Breaking old habits and changing up the routine are things no one wants to do. Change is great, but it can also be very stressful and at first overwhelming. What most people don’t understand is that not every beneficial change is always a large one. Sometimes the things that have the most effect on us are small changes that we might’ve made without even noticing. To help get you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of some simple things you can change up which will actually give you larger results than you realize.
1. Workout Before Breakfast
Roll out of bed and get a good start to your day. Studies prove that working out on an empty stomach actually leads to more fat burning. Not to mention getting blood pumping early in the morning is a great way to kick start your day.
2. DO NOT skip breakfast
Breakfast might not be most important meal of the day, but skipping meals slows down your metabolism. Breakfast foods contain nutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin B, some nutrients you might be lacking in other meals throughout the day. Nutritionists suggest eating breakfast within a two hour window after waking up provides you with the most benefits. If you don’t get these nutrients in during breakfast it is highly unlikely you will fit them in during any other meal.
3. Make a to-do list
Suck at time management? Same. Making a list actually helps you get organized and figure out how to prioritize the tasks for the day. Not to mention, crossing tasks off the list as you complete them gives you a sense of accomplishment and makes you want to complete more.
4. Don’t diet
Dieting doesn’t always lead to weight loss, end of story.
5. Don’t eat two hours before bed
Your stomach growles and you look at the clock and it’s 11pm? Don’t fall for it. Past 8pm if your stomach is hungry, it means it is time to go to bed. Do not have a second dinner or consume large amounts of food before bed. It will not have time to digest properly before you go to bed.
6. Eliminate that extra salt
Extra salt in food tends to mess around with your blood pressure. Avoid the risk of high blood pressure by quitting the habit of adding salt to your foods. I promise you your body and heart will end up thanking you in the end.
7. Brown Rice
You’d think that since white rice is known as super plain and bland its better to eat than brown rice, right? Well, you’re wrong. During the process of making white rice, the grains have been stripped of any nutrients they once had. Brown rice contains selenium and is high in manganese which helps the body synthesize fats.
8. Say goodbye to pop
Sugar, sugar, sugar. There’s not much more to be said than that. Did you know that a single can of pop is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar? Imagine swallowing that much sugar with a spoon…nasty. Most pops contain high fructose corn syrup ,which in large amounts, is unhealthy for you.
9. Sleep more
As a college student, I understand how incredibly hard it is to get a solid 8 hours of sleep a night (the suggested slumber minimum). Most of the time when we miss sleep it’s due to cramming for exams or doing homework that is due the following day. Refer back to step #3 to help you out so you can squeeze more hours of zzz’s in.
10. Only drink black coffee
Quit ordering all those special Starbucks orders. If you seriously need caffeine, drink black coffee. Get rid of adding all that sugar and creamer into your cup. This is probably one of the hardest habits to break. Kiss your caramel macchiato and vanilla latte goodbye.
11. Stretch when starting your day
Who knew that 10 minutes of stretching could help impact our everyday lives so much? Since our bodies are used to sleeping, once we wake up it is very common for our backs and muscles to be stiff. Get rid of those aches by doing a few simple stretches. Also not only does stretching help with stiffness, but it also helps improve your posture, flexibility and even boosts your energy to get you going on your day.
12. Choose tea
Not only is tea so much easier to make than tea but it’s also more beneficial as well. Depending on what kind of tea you’re drinking- it can help keep you hydrated, give you lots of antioxidants, protect your bones and surprisingly it is good for your teeth as well. Don’t worry, you can still go to Starbucks… just try and order a tea next time.
13. Stay positive
Say goodbye to bad vibes! I promise you will feel so much better once you let go of all the negativity in your life. Make an inspirational quote your laptop background or listen to the “Get Happy” playlist on Spotify to get pumped to have a great day.
14. Switch to whole grain wheat
That much healthier, that simple.
15. Workout with a friend
Sometimes it’s easy for us to slack off with working out because we feel like we need to be doing a million other things. Working out with a friend is a great way to keep you motivated. You can set goals together and help encourage each other to go longer or workout harder.
16. Set goals
Write them down. Seriously. Do it right now. Setting goals and physically putting them on paper is actually proven to help you reach them in the end. If you’re anything like me, I like writing my goals on sticky notes and putting them all over my room to remind me to keep on going.
17. Smile more
A simple expression across your face does a whole lot more than just show people that you’re happy. Smiles help influence our mood- our muscles have the ability to communicate our emotions to our brain. Not to mention that no one wants frown wrinkles around their mouths.
18. Learn Something New
Never learned how to ice skate when you were little? Always dreamed of speaking French? Now is your chance to try it. Now is your chance to grab onto the opportunities that are all around you and take advantage of everything that life gives you.
19. Do One Thing A Day That Scares You
Can we print this on another Lulu bag or post it on another Tumblr page with an artsy background? Yes we should actually. Take a risk! It’s not always fun to hang out in the safety zone. It’s also great to get some adrenaline pumping through those veins.
20. Be confident
Confidence is sexy. If you believe in yourself, others will. Trust your instincts and your gut because you are smart and you can do it. Don’t ever doubt yourself or your capabilities because you never know what you can accomplish.