10 Ways to Start a Healthy Lifestyle Change – Motunrayo Ogunwumiju

Jun 17, 2018 | Nutrition

With the increase of obesity, life-shortening illnesses and disabling conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes and autoimmune diseases. We are now more influence to make healthier day-to-day choices to maintain vitality and life longevity. I know very well how daunting it can be to make healthy lifestyle changes without feeling overwhelmed, what you really need is to change your habits, how you feel, and look will change on their own. Don’t try to make too many changes all at once, below are my tips to starting a healthy lifestyle change with ease.

  1. Cut Down on Processed Food – Processed food is not good because (a) most nutritional value is lost in the creation of these foods and (b) the added preservatives are bad for our health. Many processed foods contain a high amount of salt, which leads to higher blood pressure and heart disease. In general, the more ingredients a food has on the label, the more processed it is. Eating 50 grams of processed meat a day has also been found to increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Go for less processed food, such as a baked potato over deep fried chips, a fresh fruit over canned fruit, steamed fish over canned fish, or organic produce over food with high preservatives.

2. Cut Down on Deep Fried Food – Deep-fried food contains acrylamide, a potential cancer-causing chemical, an ordinary bag of crisps may contain up to 500 times more of the substance than the top level allowed in drinking water by the World Health Organisation (WHO)! When I consume oily foods, I feel sluggish. Go for food prepared using healthier methods instead, such as grilled, steamed, stir-fried, or even raw food. Reduce your intake of fast food, fries, doughnuts, chips, wedges, and deep-fried food.

3. Cut Down on Sugary Food & Drinks
– Sugary food – These are your candy bars, pastries, chocolate, cookies, cakes, and jelly donuts. Not only do they not fill you, but they trigger you to eat more due to the sugar rush. Eating these foods occasionally is okay, but not daily. Go for healthy snacks instead.
– Soda and sugary drinks – Frizzy drink is unhealthy, causes weight gain, and is an artificial stimulant. Go for plain water, green tea, or vegetable/fruit smoothies instead!

4. Eat More Fruits or Vegetables
– Fruits have a lot of vitamins and minerals. Do you know that oranges offer more health benefits than Vitamin C pills? Satisfy your palate with these nutritious fruits: Watermelon, Apricots, Avocado (yes, avocado is a fruit!), Apple, Grapefruit, Kiwi, Guava, Papaya, Strawberries. If you intend to consume a lot of fruits at one go, consume fruit with some fats such as a hummus, almond butter, olive oil, or avocado mash to reduce the glycemic load.
– Vegetables are important for good health with many important vitamins and minerals. Onion, leek, and garlic are prebiotics which is essential food for good gut bacteria. Spinach, kale, swiss chard, and turnip greens are dark leafy greens with high mineral content. Consume a variety of different vegetables for a large diversity of good gut bacteria, which improves your immune system.

5. Choose Healthy Snack Alternatives – If you are hungry in-between meals, eat healthy snacks like fruits, vegetable or smoothies, and yogurts. These are nutritional and do not give you that sugar rush. Have them readily available so it’s available to eat for whenever you can get a munch, eat them in moderation  stop when you fill full. Stay away from cookies and candy bars.

6. Avoid Trigger Foods – Trigger foods make you go and binge after you eat them. Everyone’s trigger foods are different (mine used to be biscuits and pastries), but generally trigger foods are sweets, chocolate, chips, cookies, or anything with a high level of refined sugar, salt, or flour. These foods cause a blood imbalance, hence triggering one to eat more. What are your trigger foods? Identify them and remove them from your diet.

7. Address Emotional Eating Issues – Emotional eating is eating to fill an emotion rather than real hunger. Do you eat when you feel stressed out, down or frustrated? Do you reach out for food when you hit a block at work? Chances are, you are emotional eating. However, emotional eating will never make you feel happy because you are trying to fill a void that has nothing to do with food. Food does not give you love or happiness; it’s just food. Why do you reach for food when you are down? How can you address it? Get to the root of the cause and address it.

10. Get Enough Sleep- When you do not rest well, you compensate by eating more usually junk food. Get enough rest and you won’t need to snack to stay awake. Also, lack of sleep causes premature aging, and nobody want that!



“Motunrayo loves all things health and fitness and shares her own health and fitness tips with cooking expertise that has inspired countless men and women to change their relationship with food and take charge of their health for a better future”


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