Surveys suggest that as many as 93% of people want to eat healthily at least some of the time. But do people feel the same when faced with giving up their favourite vices, like smoking, alcohol, or even coffee?
Luckily, cutting back on your guilty pleasures is not always difficult. You don’t have to give up anything. Instead, switch it for a healthier alternative.
Here are five healthy alternatives to your favourite vices.
1. Swapping a cigarette for a vape
Studies suggest that vapes are healthier than smoking, as they don’t contain tobacco.
Why not buy some vaping juices online and try something new? Unlike your standard cigarettes, vaping offers a choice of flavours.
Of course, the healthiest alternative is to give up smoking altogether, but cutting back or swapping for e-cigarettes is a happy middle ground if you’re not quite ready to quit. It’s also a great way to begin your journey to a smoke-free life.
Switch to vaping first and then cut down until you no longer need nicotine at all. You’ll feel so much better once you quit smoking for good and no longer depend on this vice to get through each day.
2. Replace alcohol with a delicious non-alcoholic alternative
Alcohol is bad for you period.
It’s a poison that puts a strain on your liver and long term has some serious health implications from increased risk of various cancers to inflammatory damage, decreased fertility and so much more.
If you tend to enjoy a glass or more of wine in the evening, switch it out with a non-alcoholic “special drink” alternative.
Try kombucha – a delicious fermented drink with antioxidant and probiotic properties that are good for your gut. It’s available in great health food stores in a variety of flavours such as ginger or fruit and often comes in a glass bottle or can so it feels like a special drink.
If you were a fan of wine then try a rich merlot grape juice. It’s absolutely delicious, full of flavour and has a premium quality.
A naturally sparkling juice or sparkling water make a great alternative to sparkling wine – just make sure they are naturally sparkling and not stuffed full of unnecessary added sugars.
Instead of a cocktail opt for a fresh fruit and veg filled smoothie or juice.
3. Make healthy choices when eating out
Who doesn’t love eating out? But if you tend to seek out the greasy, sugary, salty saturated fat filled heavy meals, you can still replace these with healthier alternatives when dining out.
Of course a bad meal every now and then is OK, but if it’s a regular habit then start learning to appreciate and choose better meals when dining out, for the sake of your health.
Plan in advance by perusing the menu, and choose healthier home cooked veg filled dishes or smaller dishes to benefit from fine dining without feeling stuffed or unhealthy afterwards.
Try new places to dine too. Search for plant based restaurants, organic restaurants and those which cook from scratch using locally sourced ingredients. These types of places usually care about the quality and healthiness of the food.
4. Replace the chocolate with healthier chocolate
Is your go-to snack a chocolate bar?
Regular chocolate bars are filled with high amounts of sugar and milk which is so detrimental to your health.
Can’t give it up? Don’t worry! Check out my blog post with loads of healthy chocolates that are vegan friendly.
It might be the sweetness of the chocolate you crave, in which case you can replace it with sweet fruit like grapes or strawberries.
It might sound difficult, but merely removing chocolate from your home and replacing it with fruit will remove the temptation and make it a habit to reach for fruit every time you crave chocolate.
On average, it takes 66 days to form a habit, so persevere for a couple of months, and you should find the chocolate addiction calms down.
5. Replace caffeine with decaffeinated alternatives
Too much caffeine can cause everything from high blood pressure to poor sleep, tremors, and even anxiety. Yet we all consume it in some form, even I can’t start my day without my morning coffee!
If you’re struggling with sleep then it could be your caffeine intake. Whilst one caffeine drink first thing in the morning is usually OK, if you continue to drink caffeine throughout the day then it can start playing havoc with your health and interrupting your quality of sleep.
If you love hot drinks throughout the day then opt for herbal teas instead. They have loads of great health benefits and many are naturally caffeine-free.
In the evenings there are many bedtime teas which will satisfy your urge for a hot beverage and even aid a better night’s sleep.
Alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and even chocolate are all addictive items, which is, of course, why they are so enjoyable and challenging to give up.
Try to trick your brain with the alternatives if you can, from a special fizzy kombucha drink to a warm herbal tea.
Over time, your body will lose the pull of the addiction, and you can gradually replace these with much healthier options and give them up completely.