50 REAL WAYS TO LEAD A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE » Charcoal + Grace

Everyone is always chasing the latest diet trend, workout method and tricks for living healthier, but 9 times out of 10 these things are fads, meaning they aren’t sustainable as a maintainable healthy lifestyle change.

That’s why today I am going to share with you 50 Real Ways to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle.

Why? Because I want you to succeed with the healthy lifestyle you are dreaming of.

BTW there are some awesome affiliate links to cool things I use that I included to help you lead a healthier lifestyle. If you do choose to purchase through one of my links, this blog will make a tiny commission at no additional cost to you. We really appreciate all of the support! Read my disclosure here.

50 Real Ways to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Stick to water.

Keep water with you and don’t even buy the sugar drinks so you aren’t tempted. If water is difficult to stick to, try flavored water or sparkling water.

**TIP: make sure your water is flavored with natural flavors and not artificial sugar**

2. Shop with a grocery list.

I should’ve added don’t shop on an empty stomach to this, too. Having a plan makes it easier to make good choices. Plan healthy recipes you enjoy ahead of time and focus on making those for the week.

3. Spend a few hours over the weekend meal prepping.

My husband and I have found that our work week is easier by spending a few hours on Sunday afternoon prepping all the food we need.

Specifically, I make a trail mix myself I portion into Ziploc bags for a go-to snack. I’ll batch cook rice in the rice cooker to make into a stir fry. I’ll divide the stir fry into containers to grab-and-go for work lunches. I love stir fry because you can throw in whatever you want.

Make it simple and easy by creating lunches already placed into divided out Tupperware containers so you can grab and go during the week. Also, have your snacks already sorted out into containers, too.

This will leave no room for excuses for eating healthy all week long.

4. Go to bed at a reasonable hour.

No more stalking Instagram until 2 AM. Besides, that’s the bewitching hour. #NoGhostsHere LOL.

Not to mention, How I Met Your Mother was right when they said nothing good happens after 2 AM.

By reasonable, I mean between 8-10. Why? Because then you are capable of waking up before noon or waking up for work with energy to get through the day.

5. Wake up at the same time every morning.

Waking up at the same time every day makes it easier to get up in the morning.

This is because your body is used to waking up at that time. If your body knows what to expect, it will behave a lot better for you, I promise.

No more getting up for work at 5 and sleeping until noon on weekends. #SorryBro

Set an alarm and stick to it. Go conquer the world.

6. Start your day with a hearty breakfast.

I used to HATE eating breakfast. That habit changed after my stomach growled TWICE in the middle of another student’s presentation during my senior year of high school. #TrueStory.

Eat breakfast to start your day off strong. It will help with your energy levels, keep you focused and prevent any embarrassing growling stomach moments.

Also, make your breakfast a healthy one, like oatmeal or avocado toast. Sugary cereals, juices and donuts will not fuel your body well to give you energy for an entire day.

7. Start small by swapping out 2-3 unhealthy meals for healthier ones.

Don’t go balls to the wall with overhauling your entire diet.

Maybe just change your breakfast for the week. Or maybe just 2-3 dinners. If you go too hard too fast, then you’re more likely to get overwhelmed and give up.

Stick to just a few simple swaps and build from there.

8. Drink water first thing in the morning.

I notice a MAJOR difference in how my body feels during the day if I do or don’t drink water.

When I drink water first thing, I have more energy, I feel lighter throughout the day and my mood is wayyyyy less moody.

9. Only do workouts that are fun for you.

Let’s face it, if you hate the workout you aren’t going to do it.

Who wants to do something they hate? I know I sure don’t!

So do something fun that works for YOU.

Lately, since I’m not currently a gym member, I enjoy doing yoga at home using the Daily Yoga app. It’s relaxing and the workouts are all levels. It clears your mind, too. Don’t forget to get one of these awesome yoga mats for yourself, too!

10. If you’re a planner, schedule your workouts.

Since beginning the more-than-full-time teacher life, I find I need to schedule my life a little more to motivate myself to fit the fun stuff in.

I’ll set a reminder in my phone to go off when I get home from work to workout.

If you are reading this, go schedule your workouts for the week right now! Share on Twitter to remind your followers to do the same! #TeamWork #charcoalandgrace Click To Tweet

11. Workout at home using apps, online workouts through Pinterest or through YouTube videos.

I swear by the Daily Yoga app, but there are other great home workouts, too. Pinterest is filled with quick workouts that require no equipment and YouTube has a million different types of workouts being recorded by personal trainers.

Hello, free training!

12. Go for baby steps in the beginning.

For me originally, that was joining the gym, which was something I had NEVER done in my life before. I made my first goal and committed myself to work out every day for that first month.

It was more motivating for me to set a goal. But, because I made that just that one baby step, I was able to stick to going to the gym and created a lasting lifestyle change.

If you try to change everything at once, you will get overwhelmed and give up.

Choose one thing to add, change, or take away, then once you have conquered that, move on to your next goal.

13. Have a goal in mind.

Like I said in #12, have a goal to motivate yourself.

It doesn’t have to be the stereotypical bikini you’re hoping to fit in to, but nothing wrong with that being your goal.

Maybe your goal is to be able to do 10 correct push-ups at the end of 90 days.

[SIDE STORY: My PE teacher in 8th grade tried to threaten he would lower my grade if I didn’t learn how to do a correct push up by the end of September. Well he never checked if I learned and I still do modified push-ups on my knees to this day.]

Choose a specific goal with a deadline and a plan to achieve that goal.

Be a #GoalDigger #charcoalandgrace Click To Tweet

14. Pick one area to make a change first, then work from there.

Most people start working out every single day as hard as they can and buying a ton of healthy groceries.

I’m glad you’re motivated and excited, BUT you are going to either injure yourself, get overwhelmed or hit total burnout.

Maybe start working out 2-3 times in one week first. Make it manageable so it can be a lifestyle change instead of a ‘remember that one time I worked out and hurt my leg?’ story.

15. Only spend time with people who lift you up.

BOY OH BOY this is a big one for me.

I spaced myself away from most of the people I went to college with and even some family members.

You want people in your life who encourage you, who make you happy, who motivate you.

Crappy people make things crappy. Stick to the good people. You’ll be happy you did.

16. Satisfy your cravings…to a certain extent.

No matter what you’re craving, you’re better off just satisfying the craving than avoiding it. But, don’t take this as an excuse to go crazy though.

Say you are craving chocolate.

Well, buy a chocolate bar. It is really convenient they have squares because you can pace yourself and only allow yourself a specific amount.

This way you are able to indulge a tiny bit to get past the craving and not deprive yourself to the point where you eat everything in your kitchen trying to satisfy the craving.

17. Plan your morning the night before.

I’m telling you this is the one thing that can make or break your morning.

If I don’t plan ahead, I get frazzled in the morning and it kills my mood.

SO, check the weather and pick out your outfit. Have it all laid out and ready to go. Pack your lunch so you can grab it and go. Fill your water bottle up so you have NO EXCUSE to not drink water throughout the whole day.

Meal prep a breakfast option so you don’t have to spend a lot of time cooking.

Seriously, do all of these things or be cranky. The choice is yours.



18. Do 1 thing a day that makes you happy.

I don’t care what it is, but if it makes you happy, DO IT.

I put makeup on every morning because it makes me happy and I like having my #BitchBrows.

You are not meant to work to the bone all day errrrryyyyday without a break to relax or enjoy life. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and remembering to experience joy.

19. Enjoy a hobby on a regular basis.

Figure out what you enjoy and pursue it.

It can just be a hobby you do for fun, a side hustle, something you do with friends and family or whatever you want it to be.

You need to spend some of your time doing what you enjoy doing. Your mental and physical health will begin to suffer if you don’t do something for your own happiness regularly.

20. Stop eating 4 hours before bedtime.

Your tummy takes around 4 hours to fully digest what you have eaten.

If you eat too late before sleeping, you’re more likely to have a crappy night of sleep because your body is hard at work digesting that late-night snack of mini chicken tacos. [Trader Joe’s has the BEST mini chicken tacos BTW]. I know I just feel bloated and gross if I eat too late.

Give your body time to digest. You’ll feel better I promise.

21. Drink green tea in the morning for an energy boost without the crash.

I am REALLY sensitive to caffeine. If I have it too late or have too much of it, I will not fall asleep. Green tea doesn’t give me the jitters or the crash. It is a naturally occurring caffeine so it doesn’t give you the crazy highs and lows.

Not to mention, it helps with metabolism, flattening your belly and it’s filled with antioxidants.

22. Clear your space, clear your mind.

If your workspace is really cluttered, chances are your brain will begin to feel the same way.

Being surrounded in a clean environment will help you feel more at peace, give clarity to your thoughts and can increase your productivity.

23. Read often to expand your mind.

Reading keeps you sharp and full of knowledge.

You never know when you will read something brand new that can completely change your life.

24. Listen to your body.

Seriously, listen to your body.

It knows what’s best and will do what it can to tell you what it needs.

If you’re the driver of the struggle bus, your body is telling you to take a nap and take it easy. If you’re feeling anxious, maybe you get up and move around.

It may take some time to learn how to listen to your body, but it will be a game-changer once you learn how to.

25. Take a rest day when you need to.

Like I stated in #24, if you are struggling to function and can’t keep your eyes open then you should probably take a rest day. If you’re beyond sore and exhausted from going too hard in the gym, give yourself a rest day.

Resting will give yourself the chance to reset and avoid those overwhelming burnout feelings.

26. Moisturize your face at night.

Ladies, this keeps the wrinkles away!!!

The more moisture there is in your skin, the less of a chance it has to wrinkle.

The advantage of moisturizing at night is it gives your skin several uninterrupted hours to absorb and work its magic. If you want to use the amazing moisturizer I use, then check out this post.

27. Wash your face in the morning.

Start the day fresh-faced and squeaky clean.

Washing your face helps wake you up and energizes you for that to-do list you need to conquer.

Besides, if you’re a drooler, you have even more reason to wash your face. #JustSaying

28. Maintain a positive mindset.

One thing in life is certain. It will be full of ups, downs and Murphy’s Law kicking in at the worst possible times.

Keep your thoughts positive and always seek for the good in every situation.

It will change the way you react, think and handle a situation when you are in a positive mindset. You will feel happier, too.

Positive vibes only. #charcoalandgrace Click To Tweet

29. Put your phone down.

When you wake up, leave your phone charging and don’t touch it. If you are eating dinner with your family, don’t touch it. When you are trying to fall asleep, don’t touch it.

Constant phone use leads to trolling social media feeds, which eventually can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, FOMO and trying to keep up with Joneses.

You will notice how much happier you feel when you detach yourself from your phone.

30. Reduce your sugar intake.

Take a look at the sugar content in your packaged foods. Seriously, pause reading this and go look. You will be amazed and completely disgusted with the amount of sugar you are consuming without even knowing it. Food makers are sneaky too by putting 5 types of sugar into your food with really weird, long, unpronounceable names that sound nothing like sugar just to trick you into eating more sugar. Why do they do this? Because sugar is a dirt-cheap ingredient, it tastes good and leaves you with a sugar addiction wanting more.

31. Don’t compare yourself to others.

This one is so so SOOO hard to master and to be honest, some days I still struggle with this.

Stay in your own lane and keep your eyes on your prize. You are fabulous in your own right and don’t need to be anybody else. YOU DO YOU, BOO!

32. Take healthy snacks with you when you leave the house.

Having healthy snacks with you will prevent you from finding yourself in that ridiculously long drive-thru line.

Pack yourself some trail mix, maybe some fruit or yogurt. Have it on hand so you can make a good choice and not starve to death when you’re stuck in traffic on your way home from work.

33. Make to-do lists to get things done.

Sometimes we have SO MUCH CRAP to do that we can get overwhelmed and lose motivation.

Those overwhelmed feelings can turn into a Pretty Little Liars Netflix binge and eventually a nap.

Write it down! Prioritize what needs to be done first, then get cracking!

So much to do, so little time! #charcoalandgrace Click To Tweet

 

34. If you aren’t happy, then make a change.

This one is easier said than done sometimes.

Identify what is making you happy and ruthlessly pursue ways to fix it.

Is your boyfriend an A**HOLE and leaves you crying a lot? Girl, dump him and find someone better. Does your job stress you out to the point you are physically ill? Quit and apply for your dream job.

Whatever it is, find a way to throw it out the window and move on to the things that make you happy.

35. Use a playlist to keep you motivated during your workout.

Music can be a great motivator and distracter when working out in the gym.

Create a playlist for yourself that helps you feel motivated and energized.

I recommend sticking to some upbeat, dance beats to help your brain know that you are ready to move!

36. Use olive oil instead of vegetable oils.

You might be reading this and thinking I’m insane because you have always been told that oil is bad, but I am here to tell you that everything you think about oil already is a LIE.

Yep, I said it.

Olive oil is actually good for you. I’m dead serious.

Olives are high in oil, which is a healthy fat your body needs. It is considered healthy because you can get the oil out of the olive directly without needing to do anything crazy to extract the oil.

Different oils, like sunflower oil, canola oil [or any other vegetable oil for that matter], have ridiculous processes for extracting the oil out. This ruins the integrity of the oil.

So stay clear and stick to pure olive oil.

37. Focus only on what you can control.

THIS. IS. A. MENTAL. STRUGGLE.

If you like to be in charge of everything like me, it is so crazy hard to let go and not obsess over things you have zero control over. I have spent so much time stressing over things that I cannot do a single thing to change the outcome.

Focus on the things in a situation or around you that you do have some control in. This will help you to feel less overwhelmed and like you are spinning out of control.

You are in control of your own mind. #PositiveMindset #charcoalandgrace Click To Tweet

 

38. Eat more whole food.

If you can’t pronounce it or if it mainly chemicals you shouldn’t be eating it. Stick to the outer edges of the grocery store.

Those pretzels do nothing for ya, sister.

39. Only shop on the outer edges of the grocery store.

You have heard the experts say this for years now and I always thought that was impossible to do.

Sure, you need to go into the center of the store for rice, but most other healthy or whole foods you need are on the perimeter of the store.

Stay on the edge and don’t get tempted by the cookie aisle.

40. Take the stairs and park farther away when you can.

This is probably the oldest health tip in the book, but that’s because it’s so simple to add to your daily routine.

Let the sweet old lady have the closer parking spot and the mom with the stroller and 3 kids have the elevator while you take the stairs.

You’re helping others and getting your blood moving. Win-win in my book.

41. Don’t go to bed angry.

I have a rule with my husband to never go to bed angry.

It ruins your sleep and you waste a stupid amount of time creating scenarios in your head of ways you are going to tell someone off that never end up happening.

So do yourself a favor and let it go before you get in bed.

42. Live in the present and don’t constantly replay the past.

You can’t change what has already happened.

There is no magic genie to grant you a wish to go back in time to make another choice or say different words.

Focus on the present and the future.

43. Eat less sugar.

Sugar is in everything these days and wreaks havoc on your body.

I can go on for hours about how bad sugar is for you. Read your food labels and aim to eat less every day.

Sugar has been linked to obesity, cancer and digestive issues, among other things.

Do yourself a favor and break up with sugar.

44. Brush your teeth as soon as you wake up.

Ask people you know if they do this or not and be horrified by how many people tell you no.

Morning breath is gross and I don’t know how people can start getting ready and eating breakfast with it.

UGH GROSS! So brush your teeth!

You will feel more awake, smell better and your teeth will be healthier if you do so.

45Tackle the hardest, most time-consuming thing on your to-do list FIRST.

Nothing is worse than a to-do list that is a mile long with a bunch of crap you are dreading doing.

My advice? Do the crappiest, most time-consuming thing first.

Just get it over with!

You’ll be so much happier that you did and you will be so motivated to quickly tackle the rest of your list.

46. Shower at night before bed.

Showering at night has a TON of benefits.

It raises your body temperature so as it slows it helps to make you tired, it is one less thing to do in the morning and you’re clean.

Like really, who wants to lay in bed all gross from the long day you had? EWW.

47. Have confidence in yourself and what you’re doing.

You are unique and you are the only ‘you’ on the entire planet. How ridiculously cool is that?!

You have your own spin on things and no one can do it quite as you can.

Have confidence in that and be proud of what you are doing.

You won’t always be someone’s cup of tea, but you will have an impact on someone that can be life-changing. Believe in yourself, boo.

48Drink a glass of red wine every day.

It’s good for your heart health and a study on the news once suggested that the reservitol in wine can help you lose weight. You don’t need any other reasons than that.

A glass of red wine a day, keeps the cardiologist away. #JustKidding #charcoalandgrace Click To Tweet

49. Have faith that everything will turn out the way you want it to.

This is literally the HARDEST thing to do. It’s hard to believe everything will turn out the way you want it to, but I PROMISE if you have some faith, everything will fall into place eventually.

Believing is seeing. Have faith in what will be. #StayStrong #charcoalandgrace Click To Tweet

50. Spend time with loved ones.

Give your time to the people that matter. I like to spend time with my husband and my mom. I really like my coworkers, too. A loved one can be anyone you deem to be a loved one. Spend time with the people you love.

I really hope these tips are able to help you! I suggest these tips because they are what worked for me in creating a healthier lifestyle for myself. If you want to learn about my journey to a healthier lifestyle, you can read it here.

Do you have tips that have helped you? Share them in the comments!

Want more healthy living posts? Check these out, yo!

20 Health + Wellness Tips for Surviving Your 20s

15 Self Care Ideas to Renew Your Mind, Body + Soul

10 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Be Healthier Right Now

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