Everyday commitments can easily take us off track from maintaining healthy eating habits. The good news is that the most meaningful health and wellness progress isn’t made with big, sweeping changes. It’s the small changes that stick and matter most.
Now, I know a seven-day commitment may feel overwhelming, but it’s very doable when you consider each day as a small step. When all the steps add up, you’ll be surprised by how much of an impact they collectively have on your health. Embrace the changes, and listen to how your body responds. Let’s get started!
Day 1: Drink More Water
This is the first step toward better health. Water is key to your body’s health, and without it, it can’t function or perform tasks in the efficient manner it’s supposed to. Like all new changes, I recommend you begin to incorporate more water slowly – no need to drink half your body weight!
Aim to drink 1-2 more glasses of water than you usually do. This is a great way to start giving your body more hydration, which will lead to more energy, better elimination, and a host of other positive health benefits. Each body is different, so pay attention to how you feel as you drink more water, and do what feels best for you.
Day 2: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Recommended dietary guidelines vary from country to country, but what they all agree on is this: the average person could stand to eat more fruits and vegetables. As a general rule of thumb, aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This will help to ensure that you’re getting vital micronutrients your body needs to thrive.
Taking time to eat more fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to improve your health on a daily basis. Try adding a side of vegetables to your dinner. Eat a snack containing fruit rather than other carbohydrates. Mix up a green smoothie for a tasty serving of vegetables.Day 3: Turn the Computer Off Three Hours Before Bedtime
To have good health, you have to have good sleep. To have good sleep, you have to limit your time spent using technology. It can be difficult, but turning off technology earlier can yield immediate benefits for your body. Using any device with a bright screen before bed alters your body’s levels of serotonin, an important hormone and neurotransmitter that can alter the sleep cycle. Your body finds it difficult to achieve a state of relaxation when levels of serotonin are disrupted. Power down your devices a few hours before bed, and let your physical battery recharge overnight.
Day 4: Stop Eating Two Hours Before Bed
Digestion, albeit complex, is one of the most natural processes constantly occurring within the body. Lying down or being still after immediately eating can cause stomach upset, as natural movement after eating aids the digestive process. Not eating two hours before bed gives your body enough time to fully process food. Best of all: Your body’s sleep will be enhanced. It’s all about not burdening your body if you can help it.
Day 5: Meditate Every Day
Meditation is one of the easiest ways to calm your mind and “reset” your body. Gathering yourself and quieting your mind, even for just ten minutes, can help calm your nervous system and help your body use energy more efficiently. You can work your way up to longer sessions over time, but ten minutes is a great baseline. Each morning, before getting out of bed or while sitting at your desk, take a few moments to monitor your breathing, stay perfectly still, and keep your mind open. Your day-to-day productivity will increase, and your entire body will thank you for it.
Day 6: Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are now so prolific in our society that it takes effort not to find them in our stores and markets. But the body wasn’t meant to eat food containing more chemicals than actual food, so it rewards us accordingly when we avoid them.
Today, make an effort to avoid food with ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s okay to crave a few sweet treats from time to time. There’s no guilt in that; our bodies value sweetness. But can you find a lookalike recipe online and make it yourself? Is there a green smoothie featuring cacao that would also satisfy that craving? When you give your body whole foods it can process, you’ll not only feel more satisfied, but you’ll be making a better choice that supports your health.
Day 7: Move Your Body More
Exercise plays a vital role in your health and wellbeing. It can help improve your mood, control your weight, and promote better sleep. It can also reduce stress, boost endorphins (aka the happy chemicals in your brain), and sharpen memory.
It doesn’t take much to get started. Even just 15 minutes a day of walking will help you start reaping the benefits. Try taking a walk during your lunch hour or walking to the local coffee shop for your cup of java. Pick a movement that you enjoy, and you’ll be more likely make time for it.