Health and Lifestyle: tips from an amateur

I am no health ambassador and no way am I claiming to be one, especially having just consumed a cheeseburger followed by a Crunchie chocolate bar – delicious! However, recently I have been trying to lose a bit of weight as well as making myself healthier all round, so here are a few tips that I have found useful.

Black coffee

At home I have always drank black coffee, but at work and while out I often treat myself to a flat white or – even worse – a cappuccino. I never thought much about the difference that a splash of milk would make until the other day while at a train station and with a few minutes to spare I bought myself a brew. Looking at the menu, I was gobsmacked to see that a flat white has almost 200 calories in it whereas a black coffee has just 1.

I’m not one to calorie count, but this was an easy change to make to my diet and has definitely contributed to my shaping up (as I am yet to attend boot camp or anything of the sort since I started).

A few nights off the drink

This one was more for my overall health benefits as opposed to solely losing weight. I mean, just change wine for gin and tonic if that’s your goal!

Since I started ‘being good’ I have made Monday and Tuesday nights alcohol free and stuck to water, or if I felt extravagant, then Hot Chocolate. After a hard days work I admit that a glass of wine is oh so tempting, but once I got into the routine which happened quicker than I thought it would, I actually didn’t mind.

But boy do I look forward to Wednesday evenings and my first drink of the week!

Yoga

I started attending a Yoga class three weeks ago and aside from the many physical health benefits that it has upon my body, the thing I notice the most is how much it relaxes my mind.

Starting at 6:15pm, there isn’t time to settle at home before forcing ourselves to go and we never regret the decision (even if it gets more difficult to drag ourselves down the road each week).

Yoga empties my mind of the to-do lists, the stresses and worries, the future plans and everything in between. As well as stretching my body throughout, strengthening it and releasing tension, I leave every yoga class feeling totally refreshed, relaxed and (it being on a Wednesday) EXTREMELY ready for a cold glass of Sav.

Choosing to walk

Another subtle change I have made to my lifestyle recently is ditching the car where possible and choosing to walk from place to place. Luckily my work is walking distance from my house, as are many places that I socialise at. Rather than noticing the time and jumping in my Ford Focus, I simply walk faster and feel better for it.

I walk daily with my friend anyway and love it, but by doing that extra bit it makes all the difference to my well-being.

Plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water is another key to good health and losing weight. I have a one litre bottle that I carry with me at all times and I try to drink at least two of these daily.

By doing this, when I remember to do it properly, I notice that I’m hungry less frequently, I feel more energized and rarely get the headaches that I would if I were drinking more coffee, fizzy drinks or Ribena, for example.

Therefore…

It’s not always about taking drastic measures and trying extreme dieting alongside silly amounts of exercise. Of course that helps, but I have seen good changes (and received day-making comments) from the subtle changes I have made.

As with everything in life it’s all down to choice, and I realise fully that I am no expert at this healthy living lark, but these are some of the choices I have made and they have all contributed to a continuing big difference to me.

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