For people who struggle to balance their lazy side with their ambitious want to be healthy (like me), trying to be healthy is a little like playing fetch with a dog: you're basically tricking him into burning off energy, because if you told him to 'go for a run', he'd leave the house once and never come back. But not having enthusiasm for health doesn't mean you can't live a healthy lifestyle. You just have to make it extremely easy on yourself, and get a little creative with your tactics.
I know choosing the healthier options throughout your day isn't the most fun you'll have; but knowing you're taking care of yourself will offer more than just physical benefits. You'll enjoy increased self esteem and confidence from a routine of being good to your body. And don't believe the hype in the gym ads. You don't have to punish or push yourself to pain in order to be healthy. In fact, I believe in the opposite: that being kind and loving to yourself, and making good choices, is the key to a happier and healthier life. So this is about making the path to success easier, while still giving opportunities for more health to come into our life.
According to an article by Vox (here), weight loss is almost completely determined by diet, which is why these tips are revolved mostly around getting more healthy eating options into your life.
These simple tools and tricks will help you be healthier without the pre-planning, pre-portioning of most healthy kitchen tools, and ensure your new healthy lifestyle is a no brainer.
Buy a cookie sheet
If you're not much of a chef (or don't like cooking at all), then you might not realize how versatile a cookie sheet it. It's not just for baking. Grab a bag of pre-cut veggies from your grocer, especially a bag of mixed veggies like a carrot, broccoli and cauliflower bag that's already cut up into bite size bits, throw them on a cookie sheet, and pour on a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then just throw it in the oven at 350 for about 25-30 minutes and voile, a healthy dinner made so simple. If you don't like the taste of vegetables all that much, add a little curry seasoning before you bake.
Trader Joe's, everyone's favorite cheap grocer, sells all these ingredients by the way including the veggies, curry seasoning, and olive oil. So you really have no excuse, no matter how tired you are after work.
Keep a Bottle at Your Desk
You'd be amazed of the health benefits you'll reap just from drinking enough water. They include clearer skin, healthier hair, and a better control of your appetite because hydration sometimes comes across as feelings of hunger when really your body just needs water. You can read more benefits of water especially in terms of beauty in this article.
But how can you keep track of how much water you're getting? A simple water bottle - and don't bother with the fancy techno-water bottles with gadgets that gage your water. You're smart enough to gage on your own. Buy a large 1.5L water bottle at a nearby convenience store and try to drink two per day. The first day will be a little difficult if you're not used to hydrating; but by the third and fourth day, you're body will start to crave it and you'll start seeing results.
Upgrade rather than cut out
Life is just too short to cut out sugar and carbs all together. Plus, you've likely found that any time you try to kill off certain food groups you end up wanting them more. Besides, you've seen 'Supersize Me' and know that crappy commercial foods are almost designed to make you addicted to them.
Take the french approach and simply get better ingredients that will be more fulfilling than over-processed foods. Try fresh baked whole-grain breads rather than cheap sliced white bread. Switch out your afternoon candy bar with a piece of really rich dark chocolate. Yes, you'll spend more, but you'll get more in return. Because if you don't want to pay for health with your time and energy, at least pay for it with cold hard cash and get more bang for your buck.
Set a Trap for Yourself
Hide your greens
If you own a blender, it can be a powerful tool to sneaking in some extra green goodness into your day. Try throwing in spinach or kale to your smoothie (you won't taste it, I swear!). If more fullness and fiber is what you need, add chia seeds to the blend; they will help keep you satiated for longer.
Then, in the evening, use the blender to mix up a few bananas and some cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. Freeze it, and eat it like ice cream later. Yes, I know the lazy side of you doesn't want to go through the work of making your own healthy ice cream, but the lazy side of you also wants chocolate ice cream at night...so it's a balance.
If you pick up your smoothies at a deli or market, ask if they'll throw in some leafy greens for you. Many places don't charge extra for this, and it will help you get an extra half serving of greens if you do it right.
Remember that it's all about making it simple and accessible to YOU and your needs. We both know that if you're the lazy-healthy type, it all comes down to making health realistic and practical while taking away the options of temptations. You deserve to feel good about yourself, and to do that you'll have to start being good to yourself.
Rachael Yahne is a writer, blogger and cancer survivor currently living in Los Angeles. After years as a fashion journalist, she now writes lifestyle articles about purpose, passion, style, well-being and thriving after surviving not just cancer, but all of life's big battles. You can catch up with her on Twitter ( @RachaelYahne ) and read more of her work at HerAfter.com