Repeated dieting can actually lower metabolism and thus make your body retain more of what you put into it. Increasing exercise while not giving your body more food to compensate can also increase body fat storage. Dieting also increases heart disease risk, when compared to simply gaining a little weight. If you really need to lose weight, the most effective way is to increase exercise and cutting only a little food, while concentrating on fruits, veggies, and high fiber foods.
Study investigators also calculated life expectancy by how many of these five healthy habits people had. Just one healthy habit (and it didn’t matter which one) … just one… extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan. This is one of those situations where I wish I could reprint their graphs for you, because they’re so cool. (But if you’re very curious, the article is available online, and the graphs are on page 7. Check out Graph B, “Estimated life expectancy at age 50 according to the number of low-risk factors.”)
Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat for a day -- and no fair skipping the items you're embarrassed about. "The idea is to write it down ... without judgment," says Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD, a nutritionist, wellness coach, and personal trainer with Cafe Physique in Atlanta. "You can't change what you're not aware of or don't acknowledge."
Variety is key to ensuring you don’t get bored, so change it up as much as you can. If your chosen exercise is walking, then change your route, search Google Maps to find new unchartered parks or mountain walks to keep you entertained. And, change your company so that you’re seeing as many friends as possible. I can’t think of a better way to catch up on the comings and goings of your friends’ lives than sweating it out together in open air.
Green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, bok choy, asparagus and watercress) are a great start to any meal. The wider variety of colours you have on your plate, the more likely you are to ingest a wider range of nutrients. Steaming or frying these in coconut oil will ensure the produce maintains much of its nutrients. Having these in your diet five days a week should be the minimum to keep you ticking along.
While probiotics, the good bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi, have commanded attention over the last several years, prebiotics are likely to start getting some of the spotlight in 2019. Prebiotics, the source of fuel for the good bacteria that helps balance our guts, are in the non-digestible part of foods like bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, onion, garlic, pistachios, wheat bran and dandelion greens.
In a small Finnish study of 72 middle-aged people, eating just under a cup of mixed berries—including strawberries, red raspberries, bilberries (similar to blueberries), lingonberries and other native kinds—each day for eight weeks was associated with higher levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure. The diverse mix provided a wide range of polyphenols, plant compounds that may increase levels of nitric oxide, which in turn helps relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Observational studies have shown that people who engage in mentally stimulating activities may be less likely to develop dementia. But Knopman notes that such studies don't prove cause and effect, so it's not clear if mentally stimulating activities protect against dementia or whether people with healthier brains are drawn to those activities in the first place.
The more muscle you have, the higher and hotter your metabolism runs. In fact, strength training can help boost your metabolism by as much as 15 percent! A faster metabolism means you'll burn more calories all day long (even sitting in front of your computer) and get lean and toned faster. (The other benefits of lifting weights will also convince you to get to the weight room.)
As marijuana use becomes legal in more states, one of its byproducts is taking off in restaurant and cafe kitchens nationwide. Cannabidiol (CBD) comes from cannabis, but it doesn’t contain any psychoactive properties so it doesn't make you high like pot. Proponents claim that it simply mellows you out, may be helpful in reducing anxiety and even contains some anti-inflammatory properties but the full medicinal benefits of CBD have not been consistently proven in scientific studies.
Exercise – Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week – it can even be split up into 10 minute walks. The effects of brief physical exertion last much longer than those of caffeine, and exercise decreases stress rather than increasing it! Finding a physical activity that you really like to do will make exercise more fun and something to look forward to as well as help to keep you healthy throughout life. So try something new or something that has always appealed to you.
Eating a varied, well-balanced diet means eating a variety of foods from each food groups daily, in the recommended amounts. It is also important to choose a variety of foods from within each food group because different foods provide different types and amounts of key nutrients. Choosing a variety of foods will help to make your meals interesting, so that you don’t get bored with your diet.
Take a hot Epsom salt bath for 15 to 20 minutes to help your body recover. Magnesium sulfate, its scientific name, has been shown to help muscles relax and reduce inflammation. Epsom salts are a strong vasodilator, which means they will increase blood flow to the muscles as well as the surface of the skin. Plus, the magnesium absorbed through your skin helps build strong bones, manufactures proteins, and releases energy from muscles, in addition to numerous other benefits. Take one or two baths per week and you'll notice a big difference in how you feel.
Despite what most people say, muscle does not weigh more than fat! One pound of muscle and one pound of fat both weigh—no surprise—one pound. The biggest difference is that a pound of muscle takes up much less space than a pound of fat. The lesson? Focus on the way your body feels and how your clothes fit rather than the number on the scale. (Here's everything you need to know about building muscle and burning fat.)
Triglycerides are found in body fat and from the fats you eat. Triglycerides levels in the blood reflect what you have eaten recently. HDL and LDL cholesterol levels show what you have been eating over a long period of time. If you eat a fatty meal your triglyceride levels will be elevated for a short period of time. If you continue to eat a diet high in fat your triglyceride levels will continue to rise. The liver transfers the triglycerides into body fat, or cholesterol, which raises LDL and lowers HDL levels in the blood.
The phrase 'healthy lifestyle' is an abbreviated definition of how you should live if you want to get the healthiest body you can—one that both looks good and feels good. You know the obvious behaviors that describe someone who is healthy and takes care of themselves. A healthy person doesn't smoke, tries to maintain a healthy weight, eats healthy foods with plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber and, of course, exercises on a regular basis.
I agree with David (9th July comment) with regard to diet. Whole grains can indeed have the effect of spiking blood sugar (whole grain bread as just one example) and creating gut inflammation, and therefore low-grade, sub-acute inflammation in general. This is the biggest contributor to chronic disease that we are facing, long-term inflammation. The standard food pyramid is, in my opinion, all wrong. I believe we should eat a more Mediterranean diet, and minimise the grain-based carbohydrates, and the sugars. Then we are considerably further down the track towards a healthy diet that promotes longevity. Of course, all of the other factors mentioned are important as well, but what we put into our mouths is probably the most important, given the skyrocketing rates of obesity first world countries are facing, and now even asian countries as well, who are well and truly catching up.
Protein is all the rage, and here’s why: It helps keep you fuller for longer, helping to fight the urge to snack all day long and also providing fuel for your workouts. You’ll find YQ by Yoplait plain yogurt made with ultra-filtered milk, offering 17 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce single-serve container; collagen-based coffee creamer from Vital Proteins; and ready-to-drink soups with collagen protein from Zupa Noma.
Remember how important cycles can be. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to sleep late in the morning. The less time you have to prepare your breakfast and lunch may lead to you grabbing cheap and unhealthy options. This can cause you to feel low on energy and tired, which can contribute to another poor decision when it comes to your nutrition later in the day.
Great article and insight. Education is key when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. I am curious as to why stress management was not looked at? Numerous research studies have shown stress to be a factor in heart disease, reducing life expectancy. Also, hydration is important and often overlooked. So many factors are involved when it comes to our health.
Unsaturated fats are an important part of a healthy diet. The two main types of unsaturated fats are monounsaturated fats (found in olive and canola oil, avocados, cashews and almonds) and polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fats (found in oily fish) and omega-6 fats (found in safflower and soybean oil and Brazil nuts). These fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats in the diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines include a small allowance for healthy fats each day (around 1–2 tablespoons for adults and less for children). The best way to include healthy fats in your diet is to replace saturated fat that you may currently be eating (such as butter and cream) with a healthier, unsaturated fat option (such as polyunsaturated margarine or olive oil).