From what we wear to what we say, as female Millennials, we are very influenced by the media.
One of the fads we hear about often is crash diets, or "New Year" diets.
I, for one, have never tried to diet, and I don't think any woman should feel pressured to.
I grew up in a household where something was wrong if we weren't eating enough.
My family is from Lebanon, and our Mediterranean diet was always very balanced and full of vegetables and proteins.
Pita bread was basically used as a utensil.
The pressure to diet was always very frowned upon and questioned.
My mother would always tell us to eat more vegetables and reduce sugar intake if we wanted to lose weight, which is very reasonable and safe.
With the extreme dieting of today, most women are setting themselves up for failure and an unhealthy health path.
Rather than doing things to help increase our self-esteem and encourage self-love, we feel pressured to "fit in" to this idea of beauty and being thin.
We need to remember all women are beautiful just as they are.
I eat carbs, fried food and a lot of red meat. I am healthy, and I am very happy.
Yes, as women we all want to look and feel good, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be priority.
Extreme dieting won't make you love yourself more, but doing the things that make you happy — in moderation — will.
Here are some tips on how to do it:
1. Enjoy everything in moderation.
Eat what you want and drink what you want, but do so in moderation.
It is okay to enjoy the more delicious things in life like fries, white bread and champagne.
Still, your diet should not only consist of these things.
I love chocolate cupcakes, but if I ate one every day for a month, I would not feel well.
2. Be active.
Working out at the gym isn't for everyone, and realistically speaking, working out every day can be impossible for some.
Regardless, do something that will make you feel good.
Take your dog for a long walk every day, play tennis with your bestie every Saturday or have a dance party with your roommate.
As long as it makes you feel mentally and physically well, go for it.
Being active doesn't only have physical benefits, but it can also relieve stress.
So, if being on a treadmill for 30 minutes at the gym doesn't do it for you, find an alternative activity.
3. Get to cooking, good-looking.
Yeah, eating out is super fun, and I am totally guilty of doing it way too often.
Cooking at home, however, allows for a balanced meal.
Also, you are aware of the ingredients going into your food.
Hopefully you're cooking with all-natural, organic products, which is definitely a plus.
With cooking at home, you can make sure you're including a protein, grain and veggie.
4. Take vitamins.
I'm not a big fan of any type of medication, but taking a multi-vitamin has definitely helped.
Even though you may eat well, your body may not be getting enough vitamins from your food intake.
Having the appropriate nutrients in your system, especially enough of them, can be really beneficial.
5. Snack between meals.
Every once in a while, I need a Dove Chocolate Miniature, but I'm normally snacking on veggies, nuts or fruits.
This helps keep my metabolism moving, and it also gives me the energy I need to make it through the day.
6. Laughter is the best medicine.
Seriously, there have been published studies that prove laughter helps relieve stress and improve your mood.
Not only is it fun, but it also has physical benefits. Laugh your ass off.
7. Get your eight hours of sleep in.
According to the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, getting enough sleep every night (typically seven to eight hours) makes you more efficient during the day, increases your metabolism and allows you to retain more information.
Sounds pretty good, huh?
8. Listen to what your body is craving.
Hungover? Craving a Costco hot dog? Go get one.
Your body knows what it needs, so pay attention.
Don't get too bogged down in your healthy lifestyle, or you'll go insane.
9. Start your day with 16 ounces of water.
Our bodies are made of approximately 55 to 60 percent water.
Starting your day off with water will help jump-start your system.
Who doesn't want to be hydrated?
Infusing your water with fruits or lemon is beneficial and tasty.
10. Eat breakfast every day.
If you take anything from this article, it's knowing breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
It provides your body and brain with the energy it needs to get moving.
Your breakfast can be super easy, like yogurt, fruit, granola, oatmeal, cereal or eggs.
Just watch out for those sugars!
Be healthy, be free, be happy and love who you are.
There are plenty of ways to look and feel good without depriving your body of what it needs.