| Inspiration | How to Kick-Start Healthy Habits
How to Kick-Start Healthy Habits
Embracing a healthier lifestyle happens gradually and can start with a few healthy tweaks to your day-to-day life. We’ve got the best inspiration for kick-starting wholesome habits, so grab a cuppa and let’s get started.
Five simple ways to set health goals
- Start simple and realistic. It can be tempting to overhaul your whole life and want to ‘start from scratch’. However, when starting out try and choose one small, realistic habit to commit to - it’s all about the baby steps. Once you are practicing that habit with ease, add another one in and away you go.
- Add don’t subtract. Sometimes it helps to think about things you can add to your lifestyle rather than remove. This is because a healthier lifestyle is all about balance and moderation. For example, instead of wanting to “cut out junk food all together”, why not consider trying to “eating more vegetables”? The two might not exactly align but the latter habit may have a positive effect on the original habit and you might surprise yourself at the changes you see.
- Be specific and measurable. Again, it’s all about the baby steps. It pays to unpack any big goals into smaller, specific and measurable goals and habits and tackle things bit by bit. A specific and measurable habit could be to “have half a plate size of veggies at lunch” or to “have lean red meat 3-4 times a week”.
- Give yourself time. Making new habits time-bound is a great way to check in with yourself to see how you’re going. Sometimes the greater the change you’re wanting to make, the longer it might take you, so be patient and gentle with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Focus on progress, not perfection. Any progress is a win in itself and is a cause for celebration - period. It’s ok if you slip up on your new habit, what matters is how you pick yourself back up, reassess, make changes (if needed) and continue progressing.
Seven nutrition and activity healthy tips
Now you’re a pro goal setter, we’ve got some great practical and healthy suggestions to help spark inspiration:
- Fruits and veggies. Aim to have at least 5 serves of vegetables a day and 2 serves of fruit a day. It may sound like a lot, so perhaps try and add vegetables into your breakfast and snacks as well.
- Plate portions. A great way to get a balanced lunch and dinner meal is to try and have ¼ plate of protein, ¼ plate of carbohydrate and ½ a plate vegetables/fruit. Not only will your plate be nutritious, it’ll look delicious with all of that colour.
- Cook at home and from scratch. Just like what your grandparents would have done back in the day. By cooking from scratch you know exactly what’s going into your meals and you can make healthy swaps for certain ingredients. Our Salad Generator is a great way to use what’s already in your fridge (hello two day old leftovers…) and pantry to create a nourishing meal.
- Spice up your life. Rather than reaching for the salt, consider flavouring your meals with herbs and spices. Get creative and see which ones you like.
- Stay hydrated. It’s easy to confuse thirst with hunger, so having a water bottle handy can make it easier for you to drink more water throughout the day. Adults need 8-10 cups of fluid per day, which can also be made up of tea, coffee and milk.
- Keep active. Even in the midst of our busy lives, finding time for physical activity is extremely helpful for our mental and physical wellbeing. Take a moment for yourself and try to get in at least 2½ hours of moderate or 1¼ hours of vigorous physical activity throughout the week. Every bit counts, which leads us to our last point.
- Move when you can. You don't always have to do an hour at the gym, or a 5km walk. Even just 10-15 minutes of walking spread across the day, or choosing to stand rather than sitting can be a great way to gently add more movement into your routine.
Ministry of Health. (2020). Eating and Activity Guidelines for New Zealand Adults: Updated 2020. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Posted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand