I’m a Dietitian and eating healthily and being fit do come and part and parcel of the job. I do have a passion for spreading a healthy message and helping others achieve their goals. I don’t tend to set New Year’s Resolutions as such, but I do think having aims and goals isn’t a bad thing. Life is so hectic and crazy and self-care and looking after yourself is so important. We all need to put ourselves first now and then.
Staying healthy isn’t all about diet; it is a complex mix of factors. Things that we can change to help ourselves feel better generally. Being a healthy weight is a great thing but ultimately happiness and feeling good are just as important.
10 Ways to Stay Healthy
These are my top 10 ways to stay healthy this coming year.
– Try and get a good amount of sleep. Any parents will be exclaiming what the heck is sleep? It’s true, parenting young monsters makes your bed the place you dream about all day BUT sleep is so important. 7-8 hours a night is a good number to aim for. Sleep is good for your immune system, mood and brain skills. Lack of sleep affects the hormones controlling appetite and you are more likely to read for junk and eat a lot more. Try and go to bed a little earlier is one option. Think a little about sleep hygiene; no screens for an hour before bed, have a relaxing bath, read and practice mindfulness are some things that can help.
– Try and exercise. I aim for about 5 times a week at the moment, as have got into running over the last year or so but this is me and we are all different in what we enjoy and feel comfortable doing. I have my Fitbit and also aim to get my 10,000 steps a day (and more). I talk a lot about exercise but it is an excuse for some alone time, helps you sleep, boosts mood, tones you up and helps maintain weight. You only need 30 minutes 5 times a week, as long as your heart rate is raised and you feel warm. This could be a walk in the park with the buggy and a fitness DVD when the littlies have gone to bed. It could be gardening or dancing around to Alexa; whatever you enjoy.
– Try and be consistent with your eating. I sound really boring but if you have a good routine with meals and eat pretty similar (healthy foods), you are more likely to maintain your weight. Routine and consistency are key for forming habits that you can maintain.
– Don’t try faddy diets; no sugar, 800kcals a day, Atkins, grapefruit diet….I could go on. Granted, these will probably work in the short-term and you will lose weight. However, who can survive on grapefruits or 800kcals a day for next 50 years? Certainly not me. The NHS website has a fab 8 weight plan which is sustainable and written by Dietitians. Any changes you make can be small and steady, aiming to
– You can however, reduce the sugar in your diet – sugar is found in fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolate, cakes and biscuits. Try and swap sweet treats for fruit, nuts, plain yoghurt and low-sugar cereal if hungry. It is an easy way to reduce the calories in your diet and swap for foods that contain other vitamins and minerals; beneficial for the body.
– Don’t drink you calories. This is a massive bugbear of mine. Why would you drink your calories when you could be enjoying some lovely food? It links to my point above about fizzy drinks and my point below about alcohol. Energy drinks, fizzy drinks, booze, juices and smoothies (despite the vitamins – eat the whole fruit!) pack in a lot of calories and they add up quickly. Water is always your best bet or a sugar-free squashes, teas and coffee (without sugar) are other choices.
– Watch your alcohol intake. If any of you are like me, drunk on 2 glasses of wine it may not be a problem but alcohol is a depressant and the next day effects can affect your motivation for fitness and you are likely to pick your food less wisely. Alcohol causes your blood sugars to drop and dehydrates you. In my job, I see people who are tee total and then I see others who drink a lot. It can become a habit easily. Track your intake with a drinking app and try and cut down a bit. Less calories is also a bonus for your weight too.
– Look after your eyes. If you wear glasses, check out somewhere like Mouqy Eyewear for your glasses. Drink plenty of water and use drops if necessary.
– Take care of your mind. This is so important If you feel low, anxious or depressed this will have a massive affect on your body (as so many of you lovely readers will have experienced). You may sleep less, lose your motivation for activity, either overeat or under eat. If you feel like you are not coping there are loads of self help books and clips on YouTube, including mindful meditation and mindfulness. You may want to try this or go and have a chat with your GP first.
– Finally don’t deprive yourself! Life is for living and not all about calories counting and stressing about Fitbit steps. If you have had a good few healthy, active days, that glass of wine won’t hurt. Or that bit of chocolate. Don’t feel guilty; all in moderation and part of a healthy lifestyle. We are here to have fun and enjoy ourselves eh?
So there you have it! 10 things I do to look after my health. Hope some have been helpful and here’s to a healthy second half of 2022
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
Great tips! You are very lucky to have good genes 😉 My mummy is curvy…but agrees that sleep is such an important way of staying healthy. Sleep when the baby sleeps was her motto! #TwinklyTuesday x
Excellent tips Sarah, love how sane and practical your ideas are! I’ve also never been one for drinking my calories, I’d much rather eat something nice than have a soft drink.
Fantastic and very sensible tips 🙂 #twinklytuesday
Oh fab advice! I so agree with all you have said but sometimes it is so hard to look after yourself when you have children – mine are older now and its easier to get them involved on a healthy family lifestyle so we are all engaged – not so easier when they are little mind you! #twinklytuesday
Great advice! Since changing my diet and exercising more I am so much more aware of what I eat and drink and do it all in moderation. Your so right that these fad diets don’t work. But I did do slim fast to aid my weight lose then when I stopped that I changed my diet and lifestyle and kept the weight off. #twinklytuesday xx
Great tips! I so need to re-haul my diet, I think that it is mainly to blame for how crappy I feel every day. I am also annoying in that I can eat crap day and night and never gain an ounce, and due to that I have actually given myself high cholesterol, borderline type 2 diabetes and various other issues, solely through eating crap! My problem is that when I cut out all the crap, the weight falls off me and I’m back to square one. Its a vicious cycle! Any advice? #TwinklyTuesday
I’m afraid I’m one of those people who drinks a hell of a lot! But I do try to balance it… #twinklytuesday
Great tips. I tend to watch my weight quite avidly which is never a good thing so always make sure I go to the gym 3 times a week and eat healthy. But you are right, it is all about everything in moderation #twinklytuesday
Excellent tips hon. I try and do a lot of these but am definitely struggling to shift the pounds at the moment! I am so not one for drinking calories either, I love food too much haha. I’m also thinking a lot about the balance too as much as I would like to be slimmer I don’t want to obsess about how many calories I am eating! Xx
I’m definitely done with the last tip, just gotta make a start on the rest!
Fab tips! I can’t eat breakfast, the thought of eating first thing makes me feel sick but I know I should try and at least have something better than coffee! And yeah, the sleep thing! I’m usually up until gone 4am and I don’t even have the parent excuse! #TwinklyTuesday
Back again! Thanks for hosting #bestandworst
oh I love this advice! So sensible, my hubby is one to not gain weight but it weight control doesn’t equal health. He makes sure he eats well and runs or bike rides to stay healthy #bestandworst
Great ideas! It’s the little daily stuff that makes a difference. I always walk up escalators if I can and take the stairs instead of the lift (well, unless it’s 11 floors or something!). #bestandworst
Sarah, I was very interested to read this – lots of great tips. Please can you clear something up for me? You said ‘if you eat pretty similar (healthy foods), you are more likely to maintain your weight’ – does that mean that if you eat a wide range of different foods you are more likely to gain weight? How does that work?
Sound advice – definitely a blog I’ll be sharing with the wife! #abitofeverything
Great tips, Sarah! I need to follow some of these more. Thank you for sharing #KCACOLS
Nadia – ScandiMummy x
Too early… that was meant to say #bestandworst of course. Defintely need to get better sleep 🙂 Thank you for hosting xx
Great tips! I know that I need to do more of this but am locking the motivation. Maybe this list will help… #bestandworst
These are great tips 🙂 Especially sleep and no faddy diets #bestandworst
*active! Although maybe alive means same thing?!!
Found this really interesting. I tend to lose motivation very easily when it comes to losing weight but I know I do need to…eek! #bestandworst xx
I really need to start going running again. I used to love it but London is quite a busy and stressful place to go out running, I might have to start getting up super early 🙁
These are great tips and I am sure going to take most of these on board!
Hi Sarah, excellent advice. The best piece being avoid faddy diets. Hearing people talk about doing some of these crazy diets in the hope of shedding the excess pounds does make me cross, not so much with them but with the people who promote them. At the end of the day there is no magic potion to help people loose weight. It may not be easy, but by eating less (making the calories count) and being more active eventually the weight will shift.
Getting more sleep is a good tip too, I know that when I’m tired I tend to want to eat junk more, an urge I try not to give in to too often.
Great tips. I definitely need to sleep more, if I’m tired I end up snacking all day (like this morning). Early bed for me tonight. Thanks for sharing #bestandworst
Great post lovely……I love to see your dietician side come out hehe. You know me I’m always stressing about my weight…..I genuinely don’t know where you get the motivation from to go to the gym 3 times a week, I’m dead at 6pm lol. I try to make sure I walk when I’m off work and try to take the stairs instead of the lift where I can and things like that! Great tips, really like the NHS weight loss advice too. #bestandworst
Great post! Although going sugar free (2 years now) was the best thing I did as a parent as it gave me TONS of energy back, which helps me run after my 4 little ones. #bestandworst
Really sensible. realistic advice. Pinned for when I need to refer to it as I know I could do more.
I’ve just sent this post to my husband. The last few weeks I’ve been yo-yoing between being good and being really bad. The sleep deprivation is the hardest. Day 3 into disturbed sleep and I’m eating absolute rubbish. I had a lovely healthly lunch and then feeling blue, finished it off with a chocolate bar :o(
Its so true about having breakfast, porridge keeps me going at work until midday. I’ve also stopped having a nutribullet shake and actually sitting down to enjoy a salad.
But you have inspired me and touch wood, Henry will be on the mend soon and I can catch up on sleep.
Renee @peonieandme #bestandworst x
Back again from #bestandworst! Looks like everyone’s finding these tips helpful!
Great tips!! I’m still sticking to a carb free, healthy diet, I know you said it might not be necessary, but I don’t miss them! The biggest change I’ve made is giving up alcohol… Aaaaahhhh….!!!! I’m hoping this will be the thing that makes the difference! I’m sure how you are made makes a lot of difference, my mum is a teeny tiny size 8, and always has been, and put on very little weight during pregnancy, and my dad puts on weight really easily, and it looks like I’m the same! Anyway, I’m not planning on giving up until this weight is gone!
Really like this Sarah and I agree on it all. I am a little jeal that the LBs “drop off you” haha I am good at eating clean/healthy, but tend to be an emotional eater which isn’t good with everything weve gone through. I need to work on sleep SOOO bad, I am rubbish but it makes a HUGE difference to my mental health! x #bestandworst
Thanks for the tips! I definitely need to drink more water and watch the refined sugar. I think it’s great that you’ve included the mental health point too, this is so important and so overlooked! Thanks for hosting #bestandworst 🙂
Excellent tips! I think I’m one of those unlucky ones who gained weight during pregnancy and struggle to get back my pre-pregnancy weight, although I have lose a bit but not much. Thanks for this great advice! #bestandworst
Great tips HELP i feel so unfit I need to do all of these. Thanks for hosting #bestandworst
I love these Sarah! I’m such a huge believe in consistency and everything in moderation. Small tweaks here and there to diet and exercise etc can pay dividends. Im always banging on at the Mr about making small changes that you can maintain and sustain over time which is what I do, as opposed to purging on the latest exercise fad or diet which is more his approach and never really lasts! These are great tips of things you can do to make a real difference to your health and Ill definitely be trying to do lots of these types of things after baby number 2 has arrived 🙂 Emily #bestandworst
Thanks for sharing these tips. I’ve recently got my FitBit in the attempt to shed the Dad Bod. I’ve started to incorporate it into the daily routine with pacing up and down at night trying to get the youngest back off to sleep etc. Makes those mundane activities in the early hours a little more interesting. #bestandworst.
Great tips! I’m usually a pretty healthy eater, but I developed a sweet tooth when I was pregnant and it hasn’t disappeared. Cutting down on the sweets is going to be hard for me – that and getting enough sleep (not that I have much of a choice there!). #bestandworst
Ah sleep, I miss those days! I have definitely noticed how much more frequently I get ill since having a baby, which I can only put down to my immune system being depleted through lack of sleep, so I know what you mean with that one. #BestandWorst
There are some great tips here Sarah, Me and Matt have been trying new healthy meals more but we are a work in progress lol #bestandworst
I seem to be one of those ‘lucky’ people too. I used to exercise a lot pre kids, now I do nothing but have stayed the same. I’m not very good with many of these, though – naughty me. I never do fad diets, and don’t drink at all, but that’s about it! #bestandworst
I love this as it is just timed with a huge shift in my whole attitude to keeping healthy. I think the key for me is ‘be healthy’ not ‘be skinny’. I’m relatively lucky like you in that I stay the same weight really but I admit I am partial to sugar! I used to get really hung up on calories so now I choose ‘good’ fats like avocado etc and these keep me feeling full and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself. The sleep one though?! Ha ha I wish! Thanks for hosting #bestandworst
Great tips Sarah! I’m relatively good with eating healthily and I hate fizzy drinks! But I’m sooo bad with exercise. Luckily we have a dog, so he gets me out of the house twice a day. I have an app on my phone which records my steps which definitely helps to keep me motivated. Those FitBits are a great ideas xx #BestandWorst
These are very well-rounded tips. I, too, like to enjoy a glass of wine sometimes too often. I’ve tried to make it “better” by switching to red wine, but I never knew they had an app to track your drinking! That’s such a smart idea. I’m pinning and stumbling this post. <3 Happy Friday!
Thanks Lindsey! Great to hear x
That’s a really good one as yes so unprocessed! I guess herbs and spices on top of those would be fine too! x
Ooh Tracey’s mum’s tip is such sound sense. Although we do have some very healthy foods in our house (tonight we had brown rice, mushrooms, broccoli, tuna etc etc) I do have a terrible bread habit and love my fry-ups! There are entire days where I realise I’ve not had a single raw vegetable. Room for improvement. #abitofeverything
I reckon a fry up isn’t that bad!! x
Popping back from your #bestandworst. And erm…check out my Instagram. The recent fry-up was followed by an enormous plate of French toast! Sssshhhh.
I have such a terrible time with my diet, I’m like a toddler who only loves junk food. Now that I’m 34 it is backfiring and I need to make some changes. I’m starting by not drinking my calories! #BloggersBest
These are great. I definitely need to give my eyes a rest and ditch my contacts every so often. #bloggersbest
These are all great ideas/tips! I’m trying to find more ways to be active. It’s hard to really walk where I live because there’s no sidewalks or really places to even go. LOL I’m working on it! #bloggersbest
All of these are great tips and well informative. You’re awesome! Definitely, I should start focusing on the things I should be focusing. Thank you for sharing this.
This is on my list and I have to make it happen. I need a good dose of motivation and I’m there.
Great positive tips! Drinking calories is my downfall (she writes while sipping wine!!) #bloggersbest
Agreed on not drinking calories. I was hooked on smoothies but then realized how it was easy to add a ton of calories to my diet. I still have the occasion protein shake after the gym but have cut down and mostly just drink water.