15 Dumb, Small Changes for a Better Life

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Saturday, January 16, 2016 

under Health


2016 isn’t even two weeks old and we’re guessing some of you might already be flagging on your resolutions. Surely many of you decided to have a healthier 2016. The question is how you’re going to achieve this. Fortunately, there are some relatively small changes you can make to start living healthier. And they’re so easy, we promise.

Here are 15 dumb, small changes you can make with little effort that will genuinely make your life better.


1. Eat fruits instead of sweets


Sounds hard, we know. Sweets contain refined sugar, high fructose and corn syrup, and they are straight-up addictive. Just addictive as hell, we know. But fruits are basically nature’s sweets. They contain natural sugars and fibres which are simply better for you. Next time you feeling a craving for something sweet, reach for some grapes instead. Or strawberries. Or whatever you like. Any fruit is better than processed sweets.


2. Shop on a full stomach

Amy Yaroch, of the nutrition research centre Gretchen Swanson in Omaha, Nebraska, told Reuters Health research showed that those who shop hungry tend to buy junk food.  Makes sense. Eating before shopping could be an easy way to reduce consumption of calorie-intensive foods. You just won’t feel the need to buy them as much, and you won’t find them in the cupboards of your home.


3. Cook at home

Another study has suggested that dieting is one of the hardest ways to actually lose weight, because cutting out whole groups of foods usually results in people indulging in other foods to make up for it. You know what’s healthy? Home cooking. It’s linked to more healthy food consumption, saving money on dining out, and an enhanced self-esteem.

The key is to learn how real food is cooked. So instead of resolving to diet more in 2016, maybe resolve to learn how to cook using real materials rather than processed foods. It reduces the consumption of the evil bogeyman trans-fats, excessive salt and hidden sugars - which occur in huge quantities in prepared foods like salad dressing or tomato sauce. We’re not saying you can’t cook unhealthy foods at home, but cooking gives you more direct control over what you eat.


4. Remove the butter from the toast and put avocado instead


We have a theory that avocados are a girl’s food. No, seriously, it’s like guys have some weird mental block against avocado unless it’s in the form of guacamole. But they’re a really good source of healthy fats. The fleshy green fruit is on the list of superfoods, and it’s rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and E, and fiber. Try to spread it on toast instead of butter! Just try it.


5. Replace white bread with whole grain


Doesn’t need much explaining. You do not need to say much. It’s a pretty simple, easy move. Try M&S, they have 2-for-1 offers on baked goods after 20.00. Everyone knows that wholemeal bread is higher in fibre than normal white bread, and helps digestion by slowing the absorption of sugars.


6. Drink plenty of water

Surely you've heard about water. H2O? Aqua? Clear liquid coming out of the tap? Well, usually clear. Staying hydrated is important. Your body is balanced and has more energy. Some studies suggest that you can lose weight if you drink water before each meal because it fills you up and leads you to eating less.

Just don’t down six litres of water at once. You can die from that.


7. Change the way you walk

Powerwalking may look dumb to some, but it won’t just help you reach your destination. A study back in 2013 by about 40,000 hikers found that people who walked slowly have a higher risk of death compared to those who follow a more rapid pace.


8. Get off the bus or train a stop earlier

This is an easy way to earn more physical activity into your daily routine. Walking burns calories, can help to reduce stress and even enhances bone. And exercise is not only good for your body, but it can help keep your brain healthy.


9. Take the stairs


This is an easy way to burn calories and strengthen leg muscles when you can’t find time for a workout.


10. Stand on one leg while brushing your teeth

It may seem somewhat weird, but it can improve your balance, and your balance is good for your health.


11. Wash your hands regularly

Wash your hands with soap and water. It’s one of the most effective ways to prevent infections and to not get sick, especially in China where the standards of hygiene or a bit less robust. Just make sure you do it the right way. Scrub the palms, knuckles, back of the hands and the tips of the fingers thoroughly, like your momma taught you!


12. Meditate for just 20 minutes a day


Meditation can help you handle stress, improve your memory, as well as lower blood pressure. A study carried out on a group of people showed that meditating a little bit five days a week for a month already showed changes in the part of the brain that handles self-regulation. Not to mention that if you meditate in the morning, you’re far more likely to work efficiently throughout the rest of the day.


13. Read a book

Not on your phone. At night, the light from the screen can mess with your brain’s sleep schedule. Grab a real book, and before bed is a great time to expand your knowledge, simultaneously reduce your stress levels, and give yourself a break from the always-online world. Speaking of which…


14. Turn off your phone at a set time every day.

Shutting off the mobile may seem scary at first, but once you realise that it (probably) won’t cost you your job, it’ll help you relax as you distance yourself from your daily stresses. It’s especially a good idea to avoid using your phone right before going to bed.


15. Go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends.

When you go to bed at different times every day, it can lead to a kind of jet lag. You might miss your late mornings and late nights on the weekends, but they're actually making you less rested in the long run. Set yourself a regular sleep schedule, and you'll start feeling more rested.

 

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So there we have it. 15 dumb small ways you can improve your life, without having to obsess too much about turning your whole schedule upside down. Do you have any tips or tricks for easily and quickly improving your life? We have a comments section down below. Just sayin'.

 

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