What a day of proper eating, exercising, sleeping looks like
This is an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute guide to the perfect healthy day, as written by a dietitian – that’s actually realistic and achievable.
Welcome to Hit Refresh. This month, we’ll be bringing you articles created by experts that will help you live your best life in 2018. Today, leading dietitian and nutritionist Lyndi Cohen takes us through what the perfect healthy day looks like – and how you can achieve it, realistically. Brought to you by Yoplait Zero.
There are plenty of health tips that just aren’t doable when you hold down a 9-5 (and don’t have you own private chef, nutritionist, personal trainer and guru to call on). So rather than make unrealistic goals, that you won’t be able to reach, here’s a totally doable run down of your perfect healthy day, when you have to fit it in with your ‘real-life’ obligations… like, you know, holding down a job.
6:00 am – Wake up to your alarm clock, not your phone alarm. Charge your phone in another room so you don’t wake up with the anxiety of notifications or social media.
6:10am – Enjoy a coffee with your favourite milk. Research backs up this health habit for helping you concentrate, ramp up memory and live longer.
6:20am – Run to your favourite nearby park or exercise area as warm up. Do a fun 30 minutes circuit using your own body weight. Exercising outdoors is a great way to get vitamin D (needed for a good mood and bones) and like J.Lo’s love – it don’t cost a thing. Walk or jog home.
7:20am – Get home, drink plenty of water (about 600ml) and enjoy a well-deserved shower.
7:35am – Get dressed, play fun music and whip up some breakfast. I love a couple of eggs with chopped tomatoes and asparagus or a slice of grainy bread with ¼ avocado on toast. Equally good for you is a bowl homemade muesli with your favourite milk or yoghurt. Variety is healthy so keep mixing it up.
7:55am – Pack a reusable water bottle, two pieces of fruit and a handful of nuts for snacks and walk to the bus or train stop. Thanks to your morning outing, you’re already on 7,000+ steps.
8:05am – Listen to an interesting podcast or audiobook on your commute, rather than scrolling on social media or checking emails. Fit in a 10-minute guided meditation, if you like, using an app like headspace. Sip on your water.
8:45am – Get off at the earlier bus/train stop and walk the rest of the way. Score another 1,500 steps!
8:55 am – Arrive at work and refill your water bottle. Respond to urgent emails. Pick up the phone and call people instead of emailing or walk to a colleague if they’re in the same building. Power on with quality work.
10:00am – When you feel hungry, step away from your desk, make a cup of tea and eat your piece of fruit away from your desk. Refill your water bottle.
10:15am – Power on until lunch. Invest in a standing desk if possible.
12:30pm – Grab lunch when you feel hungry but make sure you step away from your desk. Eating in front of a screen like a TV or computer will program your brain to crave food at work (or at home watching the Kardashians). Grab a delicious salad with a healthy fat like avocado, wholegrains and lean protein – or eat healthy leftovers from last night’s dinner.
1:15pm – Refill your drink bottle and power on for the afternoon.
3:30pm – When sugar cravings hit (and Gail from finance starts handing out tempting baked goods), reach for your nuts. Grab another cup of tea.
5:00pm – Finish up your workday! Write a to-do list and schedule for the next day so it’s out your mind and sorted.
5:10pm – Hop on public transport. Enjoy your second piece of fruit so you don’t arrive home ravenous (and binge eat). Spend the commute connecting with friends or get back into your podcast. Minimal social scrolling is ideal.
6:00pm – Get home and cook dinner (make twice as much so you have leftovers for a healthy lunch tomorrow). Add sliced seasonal vegetables on a baking tray and your protein e.g. chicken or salmon. Make an easy teriyaki marinade with 3 tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari), 3 tbsp. maple syrup, grated ginger, and 1 clove of garlic and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Pour onto tray ingredients and bake for 10-20 minutes or until cooked (at 180c). Serve with wholegrains like brown rice or quinoa and a big glass of water.
7:00pm – Respond to any pressing emails then put work away for the evening. Place your phone on charge in another room.
7:15pm – You’re done for the day. Time to unwind and have ‘you’ time. Watch your favourite show and then spend the last hour unwinding (away from blue light) reading a book. If you get sugar cravings, turn off the TV and have a couple squares of dark chocolate.
10pm – Turn the lights off for a full 8-9 hours sleep, ready to wake up and do it all again.
Lyndi Cohen is an accredited practising dietitian, founder of Nude Nutritionist and creator of the Keep It Real Program. Head here for more from Lyndi, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
No added sugar, no excuses. Hit your Mondays hard with Yoplait Zero. #HitRefresh