Apparently, the COVID-19 pandemic has come to stay, and even though we’re all doing our best to flatten the curve and stay safe while the vaccines campaign takes place all over the world, lockdowns and social distancing are still here going on and off. With this so-called “new normal” it’s time we set our own goals and strategies to achieve those.
2021 is finally here, and probably, one of your main goals this year is to improve your health and get in great shape! Don’t panic! You can still do that from the comfort and safety of your home, so get ready to start taking down notes and start improving your lifestyle!
10 Actionable Tips You Can Implement Right Away at Home to Become Healthier
Here are 10 easy tips you can start implementing now to get in shape, lose weight, and improve your mood whilst you’re stuck at home.
Slow down, Especially During Lunch!
Eating slowly, without any rush will improve your digestion, which will allow you to feel better, lighter, and even improve your mood. But it will also, reduce bloating, and you will be giving your body the time it needs to notice you’re full. Thus, you’ll end up naturally reducing your portions.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, chewing fast can lead to more hunger. This happens because the food reaches your stomach in larger pieces. Therefore, food is not properly digested, which keeps you hungry.
The study also states that the brain releases hormones, such as leptin, that indicate our body when we are satiated. So, if you eat fast, your brain will not notice it’s being flooded with leptin, and thus, you’ll continue eating, leading to feeling stuffed and sick.
Avoid processed foods
Eating a healthier, whole and nutritious diet will reduce stress and anxiety, as well as constant hunger or cravings. Also, healthy and whole foods have more volume, fewer calories, and are denser in nutrients. Therefore, if you follow a healthy and unprocessed diet, it will be easier to achieve a calorie deficit, if you want to lose weight.
Eat more greens and vegetables
Consuming more vegetables and greens helps reduce consistent cravings, binge-eating, and anxiety about food. Eating fruits is extremely helpful, as it’s a great way to reduce cravings and sweet tooth. Identify situations where cravings for food occur, practice relaxation exercises, and learn how to manage your emotions.
Opt for Lean Proteins
Lean protein, such as chicken breast, white fish, seafood, egg whites, and whey protein tends to be low in trans fat. Besides, protein keeps you satiated for longer. But that is not all, your muscles need protein to repair from exercise, your hair, skin, and nails need protein to avoid age-related issues.
Our whole body, organs, skin, muscles, and hair is made of proteins. We need to constantly replenish it to feed our bodies properly. Its consumption helps reduce the consumption of a lot of food during the day. Lean meat is a very good option if you want to eat less.
Perform Strength Training
The more muscle mass, the faster your metabolism. Muscle naturally burns calories and fat for energy production. So, get yourself a band, a pair of dumbbells, your own body weight, or water bottles, a backpack full of books, and get your pump on! You can find hundreds of strength training routines at home on YouTube.
Consume enough water
Hydration is essential for our health and wellbeing, as water activates our metabolism. Dehydration slows down the metabolism, which is key to the fat burning process and other bodily functions.
Last but not least, drinking water can reduce stress levels, promoting the production of endorphins that create a pleasant sensation in our body. So, drinking more water may be the secret to happiness, a healthy body, clear skin, and a fit-looking body.
Get adequate rest
Sleep is key to energy levels. Studies show that poor sleep is associated with a higher risk of obesity and weight gain. Therefore, having good sleeping hygiene is very important.
Follow these tips to improve your sleep:
- Cool your room, aim at 18-19 degrees.
- Dim all the lights, at least two hours before going to bed.
- Activate night shift on your phones and computers.
- Wear blue light blocking lenses.
- Take a nice and relaxing shower.
- Use scented oils and candles to wind down.
- Avoid screens, opt for a book instead.
- Drink a cup of Chamomile tea or Valerian Root before going to bed.
- Meditate. Meditation is a powerful tool to fall asleep.
Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which causes inflammation and increases the risk of disease in the body, as well as fat storage. Besides, stress alters the metabolism and hinders biological functions, such as fat oxidation. So, avoiding stress is the best we can do to stay healthy, fit, and happy during a lockdown.
Tips to reduce stress:
- Get vitamin D, get outside for a while.
- Meditate to relieve stress.
- Try Ashwagandha, which is proven to work against stress.
- Exercise or try yoga.
Alcohol affects the ideal metabolism process. Thus, hindering your natural ability to burn calories and fat. Besides, alcohol is a depressor, which means that drinking constantly may induce depression and feelings of sadness or anxiety.
Spice it up!
Spicy food is rich in Capsaicin, the component to which you feel the burn as you eat anything spicy. It helps increase the metabolism, by stimulating thermogenesis and thus, calorie burning.
Besides, spicy food gives you a feeling of satiety, as compared to non-spicy food. It promotes water consumption, keeping you hydrated. Also, spicy food improves the production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin. Therefore, it improves your mood.
Whether you’re still on lockdown or not, these tips are timeless. So, if your diet, hydration, exercise, stress, and sleep are in check, you’ll ensure a healthy-looking body and happiness!
Author: Mercedes Mansilla