Often advice when it comes to feeling and looking healthier is really over complicated and achieving it can be expensive when you follow this type of advice. That’s why we’re here to strip everything back and show you how simple getting healthier can be. This might be something as small as drinking an extra glass of water a day or much bigger like significantly increasing your step count. No matter where you are at in your health journey, these things are all achievable, accessible and affordable. Get ready to feel incredible by following these tips to become healthier!
Drink More Water
The first piece of advice we have is to drink more water. Rather than saying you should cut out any fizzy, sugary or caffeinated drinks, the best place to start is drinking more water. For the first week, try drinking your normal drinks but alternating them with a small glass of water. Next week, swap this to a big glass of water. Gradually over time, you will find it much easier to drink more water and the transition to less sugary drinks will happen naturally. Cutting out any ‘bad’ drinks completely isn’t realistic for most people, and you can look and feel healthy by swapping a few of them out for water. Water is essential in helping all of the major organs function properly, from our liver to our skin, so prioritising water is a great place to start to really feel rejuvenated.
Eat More Fruit and Veg
Similarly to the water point, rather than cutting out any foods that are more sugary or higher in calories, start by eating more fruit and veg. When you do your food shop, plan how you can incorporate more into your week, then buy accordingly.
This might be starting your day off with a smoothie, adding tomatoes and cucumber to your sandwich at lunch or chopping up small vegetables to go in your pasta sauce. These small steps will gradually become habits, then you’ll naturally find you might crave less sugary foods. Eating a variety of fruit and veg ensures your body is getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals to help a whole range of bodily functions to work properly and also to thrive.
At the end of the week, if you find you have some fruit left over when you are adjusting to fitting more in your diet, simply freeze it! Get a baking tray, line it with parchment paper and lay all of your fruit out flat. For larger pieces of fruit, chop them up first. Put this in the freezer and once it’s fully frozen, place your fruit into bags and then you have great ready-made smoothies that you just need to blend with some water or apple juice.
If you have lots of leftover vegetables, we love making soup with it! Literally any veg can go in soup, from broccoli to sweet potato and carrots to tomatoes, so just place them all in a large pan with some garlic and onion, cook until they are slightly sweated down and then cover with vegetable stock. So, if your veg is starting to look slightly worse for wear, then put it into soup, eat as much as you want and then freeze the rest.
Try New Active Weekend Activities
Another great way to look and feel healthier is to try new weekend activities that are more active than usual. Say you usually meet friends for a bottomless brunch every weekend, perhaps you could suggest instead you try out a fun local fitness class that you can all try together. Rather than getting takeaways in and watching a film, perhaps you could all bring a board with your favourite healthy snacks on. Maybe you could go down to your local animal shelter and volunteer walking the dogs for the day. All of these things will still help you to have a great time with your family or friends over the weekend, and of course we’re not saying cancel any plans involving food or drink. However, try out a few new things and you might just find your latest active hobby!
Eat More Protein
Something else you can do in relation to your diet is to eat more protein. When you eat a diet that is high in protein, it helps you to feel fuller for longer, so you won’t crave unhealthy foods as much. This will help you to lose weight when supported with exercise, and when you are also weight training, you will gain muscle at the same time.
Protein powders and meat can be expensive to add to your diet, but luckily we have some really easy tips to help you eat more protein. When you’re planning out your meals, for example you might be having a chicken and leek pie one day and a beef chilli another day. You can boost the protein in both of these dishes really easily with a tin of beans!
Add butter beans to your chicken and leek pie, and kidney and black beans to your chilli, to boost the protein and give it a great added texture. This will also increase the portion sizes, so you will get so much more for your money. This also goes for other beans and pulses, like lentils and quinoa, which are easy to add to so many recipes, they’re affordable and they store for ages in your cupboard.
Last but not least, one of the best things you can do is to move more. This can mean anything from adding an extra 1,000 steps to your daily step count, taking the stairs when you get to work or getting off public transport a stop early and walking the rest. For something more intense, you could do more high intensity fitness classes, push yourself to run further or really try to go for new PB’s that you wouldn’t have worked towards before. Everyone has a really different level of fitness, so you will be starting at different places. To get in the mood to move more, make sure you get yourself great gym sets! You will also have different interests, for example some people like walking, others like dancing, others like football, so trying out lots of different things and finding what you love is really important to help you move more.