How to Be Healthier in 14 Days

Three Methods:Getting in ShapeChanging Your DietReducing Stress and Increasing Happiness

It’s hard to commit to a healthy lifestyle. Staying in old, comfortable routines often seems easier than starting over. By adopting an active lifestyle, healthy diet, and making time for activities that promote happiness, you can get your life on a better track in only two weeks. Though health is a lifelong endeavor, starting slow and committing to two weeks of a healthy you is the best way to see that a different lifestyle is possible, and full of benefits to both body and mind.

Method 1
Getting in Shape

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    Ditch your car. This can be tricky depending on where you live, but spending less time in the car and more time on foot will help you lose weight, decrease stress, and elevate mood. If you have the option, walk to work or the grocery store instead of driving. Otherwise, carve out thirty minutes a day to go for a walk.
    • Call up a friend to go walking with you. This will give you a dose of healthy exercise and social activity.[1]
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    Make a work out schedule. Figure out how much time you have each day to work out. Be realistic in your expectations and make a plan you can stick to.
    • If you can, an hour a day is a great amount of time to allot to fitness. If you work 9-6 and have two kids and three dogs, maybe working out four times a week for 30-45 minutes is all you can get.
    • Writing yourself a realistic workout schedule will help you plan workouts that can be accomplished within your timeframe and make you more likely to accomplish your goals.[2]
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    Incorporate strength training. Building strength creates lean muscle mass and makes you look and feel healthy and toned. The best way to strength train efficiently is through compound movements (movements that work more than one muscle group) such as squats, deadlifts, and bench press.
    • Talk to a trainer or fitness fanatic friend to learn how to safely execute compound movements with weight.
    • You can also use hand held weights to focus in on specific areas of the arms. When using hand held weights or doing body weight exercises, aim for 10-15 reps, 3 times each.
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    Start doing high intensity cardio. When it comes to losing weight and getting in shape, doing cardio activities for short bursts of time at very high intensity is the best bet. While running a few miles a day or going for a long walk are great activities to support a healthy lifestyle, it’s been proven that the body responds best to being worked at its max for shorter intervals.[3]
    • Pick a cardio activity that you enjoy. Walking, running, swimming, and elliptical are all good options.
    • Start by choosing a shorter interval length, such as 30 seconds. Then do 30 seconds of high intensity effort of your chosen activity, followed by 1-3 minutes of recovery. Repeat the exercise ten times. For example, if you’re a runner, try sprinting for 30 seconds straight, resting for a minute, and repeating 10 times. Increase time interval as you get in better shape.
    • Only do this 2-3 times a week to avoid injury or burnout. Supplement with a few longer, slower paced cardio work outs for distance throughout the week.[4]
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    Work out at home. Working out at home is cheap, time efficient, and effective. Pick up a few pieces of equipment such as push up bars, hand held weights, fit balls, exercise bands, or kettle bells. Make sure to work each major muscle group through cardio, strength training, and body weight exercises. [5]
    • When planning an at home work out, give yourself enough time to complete a warm up, cardio or strength routine, and a cool down.
    • Aim for doing 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week and 20 to 30 minutes of strength 3 times a week, followed by stretching.
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    Find a workout buddy. Working out with someone else not only keeps you on track, but makes fitness more fun! Find someone with a similar schedule to yours who will keep you motivated. [6]

Method 2
Changing Your Diet

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    Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential to weight loss. It also provides your body with essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and try to vary up the color as much as you can. Add some fruit and veggies to every meal to get your servings in. [7]
    • Breakfast: add some spinach, tomatoes, or mushrooms to your morning eggs in place of cheese. If you eat cereal or oatmeal, add fresh fruit such as a banana, blueberries, or strawberries.
    • Lunch: Try making a big filling salad with leafy greens, a lean protein, nuts, dried fruit, and some carrots, peppers, onions, or broccoli. Or, add some greens, tomato, onion, or cucumber to a sandwich or wrap.
    • Dinner: Instead of canned tomato sauce, sauté up some broccoli, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers in some olive oil and eat with whole wheat pasta.[8]
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    Dump your fridge. If you’re really going to start taking your health seriously, it’s best to start from scratch. Get rid of all unhealthy foods and staples that you have in your fridge and pantry. This will eliminate any temptation to go back to your old ways. Donate what you can to a local food bank. [9]
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    Eliminate processed food and refined sugars. Processed foods and sugars are linked to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and stroke. They fill you up without actually providing any nutrients. Fill your pantry with natural foods like whole grains (oats, quinoa, whole wheat breads and pastas), fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, meat, and protein or probiotic rich dairy products (kefir, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese).[10]
    • Stick to food author Michael Pollan’s rule of thumb: don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or the product has more than five ingredients, stick to something more natural.[11]
    • Get all natural sweeteners. For those with a sweet tooth, use honey or agave instead of sugar in your coffee, tea, and baked goods.
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    Stop mindlessly snacking. Eating when you’re not hungry is one of the easiest ways to gain unwanted weight. Only snack when you’re hungry, and when you do, try to eat snacks high in protein, as this will keep you feeling full longer.
    • A piece of whole wheat toast with nut butter, a mozzarella cheese stick, a hard boiled egg, or hummus with veggies are great options for beating the mid afternoon crash.[12]

Method 3
Reducing Stress and Increasing Happiness

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    Get enough sleep. Getting 6-9 hours of sleep a night is extremely important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Getting a good night’s sleep improves your ability to learn, make good decisions, and cope with change. Lack of sleep is also linked to depression, heart disease, and obesity.[13]
    • Everybody requires a different amount of sleep. Some will feel good and rested after 6 hours, others after 10. Experiment with sleeping a different amount of hours per night and see which quantity makes you feel best.[14]
    • Create a good bedtime ritual. Relax with a book for 30 minutes before bed, or stretch and drink herbal tea. It’s also important to stick to a sleep schedule, even on the weekends, so that your body can stay consistent.[15]
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    Practice yoga. Yoga is a great activity for creating strength, flexibility, and mind-body awareness. It strengthens the core, back, arms, and legs, and allows you to focus on simply breathing and being present in your body.[16]
    • Invest in a few classes to learn the proper technique. After, you can either continue classes or practice on your own.
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    Start meditating. Meditation helps you to become more connected with yourself and the world around you. It helps you to diminish ego and recognize your thoughts as simply thoughts, patterns that encourage mindfulness, joy, and contentment.
    • Start slow. Give yourself 7-10 minutes a morning to sit and concentrate on your breathing.[17]
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    Keep your mind stimulated. People who are open minded and curious about the world around them tend to have better mental health. Learning leads to creativity and higher self-esteem. Try to learn something new everyday! [18]
    • Read a book that interests you for at least 15-20 minutes a day.
    • Learn a new language. Learning a second language keeps your brain active. It broadens your perspective of the world and opens you up to new travel opportunities. Download the app Duolingo on your smart phone for an easy and accessible language learning tool. [19]
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    Make time to socialize. Giving yourself time to spend with loved ones leads to increased happiness. Even if you’re busy at work, taking just 30 minutes a day to grab a meal or talk on the phone with somebody you care about will improve your feelings of connectedness and self-worth.[20]


  • Try to stay healthy even after your 2 weeks have expired.
  • Ask your family doctor what you can do to be and stay healthy.
  • You can have an occasional sweet but don't eat too much as it could ruin your diet!


  • Be wary of your morning caffeinated beverages. Oftentimes lattes and other coffee drinks have a sneaky amount of sugar and fat. Pick coffee and tea drinks that are low on sugar, and try out skim milk or an alternative nut based milk in the mornings.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Diet & Lifestyle | Health