Having a healthy lifestyle has become a trend before being a necessity. And, like all trends, a healthy lifestyle costs you an arm if you attempt to follow the numerous suggestions and articles that you can find online and offline. From feeding yourself from homemade smoothies only to buying the latest tracking device – there’s this apparent need always to know how many steps you’ve taken during the entire day, preferably with a £400 activity tracker – it has become obvious that having a healthy lifestyle is a rich industry. However, don’t let marketing fool you. Being healthy has nothing to do with picking the most expensive trainers in the shop and spending your wages on protein shakes and avocado salads. Admittedly, what you choose to eat and whether you choose to embrace an active lifestyle will have a huge impact on your overall health. But it doesn’t have to be that expensive all the time. Nevertheless, the cost of a healthy lifestyle is only one of the many excuses that people have to justify unhealthy habits. Dive in and discover what is stopping you from being healthy.
Did you know that processed foods are so addictive that they can be easily compared to drugs? Indeed, they are high in sugar and fat, which ultimately changes the wiring of your brain. You begin to feel cravings for sweet or fatty food if you eat too much of it. You know the type: lying down in bed and thinking about that pack of chocolate biscuits that you have in the kitchen cupboard. But more importantly, these cravings change your attitude to portions. You eat more, more often. This is linked to a dangerous addictive behaviour, which defines your level of happiness on the quantity of high-fat treats that you can eat. Say what you want about it, but if you replace cheeseburgers by cocaine, you have a drug addiction. In other words, there is such a thing as junk food addiction, and it is just as dangerous. You may not OD from too much fat food, but you can certainly damage your heart, your liver, your brain and your nervous system, which can have a fatal consequence.
However, with any addiction, it is about breaking the cycle and ditch the chips and other fatty snacks for good. If you are feeling hungry between meals, try to snack on raw peppers instead. They are filling and full of healthy nutrients that your body needs. Gradually, the consumption of healthy food will change your taste buds, and you will enjoy the taste of vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.
Eating healthily appears to be a costly business at first. Indeed, if you compare the price of ingredients, a healthy meal can cost up to three times as much as junk food. Consequently, it is no wonder that many of you still prefers to call their local takeaway instead. Cheap meals, and delivered within a few minutes. Why should you even bother to eat healthy food when it is so expensive to sustain and when you get less food for a higher price?
The secret about sustaining a healthy diet lies in planning and preparation. Indeed, there are many ways to save money with food prep, such as getting your lunch boxes ready in advance for the week. Preparing in advance means that you can choose to buy large quantities – which are more affordable than single portions – and use them throughout the week. Additionally, it also means that you will be less tempted to buy a quick sandwich or jacket potato on the go if you’ve got a homemade lunch box in your bag. Finally, less is more when it comes to health. Don’t be fooled by the size of restaurant portions. A single person’s portion is a lot smaller than what you think. On average, a healthy woman needs around 2000 calories per day, which means 667 calories per meal. A sandwich with crisps and a chocolate bar might sound lovely, but that unnecessary expense is more than half your calorie intake for the day!
There’s a common excuse that people use when it comes to cooking a healthy dinner. They pretend that cooking is too difficult. Is it really so difficult that you need to buy pre-made meals and warm them up in the oven? It seems that is what the food industry wants you to believe. If you believe you can’t cook it, then you’ll continue to buy processed food. In truth, preparing a healthy meal doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes, which you can always fit even in the busiest of lifestyles. You could prepare an omelette with mushrooms and some fresh herbs; that’s a healthy and nutritious meal, and it doesn’t need hours of prep. Or why not try a warm salad with pears, walnuts, blue cheese, and rocket? You can eat well without being a chef. It’s not cooking that is difficult.It’s the idea you have of it. Bear in mind unhealthy food is more difficult to prepare at home. Indeed baking croissants might be trickier than making a homemade chicken noodle soup, but that’s good because croissants aren’t exactly healthy for you!
Scientists have already proven it; laziness is natural. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s normal to prefer to sit down rather than run, especially if you don’t need to run. The concept that our ancestors were a lot more active is true, but it wasn’t out of choice. It was out of necessity. If they didn’t hunt, they couldn’t eat. If they didn’t run, they couldn’t survive. If they didn’t work hard, they wouldn’t have remained naked creatures in a cave. Laziness is natural, but too much of it is unhealthy. Maybe you could consider rewarding your period of activities with a good laze in front of the TV. This way, you can combine the best of both worlds. Think of your body as a highly perfectly machine. The least you move it, the least it’ll work, until the day it breaks. Just like with a traditional watch, you need movements to keep your body ticking.