Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

10 golden rules that every healthy person swears by


Bad habits, as we all know, are hard things to break, and good ones, frustratingly, are hard to make.

It will come as no surprise then that healthy habits in particularly so regularly elude us. In a bid to change this, we've looked at the golden rules that every healthy person swears by.

Print out and laminate.

Be organised

It goes without saying that if you plan your meals for the week, you'll eat better. Then you won't be tempted to reach for that ready meal or just several rounds of toast and jam, when you've had a hard day in the office.

But is there any real proof that being organised really will make you be healthier? Well, no but anecdotally, we spoke to 10 of the healthiest women we know and discovered that the really key to staying healthy and fit in terms of food, is preparation. The good news is that it doesn't have to be all chia seeds or having to buy a Nutribullet (as much as we love them) to stay in shape.

Here is a brilliant meal plan we found on Hungry Healthy Happy blog, which provides an ace clean food menu which is easy to stick to.

Keep a food diary

We don't need to tell you that you need to drink a lot of water to stay in shape. So we'll avoid telling you that one. There is, however, one thing many a healthy person swears by and that is keeping a food diary. In a study of 1,700 people by the Kaiser Center for Health Research in Portland in 2008 dieters who kept a food diary for six months lost twice as much weight as those who kept no food record. Essentially, you're accountable for every bit of food that passes your mouth. If that doesn't sound particularly fun, why not download the MyFitnessPal app which helps you chart what you've eaten, or try taking pictures of every bit of food you eat.

Everything in moderation

Another thing that's vital for keeping on track with a healthy programme is ensuring you don't beat yourself up about the fact that you've had dessert after a meal, you've decided to have a glass of wine or you just really want to eat a packet of crisps. OK, so you probably don't want to indulge every day like that but everything in moderation will mean you get the health benefits and enjoy the treats when you want to.

TinyBuddha.com has some brilliant ways for helping you to understand how strict you really need to be with yourself.

Limit your alcohol consumption

This is a clear no-brainer. We're not suggesting you don't drink at all but there are many studies that show why you should limit your consumption so that you don't have various health problems. The NHS website offers great advice on how you can do this but also what the real health benefits are, such as your skin looking healthier, your feeling better in the mornings and feeling fitter. There are also massive long-term affects such as helping your heart, ensuring you sleep better but also improving your immune system.

It's not about weight loss

Focus on your overall wellbeing rather than weight loss - this is about feeling healthy. While it's true that studies suggest weight loss and self-esteem go hand in hand, realise that if you don't get rid of those extra pounds, you're not a failure and you should recognise how your body feels rather than looks. The other important thing that every healthy person understands is that this is a lifestyle, not a sudden quick-fix diet plan which means you can't go back to gorging on multipacks of penguins.

Don't give yourself unrealistic goals

When you start changing your lifestyle to be one a bit healthier you immediately feel like beating yourself up if you don't lose five stone in a day. But don't start fretting about this, it's important that you understand you're only human. PsychCentral.com suggests that to meet your healthy goals, it's best to set realistic ones in the first place as therefore you're more likely to achieve them. Also, huge goals can feel massively discouraging if you fall short.

Invest in the proper kit, but don't go overboard

By that we mean, make sure you get a decent pair of trainers if you're going running. Perhaps you might want to start using something like My Fitness Pal to track your calories or the Nike Running app for when you're going for a run. Thing is, you don't want to have so many contraptions that's cost you your month's rent or end up feeling like a robot when you're out for a simple walk. Essentially, get what you need and enjoy it.

Don't make excuses

From not eating right because the shop is too far away, to not exercising because you don't have time. Whatever it is, we're all guilty of making excuses. While we're not saying that you can't have a day off, every healthy person understands that if they just get out of bed a little earlier, and plan their meals in advance they'll be in a much better position to stay on the right track health-wise. WebMD offers some great advice on how to stop making excuses

And if you're really strapped for time, some studies have shown that even if you just do a short burst of high intensity exercise that you can still see results. This is especially great for those who are pushed for time. Even if you're just getting up in the morning and doing a workout in front of the TV for 15 minutes every morning at least you're getting your heart rate up.

Dr Michael Mosley, author of the ridiculously popular book Fast Diet better known as the 5:2, is advocating this new method of exercising. According to Mosley "when you exercise intensively you release things called catecholamines – adrenalin - that is a fat-burning hormone. Levels of catecholamines can go up 10-fold even after a 20 second burst."

Take a look at Mosley's suggested workout here


We can't stress (joke) how important this actually is. If you don't ever take time out from rushing around, where that's reading a book, painting your nails or taking a relaxing bath, chances are you're never really going to feel like you're chilled out. Not only that, never relaxing and eliminating stress from your life can be bad for your heart, such as high blood pressure, and your mental wellbeing.

Sleep. A lot.

While there has been a lot of debate over whether actually getting a little bit extra shut-eye does encourage weight loss, it’s clear there is a correlation. If you sleep over nine hours per night, the genetic factors that lead to weight gain can be overridden.

In one study which looked at identical twins and the difference in BMI after sleeping different hours from each other, Dr Nathaniel Watson, from the University of Washington, who led the US study said “The results suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes. Or it may be that extended sleep is protective by suppressing expression of obesity genes.”

So there you have it. Sleep more, lose more weight.



Superfood cocktail bar opens in London


10 proven ways to improve your relationship


10 proven ways to get a great night's sleep


Tour Victoria Beckham's sleek first store in London


10 proven ways to make or break a habit


Wholesome comfort food and feel-good recipes to warm up with this autumn



Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick lined up for new thriller

"A feverish and expertly plotted tale of psychological suspense"

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

We bloody love Kate Beckinsale’s hilarious Manspreading Action Plan

She knows exactly what to do when a man spreads his legs

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

This is what Amanda Knox’s Instagram account looks like

The Seattle native has made her feed public

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Prince Harry is still haunted by memories of Princess Diana’s funeral

‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do what I did’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

Courteney Cox thanks friends for helping her embrace “natural” face

‘I finally look like myself’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Father's Day celebrations to Lena Dunham's new crop

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jun 2017

Michelle Obama has the best advice for you and your girlfriends

The former FLOTUS does this with her friends every single summer

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

The Voice’s Delta wore a dress on TV, and Twitter lost its s**t

You should have left your boobs in the dressing room, duh!

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

Queen Helen Mirren has a message for sexist Wonder Woman critics

Watch out, dinosaurs

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

Chrissy Teigen has leaked her own private texts to John Legend

And it hilariously sums up their 10 year relationship

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017