A millennial’s guide to maintain a healthy lifestyle
Being a healthy individual in the millennial world is no easy job and with the COVID-19 pandemic posing a life-threatening scare, being confined to our homes has made matters worse. As a millennial myself, I am well-versed with the characteristic traits of not just our generation but the ones before us as well. We often make resolutions about getting fitter, eating healthier, exercising properly and so on… but rarely take out the time to execute those.
Even if we end up following the routine, the initial stages are great as we’re all super motivated to achieve our goals but a few days later, we tend to overindulge in the name of ‘cheat/rest days’ and then there’s no going back. Am I right or am I right? If you too are guilty of making at least one of these resolutions at some point of time and not keeping your word, this feature will help you attain a healthier lifestyle with nine tried and tested simple hacks that you could incorporate in your daily routines and achieve success.
Follow the 80-20 rule
Experts all over the world advice against binge eating and advocate taking meals in moderation. As a further extension to that common norm, I’d like to suggest you follow the golden 80-20 rule. The rule states that 80% of all that you eat should be healthy and the rest 20% can be anything that your heart (read: tummy) desires. This rule helps you cave into your cravings while limiting your intake of excess calories by ensuring that a major chunk of your diet consists of healthy food.
Substitute cravings with healthier alternatives
Has anyone ever told you that replacing refined sugar with an equal quantity of brown sugar or honey causes no change in your drink/dish besides making it healthier? Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself! Refined sugar, when consumed in excessive amounts, can be lethal. Making the switch to honey or brown sugar keeps your insulin in check and also helps you maintain your weight.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself
The best way to lead a healthy lifestyle is not by going all in at once but rather taking consistent, baby steps which help you keep fit in the long run. Set realistic goals for yourself that are easier to keep up with rather than unrealistic ones which push you out of your comfort zone. For instance, rather than giving up sugar completely, begin by observing a ‘no sugar day’ every week. Once you get used to that, try reducing it by another step and then consume sugar only over the weekends. Give your mind and body time to adjust to these changes to gain the best results!
Make-up for unhealthy meals
Who doesn’t like to go out and indulge in their favourite meal every once in a while? It is a rather common practice for all of us millennials, and rightly so! Everyone deserves a cheat day after working hard and being consistent all week. Often, we tend to overindulge in the name of ‘cheat days’ and end up feeling super guilty about it the next day. The best way to make up for any cheat meal is by observing a clean eating day the morning after. Let’s say you went out for a dinner date and indulged in delicious carbs and some wine. The best way to make up for it would be by having a bowl of fruits for breakfast and a salad for lunch the next day and maybe even throwing in an extra 15 minutes during your workout.
Work it out!
I’m sure that this is not the first time someone’s told you this but as a matter of fact, exercising plays a vital role in staying fit and healthy. With our busy, on-the-go, ever-changing schedules it certainly does get difficult to stick to a particular workout regime. But then, we are the gen-Z. If we can’t go to the gym, we make the gym come to us. There are so many fitness apps, YouTube videos and online trainers these days to get you in shape at a time that’s convenient for you. So quit whining and get moving! Make it a habit to clock a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week.
Apart from exercising regularly, it is very important for you to be on your feet throughout the day. Skip getting into the elevator and take the stairs instead. You will be surprised to know the number of calories you burn just by going up and down a flight of stairs. Similarly, try to walk/cycle short distances whenever possible. Make sure you don’t sit still in one place for more than 30 minutes at a stretch. Get up from your desk and take a quick stroll after every hour. Stretch your muscles, drink water and then get back to work.
Netflix and chill can wait. Give your body the downtime it needs. Your body is your first home and it is your duty to make sure that you provide it with everything essential for its well-being. Along with eating right and exercising regularly, you must also clock in six-eight hours of sleep daily to ensure your mind and body get the rest that they deserve after a full day of work.
Yes, it’s the most clichéd advice to give but there’s a reason why clichés are clichés. Human beings, as we all know, are made up of 70% water. Therefore, it’s important to ensure a good amount of water intake daily to keep all our bodily functions active. Drinking two-three litres of water a day flushes out toxins from our body and relieves pitta, which is our bodily fire to keep acne and indigestion at bay.
Read behind the labels
Be mindful of the things you eat. Start by picking out products which do not contain a greater percentage of artificial sweeteners, added preservatives and sodium. An effective and easy way to do this is by reading behind the labels of the food items you consume. It is a lesser-known fact that salt (sodium) is equally bad for our health as sugar. Even then, most of us end up only checking the sugar and fat percentage while picking out snacks at the supermarket.