I’m sure you’ve heard of Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. That book took the world by storm and spawned a host of follow-ups and copycats. I thought to myself… “Why not jump on the bandwagon, with health?” And so I present to you, based on my observations and nearly two decades in practice, “The 5 Habits of Healthy People.”
Healthy people stop eating when full
There is a Japanese saying “haru hachi bu,” which loosely translates to “Stop eating when you’re 80% full.” (It may be that they are acutely aware of how rice expands after you eat it, and they are warning against overdoing it on the front-end.) The challenge with this habit is that most of us have no idea what it feels like to be full. Chances are you too have a hard time knowing if you’re full.
When you were younger, were you ever scolded for leaving food on your plate? Children have an innate ability to know when they are full, but too often we are forced to “finish eating, don’t let your food go to waste” or are rewarded with desert once we eat it all!
This kind of training subconsciously sets you up for failure as an adult. Practice eating only 80% of the food you plated or ordered. (Save the remaining for leftovers the next day) and your body and health will thank you for it!
Healthy people exercise regardless of if they feel like it
Is exercise mandatory as part of your weekly routine? Healthy people have a “no-excuse” mentality towards their workouts as they know missing one leads to eventually missing them all. If you’re not scheduling your 6-12 minute workouts, then perhaps that’s why they may not be happening.
Healthy people eat real food (not processed/packaged or man-made foods)
This makes sense, but you would be amazed with the number of “Healthy Foods” that are nothing close to healthy. While I could easily write four newsletters on this very subject, just know that a healthy person doesn’t ever consider man made or synthetic, processed “food” as anything fit to consume.
Healthy people focus on eating foods that are found in nature (vegetables, clean proteins, nuts & seeds, fruits, etc). If the food item has a barcode or was produced by a factory with ingredients that cannot be pronounced, you won’t find healthy people eating those day in and day out.
Healthy people don’t make excuses for things they didn’t do, they make excuses for things they did do
Any time you start a new journey, you are bound to hit a bump or get directed to a detour. Getting healthy is no easy task. You will find that healthy people have a level of mental toughness that carries through every resistance to their goal. You won’t find healthy people making an excuses about why they missed a workout (because they won’t miss it), or why they ate something off their diet (you will never hear them say “I had family in town,” or “it was an office party and the only food there,” or “My husband was having some and offered, who am I to refuse?”) Instead they will be accountable and tell you why they did something (I workout every day because… I ate before the party because…).
Healthy people focus on long term goals, not short term
You won’t find a healthy person doing things just to feel good now (taking a pill when they hurt, putting ice on a sore muscle, eating a cheeseburger b/c it smells good etc). They know that hard work and time always delivers successful results and follow that maxim in all areas of their life, be it financial, spiritual, health & fitness, friends & family, etc.
Like anything in like, health is a marathon, not a sprint. The medical community wants to “fix you” with a pill. And people like a quick fix, which is why the medical profession is so… well, rich.
But real health is much different than just feeling good. In fact, real health sometimes doesn’t feel good. It’s sore muscles, and hunger pangs and an occasional headache that you’ve got to just wait out. It’s the pain of discipline in an effort to avoid the pain of regret.