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We all want to know how to be healthy, but it seems like such a lofty goal. Making changes to your healthy lifestyle can be challenging and intimidating at the same time. I mean, what do you start with? Do you have to change your whole life in one fell swoop? The answer you can be happy with is no. When it comes to adopting new healthy habits and nurturing them, there are many little things you can do that will make a big difference in the long run (and won’t drive you crazy in the process). Instead of trying to improve your health with a massive makeover, try these nine practically painless little moves for lasting results.
People often store carbs, then switch to protein, then add a modest spoonful of veggies everywhere. Instead, go in reverse order, Abby Langer, R. D., owner of Abby Langer Nutrition in Toronto, tells SELF: Fill half your plate with vegetables, then divide the remaining quarters between protein and a starch, ideally something made up of complex carbohydrates instead of refined ones, like brown rice.
Serving yourself this way helps make sure you’re getting the recommended daily amount of vegetables (at least 2.5 cups, the USDA says), and also increases fiber intake and hydration levels due to the water content of the vegetables.
“Everyone will eat more if the food fixes them,” says Langer. Always feel free to grab more if you’re truly hungry, but this way, you’ll know it’s because of a physical need for more food instead of pure convenience or temptation.
Drinking all the water you need each day is essential for all body systems to function properly, but it also prevents you from overeating from hunger, making it easier to be more attentive to your meals, says Langer.
The list of “reasons why you need to slow down while eating” is about as long as your arm, explains Langer. Wolfing down food can lead to bloating because of the extra air you’re swallowing, that way-too-full feeling because you don’t give your body a chance to process satiety before you clean your plate, and completely missing out on how delicious the food actually is.
You can choose the number of chews to follow per bite, for example 20, or you can choose a less structured approach, such as making sure you swallow naturally without swallowing hard to swallow freshly chewed bites.
“When people label food as ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ it carries over into a judgment of themselves—if you eat ‘good’ food, you’re a good person, if you eat ‘bad’ food, you’ve been badly behaved,” Langer says. That couldn’t be further from the truth, so stop putting yourself in emotional timeout just because of what you eat.
“In fact, no food is really bad and no food is really good – some are healthier than others,” says Langer. Reframing your thinking like this will likely help you learn the art of indulging in moderation instead of bingeing on “bad” foods, plus it’s just a better way to treat yourself.
Sitting all day isn’t good for your butt or your heart. Physical activity is extremely important for your longevity, and it all adds up, women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M. D. says SELF. Sometimes it can feel impossible to fit in a ton of exercise when you’re not used to it, but peppering movement throughout your day is much more doable.
For example, if you follow this principle by sitting for eight hours a day, you will end up walking for 40 minutes, giving you a commendable rest in the minimum recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
Yes, dancing with Beyoncé at home counts as an exercise. Will they burn as many calories as an intensive training camp? Good. But it’s about picking exercise you’ll actually enjoy enough to continue doing, not the type that makes your soul want to die but has the maximum immediate caloric payoff, Michelle Segar, Ph. D., direttore dello Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center presso l’Università del Michigan e autore di No sweat! How can simply learning motivation keep you fit for life?says SELF.
Here’s Segar’s recommendation: “Come at it from a curiosity angle and say, ‘What types of positive things would I feel motivated to do?’” This kind of approach helps you get honest with yourself about where your motivation comes from (you can also take Segar’s quiz about workout motivation). Getting to the bottom of this is crucial as you are trying to solidify any type of habit, especially physical, such as exercise and healthy eating. It’s much harder to stick with hellish activities than pleasant ones.
This also makes it easier to see “failures” on your journey to health as the learning experiences they really are: Bowing out of kickboxing class for two weeks in a row doesn’t mean you don’t truly want to get fit or you’re lazy, just that it may not offer the right kind of motivation you need. “Approach everything as a learning opportunity to see what feels good and what works and what doesn’t,” Segar says.
Completely abandoning your to-do list, whether it’s business or personal, to go to sleep three hours earlier just isn’t feasible. But if you do it bit by bit, you’ll acclimate yourself to your new, well-rested reality in a manageable way, Christine Carter, Ph. D., senior fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and author of The perfect place: how to find the rhythm at home and at worksays SELF. Aim to go to bed five minutes early every night (or every few nights if that’s really hard for you) until you reach the seven or nine hours recommended by the National Sleep Foundation for adults.
“I’m a big fan of small, easy tweaks,” Carter says. Likewise, Segar: “Small is smart. Small is strategic. You can’t take people who don’t know how to play piano and have them play Mozart. When something’s complex, it takes time to learn.” Because that’s what a habit really is: Learning how to live your life in a different way.
This can apply to anything and everything related to health. Let’s say you’ve been having a huge sandwich for lunch every day but want to cut back on refined carbs. Don’t swear you’ll never let another piece of white bread pass your lips—tuck into a salad first, then let yourself have the sandwich until you’re satisfied. Or opt for wholemeal bread a few days a week until you get used to it, and then eliminate the refined type.
Carter explains that unless you’re saying you’ll never be able to eat your favorite sandwich again, start with a small change to improve its health content – or whatever small step you choose towards a goal you may have – plus easy it is for your brain to get on board, learn to like it, and set yourself up for success.
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Everyone wants to be healthy. While there is certainly no lack of information available on how to achieve a healthy mind and body, the abundance of conflicting opinions and advice puzzles many people. In this article, we break down the confusion to provide four tips that provide a direct and feasible answer to the question “how to be healthy?”
Physical activity is crucial for overall health. Exercise doesn’t have to mean doing an intense gym workout several times a week. Regular walks are one of the most beneficial things you can do while exercising.
It may sound simple, but regular walking is a light way to exercise to burn more calories. This makes it an affordable method of weight management for most people. The number of calories that you burn as a result of walking will depend on your speed, distance covered, and the type of terrain you’re walking on. You will burn more calories if you walk briskly on hilly terrain than, for example, at a slow pace on smooth terrain.
Walking also has many health benefits. For example, walking helps lubricate the muscles around the joints of the hips and knees, and it’s also the body’s means of restoring elasticity and hydration in our tissues. As a result, walking facilitates joint movement and strengthens the bones. Allo stesso tempo, rafforza i quadricipiti, i glutei e i muscoli posteriori della coscia, soprattutto quando il ritmo e il terreno sono difficili.
Exercise also provides very real emotional and psychological benefits. Again, walking is an excellent form of exercise for doing this. Outdoor walks are a great opportunity to get out, away from your computer screen and into the fresh air. It also exposes the body to vitamin D from the sun, which has many health benefits for the body. Many studies have shown that walking also improves mood, reduces stress and helps fight depression.
In terms of how to be healthy, more has been written about what to eat than any other topic. This has led to information overload. However, the key to a healthy diet is relatively simple: eat more whole foods.
What is whole food? It is a food that has only one ingredient and is the name of a piece of food that you are holding! Whole foods aren’t processed with preservatives to keep them on the shelf longer, and no flavorings are added to make them more palatable to the taste buds.
Eat wisely, building your diet around fruits and vegetables. When it comes to vegetables, most of us are limited to a narrow range. By spending more time in the produce section of a supermarket and experimenting with foods like beets, parsnips, zucchini, and squash, you’ll get a wide variety of phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals in your body.
If you want more ideas, check out our other nutrition tips.
Reducing the time spent in front of a computer or TV screen is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Spending several hours in front of a screen has a number of negative health effects. First, computer or television time is sedentary time. This can be a risk factor for obesity as there is minimal calorie consumption.
In addition, computer screens emit artificial light which prevents us from falling asleep. The importance of sleep in preventing weight gain cannot be overstated. When you spend an hour or more in front of the computer before going to bed, it’s harder to get into the relaxed state of mind needed to fall asleep.
Spending hours a day hunched over a computer screen can also lead to muscle problems such as pain in the back, neck and arms. It can also lead to poor posture. Longer computer use was also associated with a higher likelihood of depression and anxiety.
Getting away from the computer doesn’t have to mean going outside and exercising, though that is certainly an excellent option. Doing cognitively engaging offline activities, such as completing a puzzle or crossword puzzle, are great ways to increase brain power and relax your mind.
Breathing is such a continuous and automatic process that most people don’t pay attention to it. However, beating your breath and using the mindful breathing technique is a very effective way to relax and find peace.
Breathing carefully can help you optimize your body’s functions. It allows you to use the full capacity of your lungs. Most of us only fill the upper third of our lungs with each breath.
Other benefits of mindful breathing include:
- Reduction of anxiety
- Helps overcome insomnia
- Increase energy production
- Lowering of blood pressure
- Increase memory
A simple exercise for mindful breathing is to breathe through the nose for 3 minutes. To do this, close your mouth and then inhale as slowly as possible through your nose.
Here are some more careful breathing techniques to help you live a healthy life:
Fair breathing is a great technique to help you slow down, take stock, and achieve peace of mind. Take a deep breath through your nose, slowly counting to four. Now exhale through your nose again, counting the same four.
Sequential counting jest odmianą równego oddychania, która jest często używana do wejścia w stan medytacyjny lub uważny. Breathe through your nose for a second. Now exhale, counting to two. Take another inhale up to three and then release up to four. On the next breath, count to five to inhale and count to six to expel it. Then repeat the cycle, starting with one second inhalation.
You can find many other resources to help you breathe mindfully at www. tough athlete. com.
There are many strategies and techniques you can use if you want to know how to stay healthy. We’ve given you four great tips to start off with, so don’t waste any more time and improve your health today.
Many factors play a role in staying healthy. Conversely, good health can reduce the risk of developing certain health conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and injuries. Learn what you can do to maintain your and your family’s health.
The way to improve health
What you eat is closely related to your health. A balanced diet has many benefits. By making healthier food choices, you can prevent or treat certain medical conditions. These include heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Healthy diet może również pomóc schudnąć i obniżyć poziom cholesterolu.
Exercise can help prevent heart disease, hit, diabetes, and colon cancer. It can help treat depression, osteoporosis and hypertension. People who exercise are also less likely to get injured. Routine exercise can make you feel better and keep your weight in check. Try to be active for 30-60 minutes about 5 times a week. Remember that any amount of exercise is better than none.
Lose weight if you are overweight.
Many Americans are overweight. Carrying too much weight increases the risk of several health conditions. They include:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- some tumors
- gallbladder disease
Being overweight can also lead to weight-related injuries. Arthritis in stressed joints such as the spine, hips or knees is a common problem. There are some things you can try to lose weight and keep it off.
Protect your skin.
Sun exposure has been linked to skin cancer. It is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It’s best to limit your time spent in the sun. Be sure to wear protective clothing and caps when outdoors. Use sunscreen all year round on exposed skin, such as your face and hands. It protects the skin and helps prevent skin cancer. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays. It should have at least an SPF 15. Do not sunbathe or use a tanning booth.
Practice safe sex.
Safe sex is good for your emotional and physical health. The safest form of sex is between 2 people having sex only with each other. Use protection to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms are the most effective form of prevention. Talk to your doctor if you need to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
Do not smoke and do not use tobacco.
Smoking and tobacco use are harmful habits. They can cause heart disease and mouth, throat, or lung cancer. They are also important contributors to emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The sooner you stop, the better.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Men should not drink more than 2 drinks per day. Women should not drink more than 1 drink per day. One drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of alcohol. Too much alcohol can damage the liver. It can cause some tumors, such as throat, liver, or pancreas cancer. Alcohol abuse also contributes to traffic accidents, homicides and suicides.
Things to consider
In addition to the factors mentioned above, you should find time to get back to health as a whole. Visit your doctors regularly. This includes the primary care physician as well as the dentist and ophthalmologist. Let your health benefits and prevention work for you. Make sure you know what your health insurance plan is about. Preventive care can detect disease or prevent disease before it begins. This includes some doctor visits and screening tests.
You have to make time for breast health. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women. Men can also get breast cancer. Talk to your doctor about when you should start your mammogram. You may need to start screening early if you have risk factors, such as a family history. One way to find breast cancer is to have a monthly self-exam.
Women should also have routine Pap smears. Women between the ages of 21 and 65 should be screened every 3 years. This can vary if you have certain medical conditions or if the cervix has been removed.
Ask your doctor about other cancer screening tests. Adults should be screened for colorectal cancer from the age of 50. Your doctor may want to check for other types of cancer. This will depend on your risk factors and family history.
Keep a list of the medications you are currently taking. You should also be up to date with the injections, including the annual flu shot. Adults need a booster dose of Td every 10 years. The doctor can replace it with Tdap. It also protects against whooping cough (whooping cough). Pregnant women need the Tdap vaccine. People who are in close contact with children should also receive it.
A healthy lifestyle can help you grow throughout your life. However, making healthy choices isn’t always easy. Finding the time and energy to exercise regularly or prepare healthy meals can be difficult. However, your efforts will pay off in many ways and for the rest of your life.
Steps you can take:
- Stay physically active for 30 minutes most days of the week. Break it down into three 10-minute sessions after pressing time. Healthy exercise can include walking, sports, dancing, yoga, jogging, or other activities you enjoy.
- Eat a balanced, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Choose a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in sugar, salt, and total fat.
- Avoid injury by wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets, using smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at home, and taking smart walks on the street. If you have a gun, you recognize the dangers of having a gun in your home. Always take precautions.
- Don’t smoke or quit smoking if you do. Ask your doctor for help. UCSF Tobacco Education Center offers courses in smoking cessation and relapse prevention, as well as medical advice for smokers seeking to quit smoking.
- Drink in moderation if you drink alcohol. Never drink before or while driving or during pregnancy.
- Get help from someone you trust if you think you are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- Help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV / AIDS by using condoms whenever you have sexual contact. Condoms are not 100% reliable, so talk to your STI screening provider. Birth control methods other than condoms, such as pills and implants, do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV.
- Brush your teeth after meals with a soft to medium-bristled toothbrush. Also brush after drinking and before going to bed. Floss every day.
- Stay out of the sun, especially between 10 a. m. and 3 p. m. when the sun’s harmful rays are strongest. You are not protected when it is cloudy or when you are in the water – harmful rays pass through both. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of the sun’s rays.
Maintain a healthy perspective
Today’s women lead busy and demanding lives. You may feel drawn in different directions and feel stressed about work, family, and other issues, leaving little time for yourself. Learning to balance your life with some time for yourself will pay off with great benefits – looking healthy and better health.
Steps you can take:
- Stay connected with family and friends.
- Join your community.
- Keep a positive attitude and do things that make you happy.
- Keep your curiosity alive. Lifelong learning is good for health.
- Healthy intimacy takes all forms, but is always free from compulsions.
- Learn to recognize and deal with the stress in your life. Signs of stress include sleep problems, frequent headaches and stomach problems; a lot of anger; and turning to food, drugs and alcohol for stress relief.
- Good ways to cope with stress include regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and relaxation exercises like deep breathing or meditation. Talking to trusted family and friends can help a lot. Some women find interacting with their religious community to be helpful in times of stress.
- Get enough sleep and rest. Adults need about eight hours of sleep per night.
- Talk to your doctor if you feel depressed for more than a few days; depression is a treatable disease. Signs of depression include feeling empty and sad, crying a lot, losing interest in life, and thoughts of death or suicide. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately. Call 911, your local crisis center or (800) SUICIDE.
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a health care or other health care practitioner. Feel free to discuss any questions or concerns with your supplier.
Test yourself: how are your habits measured?
Do you plan to lead a healthy lifestyle? Aside from the occasional detour from the route, most of us feel we are doing a good job of staying healthy with good (or at least OK) eating habits and physical activity every time we get back into shape. But is this enough to take them into account? healthy?”
According to recent studies, very few adults actually meet the criteria for a healthy lifestyle. Study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, found that only 3 percent of American adults scored excellent on the four basic criteria for healthy living, according to the authors. Only 13.8% met the three criteria; 34.2% met only two criteria. Women scored slightly better than men.
See how well you judge the keys to the health of the four researchers:
- Do you smoke?
- Are you able to maintain a healthy weight (BMI 18-25) or will you lose weight effectively to achieve a healthy weight?
- Do you eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day?
- Do you train at least 30 minutes 5 times a week?
The good news is that these behaviors shouldn’t be foreign to you as all but one are an integral part of the Weight Loss Clinic. Numbers 2 to 4 are the basis of the WLC program, habits that we constantly discuss, write and recommend.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. If you are one of the lucky ones who have never become addicted to nicotine, give yourself a pat on the back. Smokers, I hope you are working diligently to give up the habit. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of a smoke-free life for your health and the well-being of those around you.
4 steps and more
While these four habits are unquestionably important to a healthy lifestyle, some may argue that there are more factors to consider. What would be on your list?
For fun, I’ve created my list of 10 healthy behaviors (in addition to the basic four) that contribute to well-being and satisfaction with your lifestyle:
- Brush and floss every dayto keep teeth and gums healthy and disease-free.
- Get a good night’s rest. Rested people not only cope with stress better, they can also better control their appetite. Research has shown that lack of sleep can upset the balance of our “hunger hormones” and possibly cause overeating.
- Enjoy regular family meals. This allows parents to be good role models, promote more nutritious foods, and set the stage for lively conversations. Connecting with family and / or friends is an important aspect of a healthy life.
- Smile and laugh out loud several times a day. It keeps you grounded and helps you deal with situations that would otherwise drive you crazy. Read comics, watch sitcoms, or tell jokes to bring out those happy feelings.
- Meditate, pray, or otherwise find comfort for at least 10-20 minutes every day. Contemplation is good for your soul, helps you cope with the demands of daily life, and can even help lower your blood pressure.
- Grab a pedometer and let it motivate you to walk, walk, walk. Forget how many minutes of activity you need; do everything you can to incorporate more steps into your day. No matter how you do it, being physically active can help relieve stress, burn calories, and boost your self-esteem.
- Standing straight. You will look 5 pounds lighter if you stand up and tense your abs. Whenever you walk, think “tall and tight” to get the most out of your exercise.
- Try yoga. Le pose aiutano ad aumentare la forza e la flessibilità e a migliorare l’equilibrio. These are critical areas, especially for the elderly, which both men and women can benefit from.
- Strengthens the protein. This nutrient is an essential part of your meal plan and can make up 10% to 35% of your total calories. Protein stays in the belly for a long time; pair it with high-fiber foods and you’ll feel full with fewer calories. Enjoy small portions of nuts, low-fat dairy, beans, lean meat, poultry, or fish.
- Finally, be positive. She tries to see life as “the glass is half full”. To be successful, you need to believe in yourself, have good support systems and think positively (“I think I can do it, I think I can …”).
It’s all about you
Your list of healthy lifestyle behaviors may differ from mine. The most important thing to remember is that you can change your health and well-being. Take control of your life and watch out for small behavioral changes that could make your lifestyle healthier.
SOURCES:Archives of Internal Medicine,April 25, 2005
How to be healthy in 10 easy steps
1. Avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners
The Canadian Medical Association journal warns, “Artificial sweeteners may be associated with long term weight gain, increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.“ Processed foods and artificial sweeteners can be hard to avoid when living a fast paced lifestyle, but reading labels and prepping your meals at home is the best way to prevent unknowingly consuming artificial sweeteners, sugar, and excess salt.
2. Drink water
Drinking lots of water is one of the simplest ways to lead a healthy lifestyle. Without adequate hydration, your kidneys will have a hard time filtering toxins out of your body. Plus, abundant hydration gives you more energy, cleaner skin, and improves cognitive performance. Try to consume half your body weight in ounces of water per day and always keep a bottle on hand.
3. Get more sleep
The average adult needs 7-10 hours of sleep each night to maintain peak performance. Sleep is as important to your body as food and water, so make sure it’s a priority! Heavy sleep improves brain performance, reaction times, and even metabolic rate. Sleep also gives the body the ability to repair any damage done to the body during the day. Think of a dream as your personal mechanic. Avoid electronics two hours before bed and keep the temperature in the coolest bedroom to ensure a productive sleep.
Even five minutes of meditation a day reduces stress, increases patience and awareness. Coherent meditation practice has also been shown to change your brain. Long-term meditators have more gray matter in their brains, resulting in improved memory, decision making, and even sensory enhancement.
5. Do your morning routine
The way to a healthy life is to build good habits and the morning routine does just that. When you follow a consistent pattern, such as waking meditation, breakfast, and morning reflection, it prevents decision-making fatigue and makes starting the day easier. A quiet morning will reduce stress, increase positivity, and improve your performance for the rest of the day.
Exercise, along with diet, is the best weapon against threats such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. However, don’t be intimidated. Even a brisk 30 minute walk three times a week will improve cardiovascular and respiratory health and keep you fit. Exercise also releases endorphins, which significantly improve your mood.
7. Choose your friends wisely
A positive atmosphere will lead to positive you. Be selective about the people you spend time with as they have a profound ability to influence your mood and decisions. Friends who make good choices will inspire you to do the same, and those friends who always complain can eventually make you do the same. Your friends reflect who you are.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for organ health, and if you are concerned that you are not getting enough by eating regularly, you can simply take a supplement. Omega-3s are good for heart health and lower triglycerides. In addition to the health of the cardiovascular system, omega-3 fatty acids improve memory and mood. Don’t want to take a supplement? Grill some salmon and eat a Mediterranean-style diet.
9. Go outside
We’re not just talking about the benefits of Vitamin D from the sun. Spending time in nature increases energy and reduces stress. The study also found that time spent in nature can reduce inflammation and relieve high blood pressure. The Japanese practice known as shinrin-yoku or “forest bath” harnesses these benefits and is an important ingredient in Japanese medicine. Take a walk in the woods from time to time. You’ll enjoy it!
10. Eat your vegetables
Finally, the most basic practice of all. Vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy diet and help combat or prevent numerous chronic illnesses s uch as cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. Jedzenie warzyw bogatych w potas pomaga obniżyć ciśnienie krwi i zapobiega kamieniom nerkowym. Aim for half a plate’s worth at dinner, and buy frozen for convenience and ease of preparation.
While these tips for staying healthy are simple, don’t be afraid to take small steps every day to develop good habits and consistency. Attaining one goal a day is better than not achieving one at all, so don’t give up when you have a bad day! Remember that you can get anything if you take it one day at a time.
Eating healthy can be easy, cheap, and tasty. It’s all about making smart choices to build an overall healthy dietary pattern.
After all, a healthy diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease, hit and lots of other things you’d rather avoid. The good news is, eating right doesn’t have to be hard or require you to give up all of the foods you love.
Here are some tips to help you and your family adopt a healthier eating style:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Wholemeal products
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish (preferably fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids)
- Skinless poultry and lean animal proteins
- Vegetable proteins
- Sweetened drinks
- Foods containing sodium and salty
- Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet
- Fatty or Processed Red Meat: If you choose to eat meat, choose leaner pieces
- Refined carbohydrates such as added sugars and processed grain-based foods
- Whole dairy products
- Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil
- Trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils – These can be found in some commercial baked and fried products
We will help you make healthier choices:
- At home
- At work
- At the grocery store
- Choose carefully even with healthier foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary widely.
- Read the labels.Compare the nutrition information on package labels and choose foods with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fats and trans fats, and no partially hydrogenated oils.
- Watch your calories. To maintain a healthy weight, eat only as many calories as you consume during exercise. If you want to lose weight, eat fewer calories or burn more calories.
- Eat reasonable portions.This is often less than what you are served, especially when eating out.
- Cook and eat at home.You will have more control over the ingredients and preparation methods.
- Look for the Heart-Check signto easily identify foods that can be part of an overall healthy diet.
- Healthy substitutes for regular food – Healthy home cooking and smart shopping give you control of what goes into your recipes and your body. Follow these healthy tips to update your eating style and improve your nutritional profile.
- Daily tips to help your family eat better– Try these daily tips to help your family take a step by step approach to healthy eating.
- Food Diary – How to keep track of what you eat– Find out how to track what you eat to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- Be smart with superfood infographics“Superfoods alone won’t make you healthier, but adding these nutritious foods to an already balanced diet can have health benefits.
- Health foods under $ 1 per serving – Eating healthy on a tight budget can seem difficult; but it can be done! Being creative can help you stick to your budget and include nutritious foods in your diet. Try these tips to incorporate some of these inexpensive items into your weekly menu.
- Healthy snacks after the game– Too often kids are rewarded with junk food, sugary drinks and desserts, but there are many healthy choices that taste great!
- Healthy snacks for the summer holidays – Devin Alexander– Devin Alexander, NBC’s underdog chef and author, shares his personal point of view as a chef in this blog post with great healthy snack ideas to take with the whole family on summer vacation or anywhere!
- How to make breakfast a healthy habit? Part of being Healthy for Good ™ is creating simple daily habits that you can stick to. An important habit that can help you start the day is a healthy breakfast. Think outside the box (cereal) with these quick and easy ideas.
- Is 3 meals a day the only way? – The number of meals you eat may not be that important. How you eat those meals is what matters most when it comes to decreasing the risk of heart disease and other health problems that come along with being overweight.
- Fact and perception of organic foodMany shoppers assume organic foods are more nutritious and safer to eat, but these insights are based more on hype than scientific science.
- 5 Tips to Deal with Picky Eaters (Both Kids & Adults) – Fussy eaters may miss out on a lot of good food! Not only can it be challenging cooking for folks who refuse to eat some foods, but they can also miss out on important nutrients found in foods often on the I-Don’t-Eat list.
- 7 excuses to overdo it and how to take control – Don’t let excuses get in the way of eating healthy! Check out our tips for getting out of the scarf loop.
- Types of whole grains– While you may be familiar with brown rice and 100% whole grain bread, there are many other tasty whole grain options.
Written by the editors of the American Heart Association and reviewed by scientific and medical consultants. View our policies and editorial.
It is easier to make better choices
We know that making healthy choices can help us feel better and live longer. Maybe you’ve already tried to eat better, get more exercise or sleep, quit smoking, or reduce stress. It’s not easy. But research shows how you can increase your ability to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s frustrating to experience setbacks when you’re trying to make healthy changes and reach a goal,” says NIH behavior change expert Dr. Susan Czajkowski. “The good news is that decades of research show that change is possible and that there are proven strategies you can use to achieve success.”
Many of the things you do affect your health and quality of life now and in the future. You can reduce your risk for the most common, costly, and preventable health problems—such as heart disease, hit, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity—by making healthy choices.
Know your habits
The regular activities you do, from brushing your teeth to having a few drinks every night, can become a habit. Repetitive behaviors that make you feel good can affect your brain in ways that create habits that can be hard to change. Habits often become automatic: they appear without too much thought.
“The first step in changing behavior is becoming aware of what you do regularly,” says Dr. Lisa Marsch, a behavior change expert at Dartmouth College. “She looks for patterns in your behavior and what triggers unhealthy habits you want to change.”
Maybe you eat too much while watching TV or join a friend on smoke breaks even when you don’t want a cigarette. “You can devise ways to break these patterns and create new ones,” says Marsch. For example, eat meals with the TV off or join friends for healthy activities like going for a walk.
Make a plan
Make a plan that includes small, reasonable goals and specific actions you take to achieve them.
“If you walk past a vending machine at work and buy junk food every day, try a different path to eliminate this decision and bring healthy snacks back from home,” says Tchaikovsky. “Whenever possible, make a healthy choice an easy one.”
Consider what you think you’ll need to be successful. How can you change things around you to support your goals? You may need to stock up on healthy foods, eliminate temptation, or find a special place to relax.
Involve friends and loved ones. Research shows that people’s health behaviors tend to mirror those of their family and friends. Invite them to join you, support you, and help you stay on the right path.
It’s also important to plan for obstacles. Consider what could harm your best efforts to live a healthier life. How can you keep making healthy choices in unexpected situations, stressful times, or when old habits are tempting?
Stay on the trail
Doing positive things for yourself can be exciting and rewarding. But there will also be times when you wonder if you can stick to it.
"Identifica i pensieri negativi e trasformali in pensieri realistici e produttivi", consiglia Marsch.
Keeping records can help. You can use a paper journal, computer program, or mobile app to jot down things like diet, exercise, stress levels, or sleep patterns. A study of people who lost at least 30 pounds and maintained weight for at least a year found that they often followed their progress closely.
“Even when you think you’re about to ‘fall off the wagon,’ hold on,” Czajkowski says. Continue to monitor your behavior. Sometimes when you feel like you’re failing, you can learn the most.”
Marsch and others are working on digital technologies such as mobile applications that can support you in your moments of weakness. His team is also using technology to learn more about how to measure and increase our ability to monitor and control our behavior.
“The more you practice self-control, the better you do it,” said Dr. Leonard Epstein, who studies behavior change and decision making at the University of Buffalo. “You develop the ability to act and react differently.”
Think about the future
Epstein found that some people find it harder than others to resist their impulses. He calls this “delayed discount,” in which the greater benefit of waiting is discounted or underestimated in favor of smaller immediate rewards. This can lead to overeating, substance abuse, excessive drinking or shopping, or risky sexual behavior.
“You can learn to put off instant gratification by thinking episodically about the future or by vividly imagining positive future experiences or rewards,” she explains. “It’s a great way to strengthen your ability to make decisions that are better for you in the long run.”
Epstein is now studying how to use this technique to help people who are at risk for type 2 diabetes prevent the disease.
Focusing on how change can heal your body and improve your life can help. When you stop smoking, your risk of having a heart attack decreases within 24 hours. Reducing stress can lead to better relationships. Even minor improvements in nutrition and exercise can reduce health risks and extend life.
Sometimes, as you try to adopt healthier habits, other health problems can get in your way.
“When you’re really struggling with these behaviors, ask yourself if more is going on,” Czajkowski says. “For example, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety can be linked to unhealthy behavior.”
A healthcare professional can work with you to resolve any underlying issues to make change easier and to help you be more successful.
You’re never too out of shape, too overweight, or too old to make healthy changes. Try different strategies until you find the best one for you.
“Things may not go as planned, and that’s okay,” Czajkowski says. “Change is a process. What’s most important is to keep moving forward.”