Every day we deal with health issues that might stress us out. A headache today, a stuffy nose tomorrow. While these things may seem small, if you’re consistently suffering from the same ailments and feel like you can never fully get back on your feet, it may be time to take a look at your diet.
The word “diet” oftentimes causes a panic. But a healthy diet shouldn’t be so difficult. Keeping your body nourished and properly fueled is one of the easiest but most impactful things you can do for longevity.
If you’re ready to kick that junk-food habit to the curb, sit down and make realistic expectations and goals for yourself. If you’ve been eating a steady diet of fast food for the last several months or even years, it will be difficult to go “cold turkey.” Start with small goals, like decreasing your fast-food restaurant visits from five nights per week to three nights per week.
Start packing fresh, homemade lunches to take with you to work. Make a goal to take more steps each day, whether that means getting up from your desk more often to catch up with a coworker or parking further away. It may seem tough at first, but once you develop the habit, it will be easy to stick with.
Why should you be making these lifestyle changes?
- For one, if you suffer from headaches, proper nutrition can significantly reduce them. Do research about foods that trigger your headaches. Studies show that alcohol and the MSG found in pre-packaged and processed foods can trigger migraines.
- If you regularly feel tired and sluggish even after eight hours of rest, food may be the culprit. The more tired you feel, the more you may attempt to eat during the day to give yourself an energy boost, contributing to a cycle of weight-gain, slow metabolism, and poor sleep, according to Everyday Health. To improve your rest and get those zzz’s, try eating balanced and nutritious meals spaced evenly throughout the day. Eating too much or too little will leave you tossing and turning all night.
- Skip the sugar and caffeine. While an occasional cup of that morning Joe won’t hurt, you should consider cutting out the caffeine and the sugar if you’re trying to move toward a healthier lifestyle. Caffeine takes about six hours to fully metabolize in the body, which can impact your sleep quality if you drink it later in the day. Sugar also gives you an energy boost and can contribute to a cycle of exhaustion and sluggishness.
- Finally, make sure you’re getting your vitamins. Reach for leafy greens and complex carbs, bananas, milk (if your digestive system allows for it), poultry, fish and chickpeas to supply your body with necessary vitamins and minerals.