Easy Health and Lifestyle Changes

It’s the dawn of a new year, which means ’tis the season for resolutions. How many of you have resolved, yet again, to lose weight, eat healthier foods, or any number of other food-related pledges? If that sounds like you, I think you could find this article really helpful.

Improve Your Diet With Easy Health and Lifestyle Changes | Foodal.com

Sometimes, trying to make drastic food or lifestyle changes all at once can seem overwhelming, and even if you do get off to a good start, trying to keep it up for any length of time can be overly difficult and frustrating.

When that’s the case, the odds of you following through and actually reaching your goal can start to plummet.

Rather than trying to make huge, drastic changes in 2015, what I recommend is trying to make a series of small changes throughout the year. Over the months, all of those small changes will really start to add up to something pretty impressive.

Whatever your goal may be, using this method you will be much more likely to stick with your plan and reach that goal than, for example, cutting out all of your favorite foods all at once. Here, I will list a few small changes that will be easy to do but can make a big impact on your overall health.

Drink More Water

This is probably the easiest change you can make in your diet that can make the biggest difference in your life. Your body is made of up to 75% water, so you can imagine how important it is to keep replenishing this vital liquid.

To maintain bodily functions like digestion, circulation, and even maintaining your body temperature, you have to drink plenty of water every day. It’s also essential for good skin, proper kidney function, and normal bowel function.

If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, water should be your new best friend. If your problem is overeating, drinking a full glass of water before a meal will help you to eat less.

Sometimes, you may think you’re hungry when in fact what your body is really telling you is that it needs more fluids. Drinking that glass before you eat can actually cue your body in to the fact that it doesn’t really need food right now.

Adding more water to your diet | Foodal.com
Adding more water to your diet is a quick and easy way to change your lifestyle for the better.

You probably already know that you need to drink more water, but what happens when you really don’t like the taste of water at all? Baby steps, my friends. Start small by replacing one drink a day with a glass of water.

Once you feel comfortable with that, get rid of another soda or juice by substituting that with water. Over the course of a few weeks or months, you will have switched to drinking mostly water all day long with only the occasional soda or other beverage, and you will definitely notice a difference in how your body feels as every part of your anatomy will function better.

Benefits of Lemon Water

Growing up, we were not big water drinkers in my family. My dad drank super-sweet coffee all day long, my mom always had a diet Mountain Dew in her hand, and I loved juice boxes and soda with the occasional Yoo-hoo thrown in.

Well, you know how some restaurants bring a glass of water with a lemon wedge to the table before they take your drink order? For some reason, as a teenager I decided one time to actually squeeze that lemon wedge into the water and drink it. To my surprise, I loved it!

Lemon water improves the taste and add healty antioxidants and Vitamin C | Foodal.com
Adding some lemon to your water makes it more palatable for those who don’t like to drink it as well as introducing valuable enzymes and vitamins to your body.

Of course, to begin with I only drank lemon water when we would eat out, but over the course of a year or two, I gradually started drinking more and more water at home, even without the lemon juice.

I still almost always ask for water with a bowl of lemons every time I’m at a restaurant, and my daily liquid intake is 80% or more water every day. For someone who, as a child, would never in a million years ask for a glass of water when thirsty, I think this is a pretty impressive change, and this proves that anyone can develop a taste for water.

I use this as an example to show how a little lemon juice was the only catalyst I personally needed to drink more water, but as an adult I have also come to learn that lemon water is actually super healthy for you and think that everyone needs to drink at least one glass of lemon water every morning.

Drinking it first thing in the morning before you eat anything has been proven to jumpstart your metabolism. If you’re trying to lose weight, add a dash or two of ground cinnamon and another dash or two of cayenne pepper to further heighten this effect.

Not only will your metabolism get revved up, but lemons are also high in pectin fiber which will help you fight hunger cravings for the rest of the day.

The vitamin C in lemons is also highly beneficial for feeling healthier. It boosts your immune system, helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes, and can even help you feel less stressed as vitamin C is quickly used up by your body when you are dealing with a lot of stress, making you feel even more stressed than ever.

Getting a good dose of it with lemon water every day can help keep your stress levels lower since your body will have more to begin with.

Additionally, lemons are high in potassium, which is great for brain and nerve function and also helps control blood pressure.

Lastly, while water in and of itself is a great detoxifier as it helps push toxins out of the body through urination, lemon juice is a diuretic, which further increases urination to help flush those toxins out at an even faster rate.

With all of that being said, I want to also point out that all of the sources encouraging a morning dose of lemon water all state to drink the water warm. I can’t really find a scientific reason that it would be more beneficial that way, so I can only assume that it’s because cold water can be a bit of a shock to the system.

Drinking the water warm might make it easier for the body to absorb all of its healthful properties. Read more about the health effects of lemon.

Eat More Frequently

As you can see, I feel like water is of supreme importance to a healthy lifestyle, but there are a few other small changes you can make that will lead to a new and healthier you.

Being told to eat more frequently might seem counter-intuitive if you want to lose weight, but hear me out. Going longer than 3 three hours between meals forces your body to start producing the cortisol hormone, which is the body’s signal to start storing fat (particularly in the abdomen).

By eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day, you will be keeping your cortisol levels down while at the same time keeping your energy levels stabilized.

Improve your diet with smaller portions and more meals each day | Foodal.com
Eat more often – smaller meals eaten more often speeds up your metabolism by telling your body that food will always be available (which may not have been the case throughout much of history and our development).

Feeding yourself more frequently can boost your metabolism, which in turn helps you manage your weight.

Additionally, this can also help you to keep your patience better throughout the day (a huge plus for this mother of three, ages 5 and under), help you to maintain your focus all day long, and help you to avoid food cravings.

Switching to this type of eating could be as easy as eating the same size meal as usual only breaking it up into two servings that you eat a few hours apart. This gets even easier if you plan each of these small meals ahead of time, with help from some quick and healthy lunch ideas or a great list of easy, healthy snacks to choose from.

Alternatively, serve yourself a smaller portion than you normally would at lunch and dinner, but make sure to eat a larger sized snack between once in the mid-morning and once in the afternoon. This one small change can have a big impact pretty quickly.


If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store without a shopping list, you know how quickly you can fly through your food budget only to get home and realize you still have nothing to cook for dinner. It will save you so much money if you sit down and plan out what you are going to eat for every meal of every day of the week.

Other than being a big money-saver, I promise that planning out your meals will lead to much healthier meals and snacks. There are a few different ways this is the case.

Put more color in your food for better nutrition | Foodal.com
Meal planning helps to stop over spending at the grocery store and over eating. If your going to splurge at the market, try to do so in the produce section.

First, if you have a meal planned in advance, you will be much less likely to eat out. If you are eating home-cooked meals instead of restaurant food, 9 times out of 10 you will be eating healthier food as well. Not only can you ensure you are cooking with healthy ingredients, you can control your portion size as well.

If a server brings you a huge plate of food, and the food itself is perfectly cooked and super yummy, are you really going to stop eating when you’re full? Or are you going to continue to eat because it’s just that good? Sadly, more often than not I will fall into the latter category.

Another way that meal-planning makes for a healthier you is that it’s easier to stick to a whole food diet when you plan in advance what you are going to cook and buy everything you will need beforehand.

In a previous article, I examined why you should switch to a whole foods diet and how to do it, which you may want to take a look at if you’re not familiar with this type of eating. Also, Marla’s article on Paleo baking techniques is a good read if you can’t give up your bread and pastries.

Choose healthy food vs convenience food | Foodal.com
Planning out your lunches allows you avoid convenience food and extra calories.

In addition to these examples, meal-planning ensures you have a healthy lunch to enjoy every day (and if you are a work-from-home deadline cruncher, you know just how challenging that can be!).

If you work outside the home, you may be used to buying your lunch every day. I can tell you from past experience that this is the fastest way to gain weight (other than pregnancy), and that is NOT a good thing.

Several years ago I worked in a physician’s office where a different drug rep brought us lunch almost every single day. After just a few months, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life (barring pregnancy), and I had to make the decision to stop eating the catered lunches and bring my own.

It was the best decision that I could have made, and soon I was back to a much healthier weight.

Eat Healthy By Planning Your Meals | Foodal.com
Take 30 or so minutes and plan out your meals for the following week.

Meal-planning is such a simple thing to do, and yet it can have a drastic influence on your weight (not to mention your bank account!).

It only takes me about 30 minutes each Sunday to sit down and plan out what recipes I want to cook over the course of the next week and put together a shopping list (remember to always shop from your pantry first). I never run out of healthy things to feed my family, and it also takes the stress out of having to come up with dinner every night when I already know exactly what I can cook.

Best of all – I can work around my family’s dietary preferences including my somewhat picky children.

Eat More Color!

Mother Nature is a true artist and makes food in every color of the rainbow. Each hue actually signifies the presence of certain vitamins, antioxidants, and other natural chemicals. The more varied the colors on your plate are, the more nutrients you are taking in.

Diferent veggies and fruit have different health effects | Foodal.com
Add plenty of color into your diet – choose fruits, vegetables, and berries for the bulk of your intake.

Orange foods will give you a healthy dose of beta carotene which is great for your eyesight, boosts your immunity, and can protect against certain types of cancer. Purple and blue-hued vegetables and fruits contain anthocyanins, compounds which help reduce your risk for high blood pressure and low HDL (the good kind) cholesterol.

High levels of antioxidants, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids in green leafy veggies are responsible for reducing the risk of developing type II diabetes, heart disease, and are typically very high in fiber (making you feel fuller and helping you to not overeat).

Omega-3’s can even help to improve your mood! Red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene, hesperidin, ellagic acid, etc. These nutrients have been shown to cut your risk of developing certain cancers, can help lower blood pressure, and support healthy joints.

Eating fruits and berries improves your diet and health | Foodal.com
Work on adding one fruit each day and try for five servings – berries and fruits all have different micronutrients so it is a good idea to mix them up.

Everyone I know likes at least a few fruits or veggies. Aim to have at least one serving with each meal, and try to have a different color each time to get the full array of health benefits. Berries at breakfast, carrot sticks with hummus as a snack, or a big salad for lunch.

For dinner, switch out crunchy fried meats or Chinese food with lightly pan-fried, tasty breaded vegetables instead, such as you’ll find in this delicious recipe.

Focus on adding just one fruit or vegetable to your plate at each meal. Your goal is to work up to having 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

A serving size is generally one cup, and that’s really not that much to eat at one sitting. It’s as easy as eating an apple for your dessert. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re watching your weight, you should limit your starchy vegetable intake (think peas and potatoes) to just a few servings a week.

To Sum It Up

A couple of last things to keep in mind: First, make sure to keep an eye on your saturated and trans-fat intake. This is as simple as cutting back on fried food, if that’s your downfall. If you love fried chicken, try cutting back to once a month or even every two weeks instead of eating it every Sunday after church.

IF you make it more of a special occasion food, when you do allow yourself that indulgence, it will seem like that much more of a treat.

Secondly, and this may sound silly, but chew your food. Really chew it up well. The better you chew your food, the easier it is for your body to digest it. This can prevent upset tummies as well as heartburn later.

Moreover, we’ve all heard that it takes your brain a while to register that your stomach is full. It actually takes up to 20 minutes before your body will get the signal to stop eating, so if you’re practically inhaling your food, before you know it you’ll have eaten twice the amount of food than you really needed.

Slow down!

Chew each bite at least 10 times before you swallow, and then take time to really savor that bite before you take another one. Enjoy good conversation with your meal to further slow the process. This is sure to keep you from eating so fast that you overeat.

Both of these tips are so easy to implement into your routine, and the other tips and tricks are simple, too. I hope some of these ideas will get you into the right frame of mind to really make a change for the better in this New Year and help you to realize the goal of a healthier and happier you.

About Ashley Martell

Ashley has enjoyed creative writing since she was six years old, when she wrote her first short story. She majored in English literature at the University of Montevallo. After years of professional work, she is now a stay-at-home mom of three, who uses her craft to write about her life and adventures in and out of the kitchen.

48 thoughts on “Easy Health and Lifestyle Changes”

  1. It’s great advice to make smaller changes over the course of the year. As one who makes big plans right at the beginning of the year, I often find that I don’t make it past April, or else I have to revise what I set out to do, which makes me feel at odds with myself for not persevering. It becomes a vicious circle after a while.

    One thing I will definitely be trying since reading your article is the lemon water – this would be easy for me to incorporate into my day, and it sounds really healthy too.

    Thank you.

  2. I love the advice about meal planning. My husband works as a life style change consultant and you wouldn’t believe how often he comes home complaining about people saying they cant afford to eat healthy. Eating healthy is often cheaper than getting takeout. Not only that but a lot of people who don’t plan their meals end up going to the supermarket multiple times a week and they are more inclined to pick up treats and things they don’t need each time they do so. If you plan your meals in advance you can get everything you need for the week at the start of it.

    • That’s a good point you make about healthier foods – they are usually a lot cheaper, but I suspect that people don’t actually know how to cook them. It’s possible to cook masses of delicious food for a fraction of the cost of a takeaway.

  3. Interesting read. I feel that any changes that people make from eating processed, refined foods is going to benefit their health. My advice to anyone would be to look at their current diet, and ask what percentage do they eat is unprocessed healthy food? If below 80%, then look at something that makes up 5% of their diet and see what alternatives they could use.
    You can worrying about saturated fat (theres two types of saturated fat). You can worry about simple vs complex carbohydrates. You can worry about the grams of fat in chicken vs tuna. In the end, I feel its how much you eat of those unprocessed, natural foods such as vegetables, nuts and seeds and meats.

  4. I am still struggling with losing weight but this year it is not a priority, making money online is. Aside from that though I noticed a big change after moving out of my families home. My mom took care of us, almost every night a home cooked meal was made from our own livestock and vegetables. I get out on my own and over the course of 8 years gain 60 pounds, yikes! We do eat home cooked food here but not enough. I am trying to slowly limit my intake on junk food and processed food in hopes that this helps me.

  5. I already do drink more water and I do like lemon water. I also prefer smaller meals throughout the day so I don’t feel as heavy. Most people do need more vegetables and fruits in their diets, but they do take time to prepare and also need to be brought regularly. I always end up buying and forgetting to eat them, so I cook them and freeze them before they go off. I try to plan, but sometimes I’m not in the mood to cook certain foods.

    I do try to limit fried foods, but hey do taste good. As long as it’s every once in a while it’s okay

  6. These are great points! I usually only ever drink water — it tastes so good when I’m thirsty! But my boyfriend cannot stand it. He hates the “taste” of it, or how it tastes like nothing and it makes him want to be sick. I’m not sure if he’s exaggerating or what, but he usually does not even like to take one sip. He can cut apple juice with water, though (which I think is weird), but to drink it straight, nope. I’ll have to try it with lemon. I suspect it might even work better with him if he drank sparkling water…

    And meal planning is a life saver for keeping a tight budget and not always spending hours wondering what to eat and what to cook! I am though guilty of only eating one or two meals a day. I will try to follow your advice on this one.

  7. This is a great article! You basically summed what I have been working on with my therapist. She recently put me on a diet but not to lose weight. I have been suffering from postpartum depression and she felt that instead of putting me on meds I should try changing my diet first. According to her, what I eat has a direct impact on how much of the stress hormones are released in my body. She has me starting out my days with a glass of warm lemon water every morning and that alone made a huge a difference.

  8. Although I didn’t make any resolutions this year, I am striving to live a healthier lifestyle. I have been drinking lemon water for years and really do enjoy it. The lemon sure helps me get my water intake in for the day.

    I have to work on the meal planning. I rarely eat breakfast and I know that isn’t a healthy choice. I agree, writing down the meals ahead of time makes us more likely to prepare and eat them. I will work on that , this week. Your article is really full of helpful information and I really enjoyed it.

  9. Great advice about staying hydrated! We don’t always notice the almost constant state of mild dehydration that many of us live in every day. Drinking more water really makes a difference–not only are you going to start looking better (clearer skin and all that goodness), but feeling more alert will make you more personable too! I started incorporating water into my wake-up routine by having a glass on my bedside table. When I turn my alarm off each morning, the first thing I do right after is drink that glass of water. It helps to wake me up and make up for the hours spent sleeping (and therefore not drinking water). Try it out: it’s a simple thing that makes mornings smoother.

  10. I never really realized that I wasn’t drinking enough water until I switched to a paleo diet and forced myself to start drinking more. I cut out all the juices and sodas I had been drinking and JUSTdrank water or green tea. My skin started to clear up within a few weeks, I couldn’t believe it. I can’t say enough that water is the most important part of a healthy eating plan. I also have more energy but I’m not sure if that’s due to the paleo diet or my increased water consumption. Maybe it was the sodas that were having a negative effect on me.

    Great blog. I couldn’t agree more.

  11. Quite the interesting read you’ve got there…bookmarked for reference and keeping tabs on myself. I fall and get back up on the bandwagon that is called drinking water, on and off like a switch, what bothers me, is the frequent bathroom visits {shy smile} but i understand that drinking water is very important…well i won’t give up till that graph stabilizes…as for fruits and vegetables, i have no squabbles with that, i can eat 24/7 365 days…just allow me to have a few cheat days here and there 😉

  12. Drinking water was definitely a problem when I was younger – I would feel queasy during long car rides and have to gasp for breath outside the window before getting home and drinking water, only to feel much better – I feel that it was the plain taste that got me, and lemon water, which can be substitute for lime or mandarin or other citrus if you like, was a great solution, not to mention the vitamins that also come with such drinks.

  13. Thank you so much for this list! We actually recently started meal planning and are eating much healthier thanks to that! We have a weeks worth of dinners planned on a chalkboard in the kitchen, and each morning I pull out whatever needs to be pulled out. No stress come dinner time!

    Now we just need to put the rest of the tips into action!

    • I agree that planning meals in advance takes a lot of the stress of cooking away. It’s sometimes hard to think of things to cook after a long day at work so having meals planned, and sometimes even pre-cooked in advance saves a lot of time.

  14. This guild to eating better is very good and very detailed. Normally in the beginning of a new year I always try to set up a new plan right off the bat and its hard to follow so trying to start slow and get progress at the same time is really great. Right now most of my friends drink a lot of soda and they don’t drink as much water so I gave them that challenge of substituting one soda for one water a day and they really liked it. They say that they were feeling better when they drank water instead and wanted to keep doing it.

  15. I’m all for drinking water, but having it with lemon juice all the time, wouldn’t that be detrimental to your teeth?
    As for losing weight, reducing your portions is probably the best to go about doing so, as weight gain after all is mostly from eating too much. Reducing calories to slightly less than your daily limit will go a long way towards losing weight.

    • It’s only a small amount so would contain considerably less acid than a full glass of citrus juice. Diluting the lemon juice with water helps reduce the acidity even further.

  16. I think snacking is too easily cut out when trying to lose weight – there’s a tendency to think of it as unecessary calories instead of planning for it as an essential part of your diet. I actually find it easier to snack at work where I have my lunchbox with all my food for the day prepared and sitting on the desk beside me, as opposed to home where I have to stop what I’m doing and go and make something to eat when I want it. Perhaps I should meal plan for snacks as well.

    The advice about eating as many different coloured fruit and veg is a good one for kids – I play a game with my eldest of trying to make fruit rainbows – she gets an appropriately coloured sticker whenever she eats fruit and veg and puts them up on a sticker chart. I find it gets her wanting to eat more fruit and veg overall as well as the different colours, as she tries to complete as many rainbows as possible over the week.

  17. I cannot stress the important of number one enough. Drinking water is the staple of all types of fitness, wether you are trying to gain weight or lose it. Also, many people equate eating less with losing weight. It does not matter how much you eat (sometimes this is not the case), but what you eat in proportion. Hopefully that helps.

  18. Regarding the eat more frequently tip, I think its important to note that during these frequent meals you have to eat a lesser amount of food. Your daily macros or caloric intake won’t change, you’re just spreading them out through the course of the day.

    Also, I lover lemon water; I’ve been drinking lemon water for three years now. I always keep a couple of pitchers at home so that I don’t have to make some every time I need to drink.

  19. I saw you mentioned lemon water but no mention of cucumber water. I’m wondering why that is? I think both have added benefits as well as a taste differentiation that keeps you more interested in consuming water throughout the day.

  20. I think I could actually make these changes! I, too, drink lemon water at restaurants, and sometimes do at home. I never thought about the extra benefits of lemon beyond just making water taste better. My husband sometimes puts cucumbers and mint in a jug of water. Hmmm, Think I need to do that again.

    I also needed the reminder to plan the week’s meals. I’ve gotten so lazy about that lately. I’m going to check out the paleo baking mentioned. My family loves bread, and I think that can help. I’m so glad I found your blog.

  21. This is yet another great reminder that I should really kick the lazy out. The past weeks have been difficult for me. It made me think about changing my diet and truly sticking to it. So, I’ll just probably take the baby steps mentioned here. Start with drinking much water, and junking the soda; which reminds me – I really should stand up now and get away from my laptop and get me some water. I was just reminded that I only had coffee and some crackers for lunch. I’m currently hungry, and water might just make me forget that I’m hungry, hehe…

  22. I really liked what you said about lemon water; I’ve been told a lot, especially recently, that lemon water is good for me and I should drink it in the morning before breakfast. But I can never get in the habit of doing that myself! Do you have any tips for doing that?

    And also I’m a huge fan of homemade lunches for work; especially if you eat out, it costs so much money and plus it’s just bad for your waistline in general. Occasional eating out with people is fine, but too much of it is too much of a waste!

  23. Drinking water helps a lot more than you probably think! I drink a lot of it everyday and I don’t feel the need to eat as much as I used to.
    I mostly eat snacks at the moment or small portions of food and it helps immensely with weight loss.

  24. I’m going to have to try to implement some of these, definitely. I’ll be honest with you, though, I’ll need some luck to get them to drink more water, lol. With the lemon I could drink it all day long. The husband and kids aren’t going to like the idea very much. Lol

  25. I miss the days of eating great drug rep food, their budgets must be amazing. I do enjoy eating out, but I tend to mentally cut the meal into at least two portions, and always get a box for the leftovers. I can’t imagine eating all of the food, but I know some do. Great advice to chew food well. In addition to helping with digestion, it also slows down your eating, which is beneficial because it allows your brain to catch up to your stomach, so you realize you’re full before you’ve eaten so much. I realized while I was reading this that I hadn’t eaten lunch, so you saved me from grabbing some chips to hold me over until dinner :).

  26. What an informative article! My mother has always told me to drink more water when I was young. I think water can probably be the most healthiest drink out there. Besides milk and juice, I almost never drink soda or soft drinks. Thought they may seem refreshing, the effects it can have on the body are definitely not positive. So my safest bet was always to stick with organic farm drinks (milk, orange juice, apple juice, etc.) or just drink water. Very important tip. And I can’t stress enough how cooking at home is by far more healthier then restaurants because you don’t know what chef’s use in their kitchen! They have plenty of customers to serve a day, they won’t have the time or heart to prepare food like you would at home. Another problem is you don’t know where they get their grocery shopping from either? Not saying all restaurants are like this but there are definitely those you have to be careful of if you don’t want to upset your health.

  27. There were so many valid points in this article that I just don’t know where to start. Drinking more water is my favorite point though. A lot of persons really don’t realize that they are not taking enough water for the day and as such they find themselves lacking in energy due to dehydration. I also love the point about planning meals. I realize that whenever I plan my meals the food I buy at the grocery store lasts much longer.

  28. Although there are some good eating habits listed here, eating home cooked meals with a variety of colors, eating more frequently isn’t necessarily more healthy for you, nor does it help you loose more weight. In fact, periodic fasting can be beneficial for weight loss and health. Most people are getting enough water as well so drinking excess water in not necessarily beneficial. Replacing calorie rich and sugar intensive drinks with water is a better choice for weight loss, however.

  29. Another year is set to come in a few days. The tips remain as relevant today as they were first written. Since reading this last, I’m very grateful about the lemon water tip. I may have not lost the pounds I wish I had, but nevertheless since reading this tip early in the year has helped me develop the habit of drinking water. Still not loving the taste of water, but my water intake has improved greatly prior to reading this article.

  30. Ever since i joined this community, this is the most educative article i have met so far. I have a routine similar to this and it has really worked for me. Community members should adopt the changes stated in this article and see the positive impact it’ll bring to their lives.

  31. I try to drink lemon water daily. I have to say since I started about a year ago I’ve noticed my skin has also cleared up drastically. Lemon is know for helping detox your body and I find it did wonders for my skin. Sometimes I’ll also throw in a few mint leaves and cucumber to brighten these detoxing benefits.

  32. I really need to drink more water, but I do try to drink lemon water regularly especially in the wintertime now when it’s the cold season. I would like to have smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day, but that is very difficult to do on the days I have classes non-stop for 8 hours.

  33. I love those tips because I’m trying to stay on a diet and they’re pointing me in the right direction!
    I love lemon water so much, but I often forget about it for some reason… I have no idea why, since it’s not hard to prepare or time-consuming. Agree that it’s vital to plan your meals – there are waaay too many temptations waiting when you’re starving, especially since you don’t think straight!

  34. I’ve got this problem! It’s not even making full-stop changes, either, because I’m such an all or nothing person. But it can be so hard and frustrating when you’re far from good, nutritious food and are the only person in your household trying to eat healthier.

    I do love the idea of just adding a piece of fruit or veg to every meal and making sure to rotate the variety by color! I’m definitely going to do that! I think I make the mistake of trying to have multicolored single dishes when it would just be easier to have some broccoli or peppers and then a big, lovely yellow apple the next meal.

    I’d love to know the chemistry behind this lemon water thing I keep hearing about. Everyone I know who swears by it can’t tell me, for sure, what it does or why they think it works! Still, lemons are healthy and water is healthy so I think that’s a perfect combo no matter what the answers. 🙂

  35. I’ve already been drinking more water than before, but I haven’t been adding lemon. I didn’t know that there were substantial benefits. I also saw someone mention cucumber water, which I’m a huge fan of! Also, I’ve tried meal planning and it just seems that I always get off track because I’m too tired or I run out of something too soon. ugh! Any tips?

  36. I have felt so much better since I started making some of these healthy changes nearly 2 years ago! I still need to work on drinking even more water, but I’m getting there.

    My metabolism needs a jumpstart often, and it’s sure not as easy as I first thought it would be, but I am always happy to see new things to try. Not sure I could deal with warm water, though! 😀

    One note of caution about the lemon,however… and this goes for orange juice as well. There are certain medications, especially those for high blood pressure, where citrus of any form can render the medication ineffective. It is recommended in those cases to wait at least four hours after taking those meds to have any citrus. If meds are first thing in the morning, lemon water could actually be harmful and blocking what the meds are supposed to be doing.

  37. Thanks for this, Ashley; I’m really glad I decided to go back and read it again. These are great tips, and the best part is that they’re all quite simple and pretty painless yet have a big impact.

    Infused water is great, and lemon does have a lot of nice benefits. Plus, I just like it. I could certainly do with more of it.

    Making simple adjustments like these to they way we eat is the best route to take. It helps you keep with it instead of falling back into old habits.

  38. Healthy lifestyle is very important to me, although not always feasible. Being on the go makes it difficult, however, I do start my day with a glass of lemon water. We buy loads of vegetables and fruit and my daughters definitely ingest many of these in a day, however, I can’t say the same for me. I do try, but at times I’d rather a chocolate bar 🙂

    After reading this article, I do realize that I need to reshape my eating habits and get back on track.

  39. There’s some awesome tips in here for sure 🙂 I especially like the one about meal planning, that has been a small step that for me has made a really big difference. If I don’t plan ahead it’s way too easy to go with something processed, pre-made, or frozen. While there are some good frozen meals out there, for the most part that kind of food is way too high in sodium and calories to enjoy day after day. It saves money too because you can plan on using the leftovers from one meal to create another.

  40. I drink a lot of water already, but flavoring it with lime is a thing I do a lot already. Although the article speaks of lemon water, do you know if lime would have the same effect? I have heard good things of both lime and lemon, but I don’t know if there’s an appreciable difference betweent the two. As for vegetables and fruits, trying to get every color of the rainbow is definitely a good idea; I try my best to follow that simple rule.

  41. As a body builder drinking water and eating frequently are vital for my body.

    Drinking water has helped my body so much ever since I made an effort to drink up 3 liters each and every day. The first change I noticed was that my skin became clearer. My body became ‘lighter’ and it helped with my bloating. In short, it helped almost every aspect of my body improve.

    Eating frequently fastened my metabolism as that constantly kept my body working.

    Changing your lifestyle to a healthier one doesn’t have to be necessarily hard. Remember baby steps!

  42. Drinking water is definitely a good advice but if you’re like me and hate the taste I would look into buying zero-calorie packets of powdered tea or juice-flavored additives. I also purchased hand-held flavor boosters which I think are a better alternative, no calories or added crap.

  43. I eat so slowly. I enjoy having conversations and really tasting my food, so by the time my friends are all finished with their food, I’m only halfway through! I’m happy that now I can justify it in some way. The way I see it, food is something that should be enjoyed, rather than rushed through. I love knowing that other people think the same way!

  44. This is a great entry!
    I don’t really have the healthiest lifestyle at all… and actually a year ago on summer, when I had way more extra time on my hands, I tried to change that aspect drastically, I did really heavy exercises and drank a lot of water at once, and my body didn’t react well with that… so now, I am trying to make little changes, because I am aware that those changes are progressive and eventually I’ll have a healthy lifestyle.

  45. Well the eating more frequently is one that I have just always found natural, which is good for me. I have never been someone to eat three big meals in a day, and I would much rather munch throughout the day or eat more, smaller meals. Aside from that, though, these little things like drinking more water and adding a little lemon also really go a long way in terms of boosting overall health and mood, so those are always good to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing.


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