7 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Summer is almost over and I am desperately trying to feel comfortable in my own body. I would love to showcase an awesome bikini, but I don’t have that self-confidence to pull it off. Overall, I know that I’m not doing the best to lose weight, or more importantly, get the body that does make me proud, or at least not ashamed. Unfortunately, changing your eating habits can be downright difficult, but it is not impossible and is well worth the effort.

I’m going to start these seven simple steps to a healthier lifestyle.

Consider Your Goals

Before you start revamping your diet, think about what you are trying to achieve. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Are you looking to improve your diet to support a new exercise program?
  • Do you want to focus on decreasing sodium intake, or eating heart healthy foods, or cutting out gluten?
  • Are you looking to cut calories in order to lose weight?
  • Are you just trying to improve the overall quality of your diet?

Each of these goals will guide you in a different direction when it comes to planning meals.

My goal is to lose weight and tone up. 

Research Recipes

Once you have your dietary goals in mind, it is time to start hunting for recipes. Most libraries are a treasure trove of cookbooks catering to every dietary need, and the internet is also an invaluable recipe resource. As you find recipes that fit your needs, record them for the next step, menu planning. If you always have your tablet by your side in the kitchen, bookmark online recipes and take digital photos of cookbook recipes so you can look at them on your tablet. If you prefer paper directions, stick with flags on recipes of interest in cookbooks.

I prefer low carb and high protein recipes. They keep me full longer.

Plan Your Meals

7 Steps to a Healthier LifestyleWith your recipes in hand, get to work planning out your meals and snacks for the week. Sit down with a list of recipes and a calendar. Fill in your plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day. If you have plans to go out to eat for any of those meals, fill that in also. Once you’ve got all of your meals filled in for the week, write out a grocery list for everything you need for those recipes, and head to the grocery store. Don’t forget to pick up your staples, too.

This is truly the hardest for me to do. But I’ve got my calendar and I’m ready to change.

Do Some Prepping

Set yourself up for success by preparing as much as you can ahead of time. Set aside a couple of hours to prep ingredients. Wash and chop vegetables, clean and marinate meats, and portion out snacks into individual servings. Or you can jump right in and prepare every meal for the entire week in one session, so all you have to do is pull a container out of the refrigerator when dinnertime comes around. The meal prepping phenomenon is huge; there are lots of great ideas for meals that are easy to prep ahead of time.

I prep as soon as I bring my groceries home before I put them away. 

Execute Your Plan

You’ve got your first meal plan in place and your ingredients are prepped, now you just have to stick to the plan. Eat what you’ve planned to eat. Try to avoid temptation during that first week and eat your planned snacks, especially if you have planned out your calorie consumption for each day. Make a commitment to eat what you’ve prepared with the knowledge that you can adjust your meal plan for the next week. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and make notes on when you feel hungry or unsatisfied by your meals.

This is my next step, the hardest for me to follow. I really need to follow my plan.

Stick With It

After making it through the first week, reflect on how things went. If you cooked meals every day, is there anything you could do to make cooking even easier? Did you like the recipes you used? Do you need to incorporate another snack into your meal plan, or add more protein and complex carbs to keep you feeling satisfied longer? This is the time to make adjustments. Have faith that you can make this work for you, and know that the first week or two are the hardest while you adjust to a new way of eating.

So, today would be day 1. Well, actually Monday, since I’m going out of town and can’t follow any recipes. 

Enjoy Your Newfound Health

After a few weeks, you may begin to notice a difference in your body. Perhaps you have more energy or fewer digestive issues. You may begin to lose a little weight, or notice that your skin is clearer. Maybe your workouts feel better because you are eating the right foods to fuel your body. Take a little time to celebrate your success and think about what’s next. Perhaps try going vegan for a day or two of the week – it’s not as hard as you may think, with companies like Hampton Creek providing vegan alternatives to common animal product-containing foods.

Congratulations on making it through the first difficult weeks of changing your diet. Once you start to build up a collection of healthy recipes you like and your new eating style becomes natural, you will be well on your way to a healthier you.

So, who’s with me? Are you in? Are you ready to change your lifestyle?

33 comments on “7 Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle”

  1. Robin Masshole Mommy says:

    Planning what you eat is so important! Counting every calorie counts.

  2. Marilu says:

    Need to start doing this to get ready for next summer!

  3. tara pittman says:

    I like that you tell people to do it in steps. My friend went cold turkey with her diet and of course failed

  4. Amy Jones says:

    Excellent advices! it takes a lot of will and determination but the results should be worth it

  5. I think these seven steps are great!! I should try them.

  6. Elizabeth O. says:

    A lot of people will tell you that it’s so difficult to switch to a healthier lifestyle because it requires a lot of effort. That could be if you’re not willing to start at all. I think this steps simplify it and it’s definitely effective. I love living the healthy lifestyle that I have now and it’s not difficult to maintain at all!

  7. Nicole Escat says:

    I like this tips. I am planning to have a healthier lifestyle by working out and offering healthier foods for my family.

  8. Liz Mays says:

    I dread the up front work on meal prep, but it is SO worth it when you can just grab a meal and eat quickly. I need to do that more.

  9. Victoria says:

    What an awesome tips and I need this for my start. I am planning to have a healthier life style.

  10. Azlin Bloor says:

    Great post full of wonderful tips. Folks are so busy getting through each day, ticking all the boxes that they forget to stop!

  11. Heather says:

    I think meal planning can totally help. I tend to buy things I don’t need and on a whim when I don’t have a shopping list.

  12. shalama says:

    COmmitting to a healthier lifestyle can be hard but is very doable. I have my setbacks but have made progress along my journey in the past 5 years.

  13. Nicole Etolen says:

    Wow, nice tips you have here. I think planning meals really help with this goal.

  14. Niesha Byln says:

    It is very important to have goals and stick with it no matter how hard! Nice tips.

  15. Brandy says:

    These are great steps to a healthier lifestyle, appreciate you sharing it and I do hope it helps many families. I am pinning to Pinterest as this is stuff I love sharing!

  16. Mauie says:

    I’m always having trouble with sticking with a healthy meal plan, ugh! But I’ve just arrived from a wellness seminar and I hope I’d do better this time.

  17. I’ve also found meal prep helpful. It eliminates the search for what to make for lunch or dinner. Plus, it gives me an excuse to try out new recipes.

  18. Nikki Wayne says:

    These 7 steps are really great. I will follow this, I want to be healthier.

  19. Angie Scheie says:

    Do you have any tips on making meal planning faster? You’re right, there are so many great recipes online but I spend SO much time meal planning each week that I eventually give up and fall back into bad habits. I do take digital photos which helps a lot but the reseach process has to be faster somehow!

  20. Kathy Kenny Ngo says:

    As a freelancer, I need to balance my work and health. And I need this tips. Thanks for the advice!

  21. rika says:

    Great tips… I need to start planning my meals and back active again 🙂

  22. Donnabeth says:

    I’m more conscious of my health now more than ever. Planning out meals is a good idea. Definitely have to cut back on my carbs!

  23. kean raph says:

    What a helpful tips. We are planning to have healthy meal.

  24. I always get overwhelmed at the idea of changing my eating habits (to eat healthier). It always seems like it cost more money to do so. But I really need to start because I’m started to not like what I see in the mirror =(

  25. Taty Pradilla says:

    I will have to remember these tips when kids get back to school. I plan on getting back into shape, and I usually just do it all at once and never have great success.

  26. Kathy says:

    I think these are all great tips. Planning meals is a great one. That’s one thing I need to work more on too.

  27. Franc Ramon says:

    Life is all about planning and the execution. You’ll end up better if you have a goal, you set out a plan and stick to it.

  28. Couldn’t agree more with all of the above, especially planning out meal time preparation in advance, which not only helps health wise, but also cuts back on time I have to spend weekly with dealing with preparing meals for my family, as well.

  29. I find it funny (in a good way) that various blogs and posts can really help when it comes to all those steps, like finding recipes and tips for preparations. The real challenge is the initial one since a lot of people are guilt of having just a temporary goal for such lengthy methods and occurrences. I’m guilty!

  30. Lisa Rios says:

    Everyone wants to lead a healthier lifestyle, but we all fail to set a plan to get closer to it. These are some simple yet effective steps to lead a healthy life and what you eat makes a major contribution to your health for sure.

  31. tauyanm says:

    being a fulltime housewife, i have so much time prepping our meals for the week, I only buy the things once and prepare the ingredients for the next day so i will just cook them. saves lots of time and money, been doing this since we arrive in dubai

  32. christina aliperti says:

    Meal planning has really helped us a lot with getting healthier. It’s so much easier to resist fast food or ordering out now.

  33. Berlin says:

    Great list you have there. And i agree that though we have a program, we should stick with it. Determination needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *