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10 small lifestyle changes that will have a BIG impact on your health (and happiness!)

10 small lifestyle changes that will have a BIG impact on your health (and happiness!)

Written by Katie Byrne

Bride-to-be? You'll want to read these practical tips from Shelley Cho (below), founder of Just Sensible Health


So often when we think about getting healthy our focus is on how slim we are, how toned our body is and on how we can get glowing skin. Whilst it is true that all of these things are wonderful side effects of nourishing our body with nutrient-dense foods, achieving great health is actually about a lot more than just physical well-being.

Great health also encompasses great mental health (that is, feeling good about yourself and your life) as well as having a healthy relationship with food (so not obsessing over clean eating or feeling guilty if you enjoy a small treat every now and again).

So here are 10 small lifestyle changes that you can make to achieve great health both mind and body...

Silence that mean voice in your head

“You are too fat/not intelligent enough/not good enough”… “Look at those horrible bingo-wings/cellulite/tyres around your waist”…#

We are so horrible to ourselves on a daily basis. If we can start being kinder to ourselves and less judgemental, we will start to feel better about ourselves and our bodies. As a result we are likely to make better food choices and to want to take care of ourselves.

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Stop worrying about what other people think

So many of the decisions that we make are driven by what we “should” do or what we think is “the right thing”. We so concerned about not disappointing other people that we often lose sight of what it is that we actually want.

It isn’t selfish to prioritise your goals and your needs, because when you finally do, you will be happier, healthier, more fulfilled and a much better partner/friend/mother/sister to all of your loved ones too.
Stop promising yourself that you will go on a diet or some other restrictive eating plan “tomorrow”.

Postponing a new eating plan until “tomorrow” is just another way of saying “let’s eat everything and anything/have a huge binge TODAY”.

Stop forcing yourself to go on diets or restrictive eating plans and you will find that you won’t have the urge to over-indulge anymore

Giving up dieting is the first step to a healthy and balanced relationship with food.

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Find 30 minutes of quiet time, for yourself every day

Stress is well known to cause all sorts of health problems and can also affect us physically, causing acne, weight-gain and hair-loss. So make sure you find some time for yourself every-day to meditate, try self-hypnosis or maybe even just to read your favourite book.

Stop putting your life on hold

Very often we put our life on hold 'until we reach the perfect weight/have moved house'/find a new jobcan fit into those skinny jeans again' and so on. Stop deferring your happiness to some point in the future. Stop putting off the things you want to do and the things you enjoy until that “perfect moment” because that perfect moment may never arrive. Stop worrying about your weight/how you look in your jeans/your relationship status, go and embrace life and everything that it has to offer.

Don’t think of food as the enemy

So many of us think of food as something “evil”, something that will “make us fat” or cause us to “fall of the wagon” of our diet/restrictive eating plan. If we start to think of food, even those “naughty” treats as something to enjoy, our relationship with food will suddenly change. Seeing food for what it is, as something to nourish our body and to provide vital nutrients as well as something to enjoy, very often will lead us to naturally make much better food choices. 

Let go of negative comments you’ve received in the past

We often hold on to one negative comment we had, perhaps about how we look or about our character, and torture ourselves with this comment for years. More often than not, we forget every compliment people have paid us and everything positive that has been said about us, allowing one negative comment to torment us.

Allowing yourself to forget these negative comments will enable you to develop a much better relationship with food and your body. Don’t allow your self-confidence to be destroyed by one negative thing that one ignorant person said years ago.

Prioritise sleep

There have been so many studies on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Research has shown that those who don’t sleep enough are more likely to be overweight, get depressed and age faster. So an easy way to make sure you are looking and feeling your best is to prioritise those valuable hours of sleep.

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Add lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds into your diet

If we are not eating enough fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, our bodies do not get the nutrients that they need to function effectively. Without these fresh foods, we are starving our bodies of what they need to do all of the millions of jobs they do. So without removing anything from your current diet, just adding in lots of these fresh ingredients, will really improve your health.

Worry less!

Have confidence in yourself and your choices. As we get older, we realise that a lot of the things that have being troubling us and causing us anxiety are not really very important. We spend far too much time worrying about putting on a few extra kilos or about not having as nice clothes as everyone else. We scrutinize every last inch of our bodies and never feel good enough or as good as everyone else around us. We are far too harsh on ourselves.  

As we get older, we realise that life is about so much more than fitting into a size 8 pair of jeans or having the most fashionable bag…yet by that point it is too late to go back and enjoy the vibrant energy of our youth. So the final lifestyle change you can make to lead a healthier life is to worry less. Worry less about how you look, worry less about materialistic things and worry less about those superficial concerns, because when you look back on your life, you will see that spending time with good people and enjoying those things that you are passionate about is really all that you should have spent your precious hours thinking about.

Visit for more of Shelley Cho's tips and advice.

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