33 Surprisingly Simple Health Habits - that are far more effective than diets!


I get it - 'Quitting sugar' is simpler than 'eat everything in moderation'. 

When you decide to quit sugar, it's simple. You follow rules . You have a list of foods you are allowed to eat and a list you are not allowed to eat. It's unambiguous. There are no blurred lines or room for confusion... and at a time when healthy eating has become so stupidly hyped up and confusing - black and white rules are incredibly calming. 

I get it! I've been there! 

The problem is that dieting doesn't actually work. Well, not in the long term. And 'quitting sugar' is a diet - even if it's creators claim is isn't. 'Clean eating' is also a diet in disguise - because it has rules about 'good' and 'bad' foods... There are many diets claiming not to be diets to try to trick you. Because deep down you know that: 

Diets don't work... 

You know how I lost 20kg for good? Not by quitting sugar or 'eating clean'. But by adopting healthy habits (like some of these below). 

Adopting sustainable healthy habits - not diets - is the key to losing weight and being healthy. 

So instead of jumping on yet another diet bandwagon that will fail you (again), why not adopt one of these 33 incredibly simple, yet easily adoptable lifestyle habits.

I promise, in a few months/years time, you're going to be so grateful you invested in yourself instead of another diet. 

How to make health habits that stick

Not all of these 33 habits will fit with your lifestyle - and that's cool! Simply pick a couple of healthy habits that resonate with you. Adopt them. But don't pick more than 1-3 at a time. Once the habits feel easy and effortless - great! Pick another and repeat the process. It could take a few days, weeks or months until the healthy behaviour becomes a habit. Be patient. If the habit doesn't work out, ditch it and pick another. Simple. 

33 incredibly simple, life-changing health habits to adopt (instead of dieting):

1. Aim to get 10,000 steps each day. Download an app or get a fitness tracker like a fitbit. 

2. Cook at home one additional night each week. Schedule it in your diary. 

3. When you make vegetables, make twice as much for a healthy lunch the next day. 

RELATED: Turmeric Baked Cauliflower

4. When eating a meal, start with your vegetables first.

5. Buy a large drink water bottle and keep it on your desk or in your bag. 

6. Half the amount of sugar in your coffee or tea. 

7. Aim to eat 2 pieces of fruit everyday. No fruit is off-limits! 

RELATED: Why fruit is not fattening.

8. Eat when you are hungry - not by the clock.

9. Before bed, think of three things to be grateful for. 

10. Sign up for enjoyable exercise like dancing or a team sport.

RELATED: Why you shouldn't exercise for weight loss

Superfood Salad from healthy mexican place, Los Vida

Superfood Salad from healthy mexican place, Los Vida

11. Embrace a meat-free meal once a week (like Meat-free Monday).

12. Reduce aimless social media or email checking scrolling by deleting apps off you phone.

13. Stop weighing yourself. 

14. Make an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist. It helps me! 

RELATED: How I Manage My Anxiety

15 Swap catching up friends over coffee or cocktails for a walk.

16. Fill your shopping trolley with 50% veg and fruit (and you will eat 50% veg and fruit!)

17. Don't eat in front of the TV. 

18. Buy one new healthy ingredient each week that is outside of your comfort zone. Google a recipe. E.g. Last week I BBQ'd yellow squash! The week before was artichokes... yum.

19. Swap soft drink (including diet) for water. 

RELATED: 5 Simple Steps to Drink Less Soft Drink (Soda)

20. Get to sleep 30 minutes earlier.

21. Always order a side salad and veg when eating out. 

22. Find reasons to walk. Walk to buy your groceries, to post a letter, attend a meeting.

23. Start a herb/veggies garden and be inspired to cook more.

24. Unsubscribe from social media account or websites that make you feel bad about your self. Unfollow people who make you feel unworthy.

RELATED: Is Social Media Sabotaging Your Health and Happiness?

25. Eat seasonally by buying 'local' and looking for cheap produce. Try this recipe!

26. Don't keep treat food in the house 'in case'. Buy purposefully instead. 

27. Schedule time for you. Turn off technology. Don't make any appointments. Don't compromise. 

28. Eat 1 cup of legumes eat week. Start by buying a tin of chickpeas, lentil or another bean you like and throw into a salad or soup. 

29.Order your favourite foods with friends and family rather than feeling the need to eat them in private.

RELATED: How to stop emotional eating.

30. Eat the rainbow and focus on filling up on the good stuff (P.s. You can try the new Soul Origin Rainbow Salad range. 

 Soul Origin Plant-Based Rainbow Salad range

 Soul Origin Plant-Based Rainbow Salad range

31. Invest in a standing desk or set a reminder on your computer to stand up every couple of hours.

32. Add one more serve of vegetables to your dinner plate. 

33. Don't say nasty things about other peoples bodies. Don't say nasty things about your own body to yourself - or anyone else.

TELL ME: What are your favourite healthy habits? What has worked for you? What other habits can you suggest? 

Let me know in the comments section on Instagram or Facebook

Keen to stop dieting and start adopting healthy habits? Check out the BodyLove eCourse which I created with Kathryn Hawkins (The Everyday Dietitian). It's filled with content that will prompt light bulb moments and help you living and feeling healthier - without the deprivation! 

Lyndi Cohen