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If your family tends to tune you out when you start discussing the possibility of adopting a healthier lifestyle, you shouldn’t take it personally. Many people view healthy living as something that requires a great deal of sacrifice and hard work, but that’s not always the case. Here are a few methods for helping your family adopt healthier ways without losing too much of themselves in the process.
Replace Favorites With Healthier Options
People tend to think of a healthy diet in terms of giving up everything they love, but this isn’t always necessary. In fact, you can make immediate changes without losing much from your family’s normal diet. For example, replace white bread with products made from whole grains. This will give your family more natural fiber, and they can continue to enjoy bread, rolls, and other baked goods. Another change you can make is to replace canola oil or vegetable oil with extra virgin olive oil. Ice cream can be replaced with frozen berries or melon as well.
Make it Easier to Skip the Soda
Both soda and juice have large amounts of added sugar to make it tastier for Americans, but all of this extra sugar contributes to a broad range of health issues. Among the most devastating consequences of a high sugar diet include obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Kidney and liver function is also adversely affected. You can get your family to reduce their consumption of these products by offering healthier alternatives. While water is the best choice, there are also plenty of teas and juices that don’t come with added sugar. You’ll have to read the labels, but you can find products that contain 100% juice and no added sugar.
Relaxation is Important
You should also keep in mind that relaxation is essential in managing the daily stress that will affect everyone in your family. You should encourage your family to put away their electronic devices in the evenings as the blue lights those screens give off to interrupt the body’s circadian rhythm. Instead, use those evening hours for stress relief activities, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. You can find guided meditations and instructional yoga videos online to help your family engage in these activities. You can do stress reduction activities together to provide a way for your family to bond as you relieve daily stress.
Don’t Give Up Meat Entirely
While you should reduce the portion sizes of the meat you serve your family, you don’t have to force them to give it up entirely in adopting a healthier lifestyle. Stick to seafood, poultry, and lean cuts of red meat, but give up processed meats, such as hot dogs and sausage. Additionally, servings of fruits and vegetables should comprise three-quarters of each meal. This will give you plenty of opportunities to try a wide range of different plant-based foods, which is essential to overall health. As a general rule, the skin color of each food contains a different variety of vitamins, nutrients, and helpful bacteria. In giving your family a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, you’ll be ensuring they have a more diverse diet of healthy foods.
Make Exercise Fun
Another problem that families face in living healthy lifestyles is in keeping themselves physically active. Everyone needs a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity physical activity each day. Whenever possible, you should get more than those 30 minutes because more exercise will do more for your physique and any fitness goals you have for yourself. To that end, you should look for fun ways to keep everyone in the family more active. Take weekend camping trips to get your family to spend more time engaged in outdoor activities. During the week, you can take your family for bicycle rides, or you can go to the park to play a game of basketball or soccer. Try something different each night to keep things interesting for everyone.
You can also get your family on board with adopting a healthier lifestyle by getting them more involved in the process. Ask them to come up with their own ideas for making healthy lifestyle choices that are fun or entertaining. Living a healthy lifestyle will feel less like a chore when everyone is involved in making it a fun endeavor.