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Easy Small Switches to Kickstart a Healthier Lifestyle!

Over the past few years, there has been more talk about body positivity and loving yourself no matter your size or shape. Somewhere along the way, the idea formed that in order to be beautiful you need to be skinny. Women started thinking that that was the way we are “supposed” to look. Because of this, the thousands of dieting gimmicks and programs you see advertised all the time have probably become really tempting. 

Instead of focusing on losing weight or being “skinny”, I think it’s much more important to make sure your body is HEALTHY. A lot of times, extreme diets are not good for you and are only a very temporary fix. If you’re looking to be a little more healthy in your daily life, here are a  few easy switches you can make. 

  1. Switch out your coffee for tea! As a coffee lover myself, this is a tough transition. However, you can buy green tea with caffeine in it if that’s why you love/need coffee. There’s also thousands of kinds of tea you can get. If you add some lemon or honey in it to make it a little sweet, it can be so delicious. Green tea is also loaded with antioxidants which has loads of health benefits. You don’t need to drink tea every single day, but maybe switch it a few days a week, especially if your go-to coffee is a sugary dairy packed one. 

  2. Continuing with the morning routine fixes, let’s talk about breakfast. I am a huge breakfast gal. Something that has taken away my guilt when enjoying pancakes with butter and syrup in the morning is Kodiak Cakes, Sugar Free Syrup, and Light Butter with Canola Oil.  Kodiak Cakes are protein packed, 100% whole grain, and non-GMO. So many more beneficial ingredients than your regular pancakes and they come in different delicious flavors. The sugar free syrup you might be afraid to try, but it seriously does not taste different than regular syrup! So if you love sweet pancakes, definitely give it a try. Finally, the butter you can obviously use for other meals as well and it tastes just like real butter but with half the calories and fat. Win, win! 

  3. Switching to Almond Milk (or another milk substitute) will do wonders. First of all, if you like milk-based coffee drinks that are sweet, switching the milk really won’t change the taste that much. However, Almond Milk will have way less calories and less carbs. Unsweetened almond milk is also good for keeping blood sugar low. Reducing your dairy intake in general has wonderful health benefits. 

  4. Speaking of less carbs, I’m here to tell you that carbs are not bad! You need carbs. (Yay!!! Right?) Maybe just switch to whole grain nutrient packed bread instead of your basic white bread. While good whole wheat bread might be higher in calories, it usually has more protein and a lot of other healthy nutrients. Carbs keep your energy up. The key is to keep your macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) somewhat balanced. Don’t forget there’s other good carbs like rice and oatmeal too! If you want to track your macros, I recommend downloading the My Fitness Pal app. 

  5. Another easy small change that will improve your overall health is by adding at least a little bit of exercise whenever you can. This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym every single day, and feel bad if you can’t make it one day. All you need to do is walk more, take the stairs more, and yeah maybe incorporate a workout a few times a week. Find what works best for you and stick to it. 

It isn’t all or nothing when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Start making small changes that you can handle and watch (patiently) for results! Make small goals for yourself, and once you reach those make some more. These are some of the things that have definitely helped me make strides toward a healthier lifestyle without using the “D” word (diet). There are many other little healthy habits you can start making for yourself aside from these, but these are some of my personal favorites. 


Annamarie Schutt

Illinois State '21

Annamarie is a senior journalism major. Aside from being the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus ISU, Annamarie also currently reports for TV-10 News and WZND.
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