your body to rest and repair any day-to-day damage it suffers. Sleep can help fight off viruses, improve your mood (can we get an amen?!) and help you think clearly – on top of loads of other benefits. So, really all that’s left to do is grab your onesie and hop into bed.
Put Yourself First
You need to learn to prioritise your health and yourself. If you feel like something or someone is draining you, you need to learn to take a step back for yourself.
Write down the pros and cons of particular situations and how you can maximise them so you reap the benefits or walk away.
We realise that this sounds easy in theory and in reality it’s so much harder to walk away from something, but it is imperative to distance yourself from the things that no longer serve you.
Repeat Positive Affirmations/Express Gratitude
You may find this one cheesy, but repeating positive affirmations to yourself has been proven to improve your positive outlook on yourself and the world.
Think about what you want to improve, whether it’s your image of yourself or a personal (or fitness) goal you want to achieve, and say it out loud to yourself as if it’s already happened. For example, “I can deadlift my own body weight”, “I am beautiful” or “I am successful”. Whatever you want, just repeat it to yourself and it will happen.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Having positive people around you will absolutely make you a more positive person, just as surrounding yourself with negative people will have a detrimental effect on your outlook.
They say that you are the average of the five people you spend time with. If that’s the case, take a look at the group of people you spend the most time with; are they lifting you up and supporting you, full of happiness and cheer and generally positive people to be around? If not, it may be time to seek out new circles or speak to your current friends about ways you can all improve.
Take a Break
We are living in an age where getting burnt out is the norm, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a step back and relaxing. These breaks will help you mentally and physically recover from the drain of day-to-day life; whether it’s a holiday, a digital detox or a lay in on a Sunday morning, it’s important to take time for you.
Speaking of digital detoxes, taking time away from your screen is a huge positive step towards leading a healthy and happy life. Think about it: you’re always staring at a laptop, the TV, a tablet or your phone – your poor eyes are always overworking and the blue screen stimulates the mind, making it impossible to wind down. Do a 24-hour digital detox and see how you feel afterwards – we guarantee that it’ll be one of the best things you have ever done… once you get over the withdrawal symptoms.
Finally, and obviously our favourite, make sure you are moving your body regularly. One of the most important habits of healthy people is that they make heath, wellness and fitness part of their lifestyle, so they get outside and/or exercise regularly; it doesn’t have to be a marathon, it can be a slow yoga flow, practising headstands, playing in your back garden like when you were a kid or an exercise class. Whatever it is, if you can find a way to make it part of your life, you’re more likely to continue doing it and the benefits you will see will far outweigh the appeal of getting home from work and sitting down. Trust us.
How many of these healthy habits are you currently doing?
Let us know in the comments!