5 simple steps to help you on the road to a healthier lifestyle

Exercise


Cutting out everything you love and swearing that you will go jogging every morning at 6am isn't a great way to start a diet and fitness regime. You'll be tired and hungry and will only end up feeling down when you cave and eat a huge pizza on day three.

The best thing to do is change little things and gradually adapt your daily life. You don't need to suddenly turn Vegan to notice positive changes.

Here are five of our favourite tips to help you on your way to a healthy body and a healthy mind...

1. Don't skip meals...eat more!

No, we don't mean load up your plate with more food! Most experts recommend eating little and often so that your system isn't completely overloaded or aching for sustenance.

When you're famished it's hard to make smart food choices, so whatever you do don't go to the supermarket on an empty stomach.

Six small meals a day, that include high fibre nuts, fruit, veg and protein-rich meats, will prevent feelings of hunger and should help give your metabolism a lift.

2. Don't spend hours in the gym

We put so much pressure on ourselves to go to the gym and sweat for 40 minutes on the treadmill, but this isn't necessarily effective for everyone.

Start with 15 minutes of exercise a day - it's easier to manage, less daunting and is scientifically proven to provide real health benefits.

3. Eat more Italian food

Following a Mediterranean diet that's high in fruit and vegetables and laden with good fats like olive oil, will benefit your health in the long-run.

Swapping a burger and a deep dish pizza for a bowl of wholegrain pasta and mozzarella will lower your chances of heart disease and increase your chances of living longer.

Now, where's that jar of pesto?

4. Count your steps

People who track their steps using pedometers tend to walk further, so why not strap one to your belt and find out how far you're going?

Studies have also shown that people who walk and exercise together are less likely to feel muscle pain, so having a gym buddy really is a good idea.

5. Ditch the red sauce...

Dipping sauces and condiments can make you eat up to 40% more than if you were to eat a dish plain. Most condiments are packed full of salt, sugar and fat (that's what makes them so addictive) so they can actually turn your healthy dinner into a naughty one.

Stick to plain yoghurt, guacamole, chopped herbs, garlic and olive oil instead as a healthier option.

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