Nowadays, living healthy can be so difficult that being able to consistently do it merits praise and accomplishment. Between the dollar burgers and unlimited soda refills, calories and trans fat are spiking up. Without awareness and immediate intervention, consumers can cut their lifespan significantly. Here are 33 proven health and nutrition guidelines to live by.
Cut Back, Don’t Cut Off
Many dieters and fitness enthusiasts try to cut off particular unhealthy food choices from their life only to have it backfire. Completely cutting off potato chips or soda is an honorable goal. Unfortunately, the tendency for most people is that they can’t stay on the wagon for too long before they revert back to indulging on these guilty pleasures. Cut back the amount you eat in a slow but consistent manner.
1 in 10 Rule
Check the food label and see how much carbohydrates it has compared to fiber. For every 10 grams of carbohydrate, it should be providing 1 gram of fiber. This is the value equivalence of carbohydrate to fiber in a pure, unprocessed whole grain. Food that meets this 1:10 ratio has been scientifically tested to have less sugar, salt, and trans fat content.
Use Flavor To Reduce Calories
Studies show that less distinctive odors in food make consumers eat more of it. You can take advantage of this sensory illusion by adding natural herbs and spices to your meals to make them rich but keeping calories to a minimum.
Chill Pasta First
Believe it or not, you can shed some pounds by simply eating pasta that’s been chilled in the fridge. The drop in temperature alters the noodle’s consistency and allows your body to digest it easier than how it would at normal temperatures and preparation.
Fewer Lights, Fewer Pounds
An experiment shows that people who eat around dim lighting actually consume 175 fewer calories than if they were in a brighter environment. This may not look like significant calorie cuts, but over time it actually makes a valid point and is something to try out.
Eat Fruits Instead Of Slurping It
Juicing is the trend nowadays, with juicing machines and even social groups built around the niche. Sadly, drinking fruit juices increase the risk of contracting Type 2 Diabetes by as much as 20 percent. Concurrently, people who consumed their fruits reduced their risk of the same condition by the same amount.
Even if you use olive oil, frying still reduces more nutrients from the food than with any other cooking method. Bake meat or fish and steam vegetables instead of sauteing it. If you want to fry meat, take off the skin first.
Most creamy foods are often unhealthy and pumped with fat and calorie. Cut back on butter, margarine, sour cream, gravy mixes, salad dressings, tartar sauce, and other mayo-based products. While they can lighten up any dull meal, they also bring too much fat on the table.
For example, undercooked eggs can cause salmonella while overcooked steaks and burgers can lead to cancer due to the carcinogens it harbors. Know how many minutes a particular food needs before it gets properly cooked by reading menus online or taking pointers from parents or friends.
Try New Food
Different foods offer different nutrients. Don’t get stuck with one or two meals every day. Experiment with new ingredients and flavors. Thanks to the Internet, you can find thousands of recipes you can try to make at home or order at a restaurant.
Any health-related article offering tips is incomplete without exercise. However, the proper timing and extent of exercise vary from person to person. Schedules and goals are different so one must adopt a personal exercise regimen that fits his/her daily circumstances. Jogging at least 15 minutes every day is the general rule of thumb. It helps shed calories, activates a better metabolic pattern, and improve cardiovascular strength.
Opt for Healthy Sugar
Sugar is one of the trickiest nutrition topics to tiptoe around. Sugar sourced from agave nectar or other types of nectar are natural and sweeter than honey but without the harmful long-term effects of artificial sweeteners.
Drink Lots of Water
This is another old but proven technique in living a healthier lifestyle. Drinking 8 glasses of water per day actually hydrate the skin and raise the metabolic rate of the individual by up to 30 percent.
Go Nuts for Nuts
Despite containing high amounts of fat, nuts are a healthy treat. They are filled with different nutrients including vitamin E, fiber, and magnesium. Studies also show that a serving of nuts per day can help combat Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular complications later on in life.
Say No to Processed Food
All processed foods contain large amounts of trans fat while offering no nutrition to its consumers. Corned beef, canned tuna, packed hot dogs and sausages, and chicken nuggets are only some of the prevalent processed food you’ll find in restaurants and grocery stores.
It’s as simple as that. Fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon are prized for their ability to reduce the risk of all types of diseases, from depression to stroke.
Sleep Like a Baby
You might be pumped up and want to live your younger years to the fullest by not sleeping and doing tons of activities. But this kind of mindset may actually shorten your life and affect your performance. Sleep at least 6 hours per night. If you can, sneak in some nap time minutes during the afternoons.
Love Your Gut
Probiotic food like yogurt and sauerkraut is a good way to replenish your gut bacteria, which is collectively termed as the gut microbiota. These group of bacteria helps protect your body from severe chronic conditions, such as obesity.
Get Some Sun
Vitamin D can help you live longer and reduce the risk of cancer. Sunlight is actually good for your physical and emotional health so close your laptop and head outside for at least 15 minutes.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Another no-brainer for health-conscious individuals. If you choose to drink alcohol, make sure to drink in moderation. Smoking, on the other hand, should be completely avoided.
Add Some Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Deemed to be the healthiest fat on earth, extra virgin olive oil is loaded with monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that combat inflammation, plus it goes well with almost any main course meal.
Nurture Your Relationships
Keeping social relationships are important for both mental and physical health. According to experts, people who are close with their circle of friends and family members tend to have a longer lifespan.
Yoga and Meditation
Spiritual health is equally important and affects the other aspects of well-being. Achieve a calm and stress-free lifestyle by participating in yoga and meditation classes.
Eat at Home More Often
Eating at your favorite diner or restaurant limits your ability to make healthy choices. You never know what they put in those foods despite the detailed description on their menus. Try to prepare and eat food at home. Not only does this let you stick to your health goals but is also a cheaper way to get sustenance.
Travel When Possible
Traveling is a good way to exercise while having fun at the same time. You don’t have to take expensive trips to the Bahamas or Malibu. You can go out-of-town with family or friends and spend the weekend camping and hiking.
Have Some Tea
Tea is rich with antioxidants that rid the body of pollutants and free radicals. Brew a hot cup of tea at least every other day. Avoid using artificial sweeteners and instead opt for honey.
Get Regular Checkups
Get a general checkup from your physician at least twice per year to allow early identification and treatment of possible health conditions. If you feel like there’s something wrong, don’t ignore it.
Involve People Around You
Healthy lifestyle changes are only effective if you can stick with them. And you can do so by building a support group around it. Involve your family members or friends to make the changes easier to cope with.
Getting stressed is bad for the body. It can lead to more serious health conditions, such as diabetes and cancer. Stress also forces a person to break his/her dietary rules and indulge in comfort foods that are not always healthy. Have you seen someone eating broccoli after a breakup? Didn’t think so.
Nourish the Mind
Being mentally fit increases confidence, which in turn opens up new opportunities and experiences to the person that could further improve his/her mental and physical well-being. Read books during your spare time and engage in challenging after-school projects.
Maintain an upright posture when walking or sitting. Proper posture affects health in that it distributes pressure equally and avoids overworking the spine and other internal organs.
Don’t Just Believe Everything You See
Avoid relying on advertisements and infomercials to decide on food brand choices and dietary methods. If you think something looks promising, study it carefully and build a database around it.
Don’t Expect Overnight Results
No diet can give you overnight results unless you consider liposuction a diet. Expect the changes to appear after months of consistently doing it. Also, there is no one magic bullet when it comes to dieting. Each kind has their own pros and cons. Align the diet’s appeal with your specific goals.