15 Simple Tips to Stay Slim, Good Looking and Healthy

In today’s modern world there is a large emphasis on looks and appearance, but staying healthy and happy are more important for your mental and emotional… Elizabeth Lilian - March 19, 2017

In today’s modern world there is a large emphasis on looks and appearance, but staying healthy and happy are more important for your mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

While everyone is different, there are many things you can do to ensure you are feeling and looking your best. These include improving your lifestyle and cutting out any unhealthy habits, keeping active and not over-indulging on rich foods.

You only have one life so live it well and balanced and don’t spend all your time worrying about how other people look better, are prettier or fitter or taller or funnier than you.  This is your life and you are the captain of your own ship. Your body is your vessel. Remember what you put into it and how you treat it will determine how your outward physical appearance is.  There is no perfect body so stop chasing that. Just be the best you that you can and be kind to yourself.

Here are 15 simple tips to stay slim, hot and healthy.

1. Stop eating when your belly is 80% full

From time to time, everyone eats until they’re fit to burst. With such a wide array of different foods and cuisines to enjoy, is it any wonder we’re absolutely stuffing ourselves? While it can be an enjoyable way to live, over-indulging in food is a major cause of weight gain and a fast track to becoming unhealthy. Overeating can be triggered by things like stress, emotions or just pure boredom, but often it can result in a stomach ache and feelings of guilt or shame.

Overeating can also be a result of mindlessness. It’s easy to sit down in front of the TV with a bag of chips, and a view to only eating a small portion of them. But how often do you find that you’ve somehow eaten the whole bag without even realizing it? In order to combat compulsive overeating, there are some habits you can adopt.

Following a Japanese rule called “Hara Hachi Bu”, also known as eating until you’re 80% full, is one very effective way to stop overeating. While there’s no way to know exactly when you’re 80% full, it’s a good guideline to go by. Aim to eat slower as well, because the brain won’t immediately register when your stomach is full. So eating slowly lets your brain catch up to your tummy, allowing you to realize when you’re reaching that 80% mark.

Once you start to feel that fullness in your stomach, stop eating. This ensures you are eating the right amount of calories to fuel your body without the risk of overeating. You’ll find that when you reach that 80% fullness, you’re satisfied anyway. Also, don’t allow yourself to get too hungry. By eating something healthy and nutritious every three to four hours, you minimize the risk of growing too hungry and eating more than you require.

2. Keep an eye on portion sizes

It’s hard to know exactly how to manage portions. When faced with a delicious meal, the temptation to pile your plate high is a feeling that can be hard to ignore. But by maintaining portions, you can control your intake of food and make sure you get the right vitamins and nutrients, without filling up on the bad stuff.

Proper portion sizes depend on many things like gender, age, weight, and health. But generally, you can control your portions by doing things like downsizing your plates, bowls, and cutlery. This lowers the risk of overfilling your plate and eating too much. And if you find you’re still hungry, you can go back for seconds. When filling your plate, make sure you follow some basic guidelines like filling half of your plate with vegetables, one-quarter with healthy carbohydrates like potato, whole grain pasta or quinoa, and the other quarter with a lean meat like fish or chicken.

Another trick is to avoid eating snacks straight out of the package. Dividing them out into individual portion sizes will help you avoid eating the whole package. Or better yet, go for healthy snacks like a piece of fruit, some yogurt, or wholegrain crackers with a healthy spread like avocado or hummus. Also, learn to read the labels on food. This will help you understand the correct servings, as well as any hidden fats and sugars.

And it’s not just foods you need to keep an eye on. Beverages like alcohol and soda are usually full of sugars and empty calories and can add to weight gain. Alcoholic drinks especially should be enjoyed in moderation, as too much can begin to severely affect your liver and cause further weight gain.

3. Detox drinks

Detox drinks are a good way to manage weight and feel healthy. Detox drinks can be quick and easy to make at home, but in order to get the most out of them, it’s important to have basic knowledge about what a detox drink should contain. For starters, let’s look at what a detox drink should aim to do. They should kick-start the body’s natural detoxification system and help eliminate various toxins that can cause things like bloating, digestive problems, skin issues.

There are two types of toxins: environmental, which come from the air, food, and water around us, and metabolic toxins, which are produced inside the body by cells. Though our body is generally very good at removing toxins that we come into contact with, when toxins overload our system they become much harder to get rid of. Detox drinks support the body’s natural detoxification process by boosting energy, cleansing the liver, reducing inflammation and promoting healthy skin.

A detox drink should contain very little sugar and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits like watermelon, lemon, lime, grapefruit, raspberries, and strawberries are full of beneficial nutrients and polyphenols like vitamin C, ascorbic acid, potassium, lycopene, ketones, and other antioxidants. Dark, leafy greens like spinach or kale can also be added to provide vitamins and minerals, and other ingredients like apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, ginger, and rosemary can further cleanse and detox.

It’s important to make sure you detox properly. Avoid anything that encourages you to stop eating or to eat much less than you usually would, as the lack of nutrients is not healthy for anyone. While they might make you feel lighter and thinner initially, they will starve your body of the essentials needed to stay healthy. To avoid the need to detox in the first place, try to eat as healthy as possible, staying away from avoidable toxins like cigarettes, and getting lots of exercises.

4. Get off the couch

Everyone goes through phases where they just can’t be bothered to get off the couch. When the weather is bad, or you’ve had a long day at work, the last thing you want to do when you get home is exercise. Unfortunately, this is a particularly bad habit that can eventually lead to weight gain, depression and some illnesses. Leading an inactive lifestyle has been proven to be a major cause of some chronic diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, arthritis and more.

Watching too much TV wastes time that could be spent getting outside and being active, and can promote bad habits like unhealthy snacking and interfering with healthy sleep patterns. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that a mix of adequate physical activity and minimal leisure-time sitting were required to potentially lower the risk of obesity and disease. And according to another study published by the University of Cambridge, being sedentary may be twice as dangerous as obesity.

Once you’re in the habit of collapsing in front of the TV during down time, it can be hard to pull yourself out. To get motivated, start small by making simple life changes like walking to the shops instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and choosing healthy snack-food over junk food.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This might sound like a lot, but when you count in all the extra steps you’ll make by taking the stairs and other simple things, you’ll find that 30 minutes of activity is easy to do. Additional exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be something you enjoy, like dancing, yoga, basketball or even just skipping rope in the backyard. Exercising with a friend can further motivate you, and you’ll soon start noticing the difference.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast

Breakfast is often skipped due to things like sleeping in or being too busy, but it’s called ‘the most important meal of the day’ for good reason. A healthy breakfast provides energy for the day’s activities, as well as vitamins and nutrients that are essential for good health. Skipping breakfast can lead to eating more throughout the day, and choosing less healthy things in order to get a quick energy boost from added sugars.

Breakfast has been shown to improve concentration and focus, support healthy cholesterol levels and help control weight. For a healthy breakfast, include high-quality protein like eggs, fiber-rich sunflower or chia seeds, oatmeal, or Greek yogurt. Include fruit like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, which are low in sugar, high in fiber and full of antioxidants like anthocyanins which have demonstrated abilities to protect against heart disease and other illnesses.

Alternatively, citrus fruits like grapefruit are very high in vitamin C, and can be paired with eggs or yogurt for a filling, healthy breakfast. Nuts are another great choice. Though they can be high in calories, a handful of almonds, Brazil nuts or walnuts can provide essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and selenium, and a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat.

If you’re busy in the mornings, there’s still no excuse to go without breakfast. Smoothies have become a popular choice for people on the go, as you can include protein powder, whey or oatmeal with fresh vegetables like spinach, carrots, and beetroot to provide a quick, easy, nourishing breakfast.

6. Identify your hunger

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s common to confuse hunger signals with other signals. Often, we eat for other reasons like thirstiness, boredom, stress, depression, and even loneliness. To be able to separate real hunger from false hunger, we must first know how the hunger process works.

When we begin feeling hungry, signals are sent from our body to the brain, which uses those signals to trigger various physical sensations that we interpret as a need for food. These symptoms vary with each individual, but it’s common that a rumbling stomach is actually one of the last symptoms of hunger. And if we go without food for too long, we begin to feel lightheaded, dizzy and irritable. Without noticing hunger signs when they first begin, we allow ourselves to get too hungry. This can cause severe overeating because the body tries to fill up on as much as possible while it has the chance.

It’s common to feel like eating even when you’re not hungry, so begin identifying false hunger signs from true hunger signs by taking the time to stop and consider a few things next time you feel like snacking. If you know you tend to eat when you’re bored or stressed, consider whether your emotions are driving you to eat, instead of real hunger. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, focusing on your body and tuning into any sensations.

It’s also common to confuse thirst for hunger as well, thinking we need to eat when we’re actually just beginning to grow dehydrated. If you still can’t tell whether you’re truly hungry or not, drink a glass of water and wait for around 15 minutes. If feelings of hunger subside, you were likely just thirsty, but if hunger persists, then have a healthy snack or meal, taking the time to enjoy and savor every mouthful.

7. Steer clear of fatty fast food

Fast food like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and even Subway can be so tempting when you’re starving, short of time, or just too tired to cook. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, it’s usually followed by feelings of illness, headache, fatigue and more. This is because most forms of fast food contain too little nutrients and too many empty calories. Enjoying a McChicken burger once in a blue moon might be a nice way to treat yourself, but having it too often can cause weight struggles and other health complications.

Fast food is usually packed full of added sugar, sodium, and trans fats, and when they are eaten too frequently they can have an extremely detrimental effect on health, increasing the risk of illnesses like cardiovascular disease and stroke. The high levels of unhealthy carbohydrates in fast food can also cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which can change the insulin response and put you at risk of diabetes.

Fast food has also been linked to depression. A study published by The Nutrition Society found that those who eat fast foods like hamburgers, pizza, and donuts are more than half as likely to develop depression than those who don’t eat much of it. Furthermore, fast food can cause weight gain and obesity, which also contributes to depression.

To make better choices and avoid junk food as much as you can, carry healthy snacks with you, like a piece of fruit or a muesli bar, so you don’t get too hungry. If you have no other choice but to eat out, try to choose meals with healthier cooking options like baked or grilled, and avoid high-calorie sauces and mayonnaise.

 8. Stress less

Stress is a common term used to describe the mental and physical feelings that occur in the body when we find ourselves growing overwhelmed. Stress can be caused by many different things like worry over health, job status, financial problems and family issues. Stress can be considered to be either good or bad, as it can be useful to our health and safety in dangerous situations.

Generally speaking, there are four different types of stress. Cumulative stress, which can be built up from one small thing to another until it grows overwhelming; chronic stress, which can occur due to constant problems like debt, chronic pain, domestic violence or poverty; catastrophic stress caused by unexpected trauma like car accidents, natural disasters, death of a loved one; and control stress, which can occur when you find yourself losing control over everyday life.

Stress can affect the body and the mind, and when you’re under large amounts all the time you can become irritable, anxious, depressed and unwell. Symptoms of stress can be headaches, insomnia, overeating, not eating enough, or even drug and alcohol abuse. The hormones that are released when we’re stressed can begin to negatively affect cardiovascular and respiratory systems because stress hormones cause the heart to pump faster, raise blood pressure levels, and quicken your breathing. If this happens too often, you increase the risk of hypertension, stroke and even heart attack.

Stress also causes your liver to produce extra glucose, in order to give you a quick boost of energy. This is reabsorbed back into the body if it’s not used, and this extra glucose can raise the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. In order to stop stressing, it’s important to learn how to manage stress correctly. Stress needs an outlet, and some simple ways to do this is exercise, spend time outdoors, practice yoga, keep a journal, meditate, or take a kick-boxing class.

9. Get proper sleep

This may seem obvious, but sleep is imperative to good health. Our bodies rest and recharge while we sleep, enabling us to function at our best the next day. Sleep is an essential physiological process for humans and animals alike, and when we lack sleep we grow irritable, tired and cranky. We become prone to making mistakes, lacking the ability to focus or concentrate on school or work. Sleep can improve memory, lower inflammation, influence creativity, and even help with weight loss.

We spend around one-third of our lives asleep, but what actually happens when we sleep is unknown to the majority of people. During sleep, we go through two different stages, both of which serve a purpose. Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep is the first stage, followed by rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, the stage in which we dream. Our body continues to work even when we’re in the deepest of sleep. The brain starts processing the information it learned throughout the day, solidifying that knowledge into memory, hormone levels are regulated, heart rate and blood pressure slows down, and we go into a state of relaxation and restoration.

Lack of good-quality sleep is caused by many things like stress, depression, anxiety, or sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. Poor sleep can also contribute to weight gain, as sleep deprivation has been linked to craving junk food rather than healthy food. Lack of sleep also affects the immune system. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours each night are nearly three times more susceptible to getting a cold.

Increasing the quality of sleep can improve health, improve sex life, lower the risk of injury, improve mood and clear the mind. If your sleeping pattern is out of whack, you might need to completely overhaul your sleep habits in order to get a good night’s rest. This includes doing things like sticking to a sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each morning and night (even on the weekends), and creating a soothing pre-bed ritual that gives your body time to slow down and make it easier to drift off to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature, and you have a comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding.

10. Get regular medical check-ups

No one ever really wants to go to the doctor, especially when they’re not sick. But even when you’re feeling healthy and well, it’s important to undergo regular medical check-ups at least once a year. Regular check-ups can detect health issues before they start by finding symptoms early. This ensures you have the best chance of treatment, whatever the issue.

Medical check-ups should involve checking vital things like blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels and weight, as well as having an eye test and a hearing test. Our eyesight and hearing can gradually deteriorate over time and it can be hard to notice at first, so getting them tested yearly can determine whether there is a problem. Include a trip to the dentist as well, for a good clean of the teeth, mouth, and gums, and to determine whether you have cavities or other dental issues.

For women, it’s also beneficial to include a mammogram, which is a screening for potential breast cancers, and a pap test, which checks for cervical cancers and other issues. For men aged 50 years and up, the risk of prostate cancer largely increases, so any medical check-up should involve a prostate check as well.

Following some simple, healthy ways of living will not only help you feel better, but you’ll look better too. Changing lifestyles and taking on healthy habits can improve the quality of life, and after a while, you’ll wonder how you lived any differently.

11. Water does wonders

Water is the life-giving fluid on this planet and without it, we will all perish. Water keeps our systems working and helps to flush toxins out of our bodies. It helps to keep our skin moist and hydrated.  Like most things in life what you take out you need to put back in.

During our days we sweat, breathe, urinate, and produce stool and through all of these, our bodies lose water.  So if we don’t replenish it the machine we call our bodies it will grind to a halt. Water helps avoid constipation and that bloated feeling and look.  It’s the perfect flush and filtration system.

Water also helps us reduce our calorie intake for the day. Whilst it has no magical nutrients if we replace the juices or carbonated drinks or alcoholic drinks we consume with water we, in turn, are keeping our calories down. Water also helps with energizing our muscles by keeping them hydrated and reducing muscle fatigue.  Try and have a glass of water with every meal and snack. Not only will it reduce how much we eat, but it will help to flush your kidneys as well.

Get into the habit of always carrying a bottle of water with you, whether it is at work, home, the gym or in your car. When you feel nimble or tired just take a few sips of water. You won’t believe how much better you soon feel. Try drinking filtered water or even tap water as buying bottled water is expensive and you will be contributing more plastic waste. Also, eat loads of fresh fruit as they too are filled with water.

12. Kindness

Have you ever notice how mean people just look so unhappy and unhealthy. Well, they are. They may be skinny but they look tired and old. It takes a lot of energy to continually be mean every day.

Look at your own behavior and how you treat others. How you treat them is how they will treat you.  There’s a simple trick called “mirroring” – how this works is find someone that you feel is what you define as healthy and happy and whatever they do you do the same. If they smile, you smile. If they say hello you say hello.  Yes, it sounds weird, but you will soon get the hang of this and start seeing yourself in a different light.

How we feel about ourselves is how we look on the outside. We are all overcritical and so hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up emotionally because we did not lose a pound but only half a pound, our hair looks dull – but you just washed it. We could list zillion things here; the bottom line is – be kind and gentle on and to yourself.

When we see a young child crying our immediate response is to be kind and gentle with them.  You need to do the same to yourself. Kindness also releases serotonin – that feel-good hormone in our systems when we are kind. When we feel good inside we look good on the outside. Kindness also reduces anxiety and stress, both we covered in previous sections.  Have you ever seen a kind person looking stressed? Kindness also releases the hormone oxytocin which is good for your hearts health.

13. Laughter and play

When we laugh it reduces our stress hormone levels and boosts our immune system which allows us to resist and fight off illness. It also releases large amounts of endorphins into our bloodstream which is our natural way of getting that happy feeling flowing.   When we feel happy we show it and there is nothing sexier than a gorgeous smile and happy eyes.

Laughter also helps to relieve pain. Pain makes us tired and looks unhealthy. Laughter spurs our endorphins which allow us to not feel pain for a while and eases the stress lines on our faces. Remember when you were a kid and you ran around barefoot and played with your friends in the garden. Giggling and rolling around and just being silly.  As we get older we forget how to play like kids and just enjoy life.

When we laugh and play we look healthier. We get to be outside and dose ourselves with Vitamin D. Laughter and play also relaxes our entire bodies. When we are relaxed we look and feel better.

Did you know that when you laugh you actually burning calories?  Another fact to note is that the human brain can’t tell the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. So taking up laughter yoga is a great way to getting healthy.  You will fake laugh yourself right into a real belly aching laugh. If you do this every day, you will look much better. We are not all cut out to play sports or run, but spending time outside playing with the kids or friends, whether it’s just with a ball or a Frisbee. Just go outside and play.

14. Detox those emotions

Earlier we chatted about detoxing your body through various liquids.  We have also looked at cutting out smoking and drinking and upping the exercise.  But there is more we need to do.  We are very quick to look at the outsides of our bodies and judge our appearances. But we seldom look internally at our emotions and those of the people in our space.

Are you happy, sad, angry, resentful, agitated, irritated or stressed?  All these emotions have a direct effect on how we look and feel.  Believe me, an angry person is so not sexy or even healthy looking.

Who do we have in our lives sharing our space? Is it a happy and warm environment or do we walk around on eggshells not wanting to disturb the other person’s emotions?  This is not a healthy way to live and soon the telltale signs start showing; our skin looks pale and blotchy; we start eating to comfort ourselves, our stomach aches, we start consuming more alcohol or if don’t drink alcohol you could be drinking way to many sugary drinks, which give you a temporary good feeling or even start taking drugs or anti-anxiety medication to help us feel better.

When we feel emotionally insecure or emotionally threated it takes its toll on our bodies and we look older than we actually are.  Deal with those emotions and find your peaceful balance; whether it’s through exercise, therapy, laughter or play its time for them to give way to a happy and healthier you. As we detox our bodies so too do we need to detox our minds.  Healthy mind, healthy body.

15.  Having great sex!

We have looked at changing your diet, detoxing, rehydrating, being kind, laughing, playing and then getting rid of  toxic emotions we are now ready for the final part of the journey to being hot, healthy and happy.

It’s about getting sexual and having sex.  When we feel good about ourselves and are looking after ourselves physically the happy hormones in our brains are constantly being released. When we are happy we are more likely to flirt, when we flirt more we start getting more sexual in our auras which permeates into the atmosphere and our pheromones will attract another.

This all leads to sex and great sex is the best thing in the world.  It feels so good and we are so energized by it, but here are some of the great physical benefits of sex:

  • It burns calories and a lot of them. So the more sex you have the more calories your burn.
  • It improves our heart rate and our blood pressure – we can only benefit from this.
  • Sex is exercise and much more fun and pleasurable than running on a treadmill
  • Great stress and pain reliever – we just let go and give way to our bodies own movement and when we relax we de-stress. When we are distressed our pain eases.
  • Sex improves our sleep – well after all that great fun and activity you can only sleep better.

When we are in a happy mood we walk lighter and smile more. When we have had sex we glow with radiance and mischievousness with a youthful glow and a sparkle in your eyes…….in fact, you may even skip which can only benefit your fitness and health.