6 ways to lead the salad-and-gym lifestyle without having to actually do so

A healthier, active lifestyle is totally attainable if you eat right and exercise smart.

If you are inspired by fitness buffs on Instagram, a way to achieve your #bodygoals may be to sign up for a gym membership and embark on a salad-only diet. But an impulsive 180-degree lifestyle change is not realistic or sustainable. A healthier and active lifestyle is one that is enjoyable and fulfilling. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Eat well

Model eating and living should not include depriving or starving yourself - instead of living on coffee and carrots, choose nutritious, balanced meals that will give you energy to last the day, without the huge calorie count. Sandwiches are a convenient way to pack in the nutrients. With Subway, it's also easy to watch your calorie intake. A 6-inch sub which comes in at under 500 calories is the Meatball Marinara Melt - Italian style meatballs bathed in tangy tomato marinara sauce, served hot with your choice of fresh vegetables and sauces on freshly baked bread. Delizioso!

Another choice pick is the Subway Steak and Cheese sandwich. It has lean, tender steak, onions and green peppers, topped with melted cheese. Add your choice of fresh vegetables and choose from a variety of wholesome breads and tasty fat-free sauces for a healthier version of the Philadelphia cult favourite. Try the Honey Mustard - the tanginess, coupled with succulent steak and crunchy green peppers, is sure to satisfy. It's an indulgent treat for the taste buds, and at less than 400 calories, it'll keep you full and feeling light.

Know what goes into your meals

It is important to understand what you are eating when eating out. In most restaurants, you pick your meal off a menu without knowing what goes into making your dish - sometimes you don't even know what the ingredients look like. Often, it's a far cry from the picture on the menu.

Choosing your ingredients well is essential for a clean diet. At Subway, the sandwiches are prepared right in front of you, made to order with fresh ingredients, according to your preferences so you know exactly what goes into your meal.

The Subway Clubâ„¢ features lean, tender sliced turkey breast, sliced roast beef and savoury sliced ham. It's served hot with your choice of fresh vegetables and condiments, on freshly baked bread of your choice. Packed full of flavour and nutrients, yet weighing in at a mere 300 calories, this delicious sub is major #modeleats.

Homemade smoothies

Smoothies are a tasty source of nutrients and vitamins. It is also a fun way to have your daily requirement of fruit. Blend your two servings of fruit into one drink in the morning to kick start your day and get your nutrients - you can do the same with vegetables too. Vegetable and fruit smoothies are high in soluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol, and increase metabolism. The minerals and phytochemicals also work together to help reduce the risk of heart disease. (Health Promotion Board, 2014)

Watch your calorie consumption

A healthy lifestyle cannot be achieved through exercise alone. It is a common misconception that as long as you exercise regularly, you can eat as much as you want. You still have to maintain balanced eating habits and keep within the calorie limit if you want to prevent weight gain. The average daily calorie intake for a Singaporean adult male is 2,200 calories, while a Singaporean woman needs 1,800.

Subway's 6-inch sandwiches provide a lot of flavour without adding on unnecessary calories. They also provide you with more dining choices as you work on your goal to achieve a clean, fuss-free diet.

Hydrate

Sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages contain only empty calories, with no beneficial nutrients. Drinking too many sweetened beverages can also lead to weight gain or obesity. The best beverage for your health and beauty is water. In fact, 65 per cent of your body is made of water, so not drinking is literally depriving your body of substance.

Easy exercises

There are simple calorie burners you can do at home that won't take longer than five minutes.

Jump rope

This simple one-step exercise is one of the most effective fat burners. Jump as fast as you can to your favourite upbeat song, and by the end of it, you'd have burned approximately 70 calories.

Dance

If you own a Wii or Xbox 360 Kinect, have fun and dance your troubles away! If you don't have one, no sweat - put on a catchy dance number and sweat it out. Dancing for five minutes burns 45 calories and all you need is a little groove.

Run

For some, running on the treadmill for 20 minutes is a tall order. If you're pressed for time and stamina, start small - run for just five minutes around your neighbourhood. Sprinting will really melt the fat and calories away, but a slow jog works too. For a five-minute jog, you'll burn 62 calories.

Lunges

Lunges are great for working the lower body, and you don't have to go to the gym to do them. Do walking lunges in the hallway, or up and down the stairs. For added resistance, use weights. Even if you don't use weights, you'll burn approximately 45 calories.

Housekeeping

If you clean up your room for just five minutes, you'd have an orderly living space at the end of it and 30 calories off your daily intake. Tidy up your entire home to burn even more calories!

*All 6-inch Subway a la carte subs are less than 500 calories when paired with fat-free sauces.