One month. That’s all you need to improve your health.
You don’t need to go on a strict diet, you don’t need to exercise every single day, you don’t need to turn your life upside down.
It’s true. Improving your health doesn’t need to be a painful process. In fact, going on strict diets can actually be harmful. Not only that, but it can make you feel tired throughout the day whilst taking away your happiness in the process.
Strict diets may work in the short-term but eventually most people give up. Even though you start with excitement and the hope of achieving great results. The reality is, that most people fail in their weight loss attempts.
Which is why I want to share with your 10 steps you can take to improve your health in just one month.
These steps will help you:
- Feel more energetic
- Help improve your digestion (and reduce bloating)
- Flatten your belly naturally
Let’s dive in!
I’ve also created a printable 10 step checklist for you to download. Just click the button and enter your name and email below to get the checklist.
1) Clean out the junk
If you want to be healthy, get rid of everything unhealthy! Clean out your refrigerator, pantry and any other places where you store food.
Get rid of unhealthy processed and packaged items, such as hot dogs, sausages, hams, etc. These contain additives and chemicals that can affect healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
When buying food, stick to whole foods.
If you can’t do without meat, fish or eggs, choose meats and eggs taken from free-range animals and fish caught in deep seas.
Go for whole grains, preferably those that are gluten-free, and legumes. Clean out all the boxed cereals, salted or oily peanuts and other nuts, and other junk foods like chips. Replace them all with healthier alternatives.
Pop more fruits and vegetables into your fridge’s crisper box. Stock more of raw nuts and seeds in your pantry to meet nibble cravings.
These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber which will help your body detox from wastes and other toxins.
Just by clearing out all the junk food and replacing it with healthier alternatives, you will start feeling less sluggish throughout the day. This sluggishness is usually caused by processed chemicals lingering inside.
2) Eat a healthy balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is a problem for most people usually because they don’t know how to balance their macros.
Macronutrients or ‘macros’ are basically just carbs, fat, and protein.
Here is a diagram showing the recommended food composition ratios:
And here is the diet of the average person in developed countries:
As you can see, there is a clear imbalance. We consume WAY too much fats in our diets.
You should be eating 60 to 70 percent or more of carbohydrates obtained largely from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The next 30 to 40 percent should be from proteins while the remaining 10 to 15 percent comes from fat, ideally unsaturated fat.
The percentages for proteins and fats can be adjusted especially if you are building up muscle in your body.
Now you don’t need to obsess over this and start counting your macros, but it is a good idea to know where you stand.
I recommend you try using My Fitness Pal for a few days to track what you eat. Using the app, you can get a pretty accurate picture of your current macro intake.
Adjust accordingly to bring it closer in line with the recommended values.
3) Work out a diet plan that is best suited to your body’s needs
A regular, balanced diet may not be enough especially if you have specific goals for your body, such as building muscle. In this case, you need to consume more protein, but at the same time, eating enough carbs to keep up with the energy demands of exercise.
Understand that no one’s body is the same, so we shouldn’t expect the same foods and meals to make us feel our best.
Yes, a basic healthy diet works for everyone, but specific diets such as plant-based or even the paleo diet can have different results.
I’m not saying they won’t improve your health. I’m saying certain people might feel amazing eating more carbs than protein and fat, while someone else may gain weight and have a drop in energy levels even though they both are eating whole foods.
You might prefer eating more meat and veggies, while someone else may prefer eating less meat.
The point is, everyone is different.
Everyone has a specific diet that makes them feel their best. Find out what diet is best for your body and makes you feel your best.
4) Reduce intake of sugar
I’ve covered sugar intake previously in another article. You can check it out here.
When taken in excess, all forms of sugar – whether it is refined or natural – cause spikes in blood glucose levels which may have a detrimental effect on insulin production and release.
Still, if you cannot live without that taste of sweetness, it is better to consume sugars from fruits instead of refined foods like cakes and pastries, but still at reduced quantities.
5) To take or not to take supplements?
If you are eating a healthy diet, you should already be consuming all the required nutrients so that supplements are not necessary. However, for vegans and vegetarians, you may require supplements of certain nutrients which can only be obtained from meat sources and not from plants.
These would include supplementation with Vitamin D3 and Vitamin B12.
Low vitamin D levels can leave you feeling low on energy throughout the day. Natural sources include fish, eggs and some forms of dairy. Sunlight is the most natural source, but even still, you may need to take vitamin D supplement. You can never have too much!
At the end of the day, your diet is the first thing you should focus on. If you eat a healthy balanced diet, you should have no problems with insufficient vitamins or minerals. Taking supplements however, can give you that edge you need to maintain optimal health.
6) Maintain proper hydration
Dehydration has been known to cause unusual symptoms.
Lack of water may cause impairment of the liver’s function to release glycogens and other substances needed for energy, leaving you with getting food cravings.
It can also have a detrimental effect on your endocrine system, particularly your adrenals and thyroid gland, so that you are more prone to developing stress and anxiety.
Make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps you feel more energetic and ensures optimal digestion by flushing waste out of your body. Not only that, staying hydrated encourages a flatter belly.I mean, wouldn’t you want that?
I mean, wouldn’t you want that?
7) Exercise regularly
Whether you walk, jog or hit the gym for 30 minutes to 1 hour each day, exercise not only burns off all excess fats, it also helps to keep you energized throughout the day.
Exercise is also great for mental and emotional health because it induces the release of “feel good” hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, which give you that healthy “high.”
Any physical activity such as a brisk walk outside, light jog, lifting weights, HIIT, light yoga, running, swimming is fine really. As long as you do it regularly.
Don’t have enough time? Try this quick 30-minute workout you can do from home.
8) De-clutter your life
Don’t pack in too much work and other activities in your day since this will only compound stress which can be very harmful to your body.
Make it a point to organize your day and create a schedule wherein you will have break periods in between.
If you have a tendency to procrastinate, now is the time to change. Ensure that you finish all the assigned work for the day so that you can relax when you get home at night and/or during the weekends.
9) Get enough sleep
Between 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is needed not only to replenish energy stores, but also to help your body heal and regenerate from the rigors of the day.
It can also maintain proper functioning of your endocrine and digestive systems and aid you in maintaining your weight since whatever excess energies you have is going into repairing your body.
Get to bed on time, and you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed in the morning.
10) Always be mindful of your health
Make it a point to revel in the feel of a healthy, well-functioning body. Learn to appreciate how your body enables you to get through your daily work routine.
Be thankful of the various stimuli that you are able to appreciate thanks to your perfect senses. If you are particularly mindful of how good it feels to be healthy, the more you will be encouraged to take the steps to keep your body healthy.
Follow the above steps, particularly having a balanced diet with lots of water, exercise, maintaining stress-free living, and getting good quality sleep – and you’ll be on your way to improve your health in just one month.