How to become healthier

50 easy steps

How to become healthier in all areas of life? Here are 50 little steps you can take to create a joyful and healthy lifestyle.

Evidence-based
This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
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I guess that all of us sometimes think that our lives and our health could need some improvement. But once you take a look around and read through different books on this topic, you’ll soon be overwhelmed by the amount of advice, programs, and theories out there.

​We don’t want you to fall into analysis paralysis. Changing any kind of habit is work and depending on how long or often you’ve been doing these things, it can be harder or easier to implement new ways of living.

​For today, simply take one or two of our tips from the list below and commit yourself to do this every day or every second day – depending on how much energy and time you have. Simply be consistent, a little goes a long way.

From going vegetarian or vegan to stocking your kitchen with healthy foods or helping your kids to enjoy more plant-based meals, all of these steps can go a long way.

Making just one tiny habit stick can help you and your loved ones to become healthier — and you’ll be rewarded with feeling better about yourself!

Now, let’s take a look at all these wonderful options to get motivated.

How to become healthier (Step-by-step)

Change barely ever happens all at once – instead of getting overwhelmed and not doing anything, simply start by doing something. Choose from the following list!

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1. Start drinking smoothies

Make a smoothie out of some of the fruits you find in your kitchen – extra points if you throw in some green leafy vegetables as well.

A good base is always bananas and frozen fruit can add a nice texture. Don’t get too crazy with the ingredients and if you’re new to this, stay on the sweeter side. Sit back and enjoy!

2. Prepare your meals

Pre-cook a whole bunch of rice (or any starch of your choice) and some veggies or beans for your next few evenings so you’ll have a satisfying and nutritious dinner in no time.

The easiest way to do this is by using an instant pot. When you’re done, just put all of the food in separate containers into your fridge.

3. Get inspired

Pick up a reading habit and try to read a couple of pages in one of your favorite inspiring books.

If you don’t currently have one, we recommend checking out this page.

4. Stop smoking

Easier said than done, right? However, smoking and tobacco are harmful habits that can cause heart disease and mouth, throat, or lung cancer.

There are so many books, groups, and programs out there that can help you quit smoking for good. Just try it!

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5. Ditch dairy products

Swap your coffee creamer and sugar in your morning cup of joe for some plant-based milk either without a sweetener or a calorie-free one like stevia.

Dairy milk is our number 1 source of saturated fat, it’s bad for the environment and even worse for baby and mother cows. We recommend soy milk or oat milk instead!

6. Eat more starchy foods

Eat more complex carbs like potatoes, rice, bean burritos, or some whole grain pasta. These foods give you sustainable energy while at the same time keeping you from loading up on dessert or craving calorie-dense animal-based food.

Starchy foods are health-promoting, rich in fiber, and satiating!

7. Eat fruits as a snack

Yes, this is a classic but effective one: Have some fruit as a snack instead of a chocolate bar. Nature’s candy will give you a nice amount of essential nutrients and hydrate your body at the same time.

8. More colors!

Did you know that all of the bright colors you see in the produce aisle offer different essential nutrients?

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They help us remove free radicals, are loaded with prebiotic fiber, and promote longevity. Start with the fruits and veggies you already like, try them cooked or raw, blend them into smoothies, soups, or sauces.

9. Avoid sugary drinks

Sodas, sweetened coffee or tea, and fruit juices are all high in refined carbs. Unfortunately, when consuming them in excess, they can increase the risk for high disease or diabetes and contribute to excess body fat!

Try naturally sweetened almond milk latte, sparkling water, or unsweetened teas instead.

10. Eat more legumes

It has been shown in numerous studies that replacing animal-based protein with plant-based protein is the way to go if you want to live a long and healthful life.

This is a very good reason to start incorporating more health-promoting protein sources like legumes into your meals! They can even be hidden in smoothies or soups. Nobody would say no to a tasty bean burrito, either.

11. Dancing

Play your favorite music and dance around, even jump if you can.

That’s not just great for your mood but also your arteries, lymphatic system, and waistline!

12. Healthy sleep

Set an alarm in the evening and unplug all your devices at a certain time. This will allow you to unwind before going to bed at a decent time and get some beauty sleep in. I know it’s tough but try to be pretty strict about it and view it as quality time!

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13. Keep your body moving

Don’t sit down for more than 1 hour at a time if you can because this can significantly lower your life expectancy.

Get up regularly, release any build-up tension, stretch, grab some water or take some deep breaths by the window — no matter if it’s at work or while watching Netflix.

14. Decrease screen time

While we’re at it: get away from your screens from time to time, don’t go on a 7-8 hours marathon of working, watching videos, writing emails, and scrolling through social media.

Unplug yourself from the virtual world for a little and slow down. If you have 30 minutes to linger on Facebook, you have 10 minutes (or more) for some meditation, yoga, or even a short workout.

15. More green vegetables

Add some greens to your lunch or dinner for some nutritional boosting and crunchiness. Get creative, make wraps, put them into sauces or casseroles, steam them or prepare a quick green smoothie. You could also make some kale chips for the next movie night if that sounds like you!

16. Leftovers lunch

Don’t grab your lunch at some nearby store, make an effort to prepare it yourself at home.

It can even be leftovers from last night or a whole grain sandwich with some nuts and grapes. The bulk-preparing comes in handy here as well.

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17. Try a morning routine

Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and practice some yoga or mindfulness in bed, maybe listen to soothing music while doing this. Drink a glass of water, write a journal for a few minutes, whatever feels most like self-care!

It doesn’t have to be exhausting or perfect, it’s rather a matter of waking up gradually and connecting with your body.

18. Health screenings

Even if you feel fine, it is recommended to see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can help you avoid problems in the future thanks to the early detection of high blood pressure or small tumors.

Especially if you’re not feeling well, don’t consult untrained people on the internet! Have someone well-trained to look at your issues.

19. Empower your mindset

Listen to uplifting words while you’re doing your chores, drive in your car, or even while napping. The powerful phrases can shift your mindset towards being more positive, gentle, productive, and clear. Try to get used to a more positive inner voice!

20. Have quality breaks

Use your lunch break to go outside and step away from what you’re doing for 8 hours a day. A change of scenery can help you to return with more energy and motivation. Extra points for eating your self-made lunch instead of getting takeout!

21. Make a vegetable smoothie

If you don’t like eating large amounts of veggies, we get it. But how about drinking them? From spinach to carrots, beets, celery, and kale – the combinations are endless.

Add some fruit to make it taste less bitter. You don’t necessarily need a juicer, a good blender will also do. Or how about grabbing some fresh juice if you’re out and about to make things very convenient in the beginning?

22. Practice gratitude

Whenever you feel stuck and unhappy, think of at least 5 things you are grateful for right now. This makes you realize that you would be perfectly okay if nothing changed in your life and takes the pressure off to help you think straight.

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This can be turned into a daily ritual or gratitude journaling which is like prevention for an overall bad mood.

23. Reduce oil consumption

Try to cook your meals without oil, get some non-stick cookware and steam your veggies in water instead of frying them. Here are some easy oil-free cooking techniques. This will keep your arteries healthier and waistline slimmer.

24. Eat more whole-food

Choose the whole-food version of everything you eat. Have brown bread instead of white, get whole wheat pasta, whole grain crackers, etc.

This also goes for olives or nuts instead of oil! Such food swaps will give you more nutrients and the fiber keeps you full for longer.

25. Personal connections

Call a loved one, meet them somewhere and have a relaxing, inspiring conversation. Plus points for hugging it out, since this is extra good for your hormones (that goes for cuddling animals as well). We all need loving connections.

26. Hydrate regularly

Get a large water bottle and mark it with time-oriented goals.

Get a marker and start drawing lines to outline the amount of water you’d like to drink by a certain time every day. This makes your goals visual and you’ll make sure to be hydrated throughout the whole day. Refill once or twice if you want to.

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27. Get your nutrients

Plant-based or omnivore, we all need to make sure that we’re getting enough and not too much of our daily nutrients.

While vegans need to take a B12 supplement and be conscious about eating plants high in calcium, iron, and zinc, meat-eaters need to limit their saturated fat and make sure to eat more fiber in general. Find our in-depth resource on meeting all your nutrients here.

28. Digestive rest

Try to eat your dinner early enough so you’re fasting for 12-14 hours. For example, if you eat breakfast around 7 am, have your last meal at 5 pm.

This doesn’t mean restricting your calories, but rather redistributing.

29. Visualize your goals

Come up with a list of what it is you truly want and visualize your goals and successes every day. It will make you happy and you’ll want to work for it harder, meaning it’s a lot more likely to become reality.

You can even create a vision board with pictures of what you’d like to achieve and hang it on the wall for some visual motivation.

30. Get a good amount of sleep

Sleep for at least 8 hours a night and try to be in bed before midnight to support your body’s repair mechanisms and decrease your risk for chronic diseases.

If you’re still tired in the morning, go to bed half an hour earlier until you found the right amount of sleep you need to feel restored and energized.

31. Limit your alcohol consumption

Too much alcohol can damage your liver and can cause certain cancers. It also contributes to deaths from car wrecks, violence, and chronic health issues like stroke or high blood pressure.

Drinking in moderation means up to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks for men, but not drinking at all is always preferable.

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Try some non-alcohol drinks when you’re out!

32. Relax your muscles

Look into some methods of physical relaxation. You can either get a professional massage, ask your partner to give you one, or even do it yourself!

Reflexology is a method of applying pressure to your feet and hands using a specific technique to support physical functions or changes in the body.

33. Take a walk

Go outside and get some fresh air! Walking is great for unwinding and can leave you calm, refreshed, and in a better mood.

Either go for a walk all by yourself, meet up with a friend or listen to some music or a podcast while you’re taking your 5000 - 10000 steps a day (just a rough number to shoot for!)

34. Eat mindfully

Be in the moment and slowly chew your food about 20 times before swallowing – really pay attention to the texture, smell, and flavor of everything.

Make an effort to be undistracted, don’t watch any videos or discuss hot topics while eating.

35. Ride your bike

Ride your bike as much as you can, to go to work or grocery shopping. You might also combine it with taking a train if something is too far away. It won’t feel like working out but rather as a means to get around in an environmentally friendly, cheap, and healthy way.

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36. Visit your local farmer’s markets

Looking for local produce isn’t just better for the environment, it can also be cheaper and healthier because it wasn’t picked unripe, unlike many fruits and veggies you’ll find in the supermarket.

Getting in touch with where your food comes from, creating relationships, getting good deals, and becoming inspired to try new veggies you never tasted before will all propel you towards a healthier, happier life.

37. Check the food labels

Make an effort to take a look at what’s really in your food that you’re about to buy at the grocery store.

Read every label and make sure the product consists of mostly whole food plant-based ingredients with little added sugar and oil (except for some treats, of course). Calories aren’t so much an issue as healthy components.

38. Don’t weigh yourself too often

Especially if you have a troubled past in regards to eating and body image! Establishing a healthy eating pattern is much more important in the long run than shooting for a certain number on the scale.

You cannot control how much weight you can lose in a certain amount of time and daily fluctuations are very normal — these can play games with your mind and heavily influence your food choices.

When sticking to whole plant-based foods most of the time, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get and stay in a lean body. However, if checking your weight every now and then motivates you, then do it!

39. Stretch your body

Start stretching your whole body while watching your favorite TV series and discover how much more flexible and strong you become after a while.

It’s good to unwind and keep yourself from bad posture, too — not just when slouching on the couch but in more and more everyday situations.

40. Listen to your inner voice

You have your unique set of talents and needs, staying in touch with these and following them will make your life much easier and better.

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Listen to your inner voice, don’t push yourself too hard, and go at your own pace – no matter what you think is expected. We don’t all need to be the same, so play your strengths and build momentum.

41. Hunger and satiety

Get back in touch with your natural cues for hunger and satiety. Don’t count calories or portion control everything, let your body take over, and offer healthy food.

Make sure you drink, sleep and move enough and not just eat at every sign of discomfort or boredom!

42. Protect your skin

Sun exposure is linked to skin cancer which is one of the most common types of cancer in the US. Limit your time spent in the sun (especially around noon), wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses when you are outside.

Furthermore, it’s recommended to wear sunscreen year-round on any exposed skin like your face and hands. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

43. Choose your fat intake wisely

While some fatty acids are essential for us (looking at your omega-3 and omega-6), some fats aren’t so great for us. The debate about saturated fats and cholesterol is still going on and pretty much all health professionals agree that trans fat is double trouble!

Trans fat can be found in many processed foods from shortening to cookies, margarine, and especially fried foods.

44. Make healthy choices easier

One reason why healthy eating seems like such a chore is because processed foods are so much quicker to prepare and eat! The same goes for takeouts.

From following an easy meal plan that includes a prepping session so you’ll have healthy meals on your hands all the time to invest in healthy food delivery or subscription boxes, there are ways to make healthy choices much easier.

45. Smart shopping

Simply put, you cannot eat what you don’t have at home. Therefore, during your next trip to the shop, make sure to only put those items in your cart that you truly want to eat.

Once intense hunger, boredom, panic, or whatever makes you eat less than optimally, comes around, you won’t have to make choices you will regret later.

46. Increase variety

Try a new healthy food every time you go grocery shopping. It can be an exotic fruit, a scary-looking vegetable, or an interesting mix of spices.

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Also, don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry – make a list and stick to it. Trying a new food can also work when going out to eat because the chef will know how to prepare it!

47. Inspire others

Healthy eating and living is way easier and more fun when friends and family are on the same path as you! Have them watch inspiring documentaries.

Likewise, you could gift them an educational or motivational book that you think they would enjoy!

48. Set boundaries

To honor your true self, start being very honest with people and say no when you feel like it. Get to know your boundaries and let others know about them, too!

This will soon show you who cares about you and your wellbeing – a perfect chance to get rid of toxic relationships.

49. Use what you have

Make juice or soups out of leftover fruits and veggies before they turn bad. You can freeze them if you’re not in the mood for consuming anything right now and have some quick, healthy food options. Plus, you will save money and require fewer resources.

50. Colorful bowls

Make your meals with love and make them look appetizing. This means cooking at home and adding more colors to your meals like steamed or raw veggies topped with fresh herbs, nut or seed butter, and a delicious sauce.

This doesn’t just make your food more tasty and interesting, it also boosts the nutritional value.

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Become healthier each day!

After you have how you want to become healthier and which habits you want to bring into your daily life, make sure to keep track.

Connect them with something that you already do and maybe even make a checklist to see if you follow through most of the time.

Many of these little changes have important health benefits and it’s great to look back one day and see how you took one step at a time towards a better life.

Your list can also hold you accountable and you can share it with family or friends to inspire them. Who knows, maybe they’ll even join in, making it even easier and more enjoyable!

Writing your successes down helps you to focus on the positive and build up your motivation to take on some bigger projects.

Last updated on September 2, 2021, and last reviewed by an expert on August 17, 2021.

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