Develop good habits to maintain a healthy weight.
Start with the five basic habits that you can do everyday and overtime refine your diet and routines as needed to enhance your health and achieve your personal goals.
1/ Eat breakfast
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology “skipping breakfast is the marker of poor dietary and behavioral health that can lead to at athersclerosis in middle age”. Athersclerosis is a build up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls.
It’s a major health problem that you can avoid by indulging in the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is one time of day that more is better than less. Just make sure your breakfast includes fiber, protein and good fat rather than sugar. Sipping on coffee and/or green tea during or after breakfast is also a good thing to do.
2/ Eat more fiber
If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear fiber is Metamucil or prunes, read on. Fiber comes from plant based foods like fruit and vegetables, grains and beans. Note that it is not found in dairy or meat.
Fiber is an important part of your diet because it aids with digestion [aka: keeps your bowel movements regular] and will keep you feeling full longer because it takes longer for your body to digest. If you feel full, you’ll eat less thereby reducing your risk of obesity and related issues like diabetes.
3/ Drink water
Most people have heard the rule that they should drink 8 – eight ounce glasses of water/day. It’s a good guideline because it’s easy to remember but just remember, everyone is different. You may need more or less depending on how active you are, where you live [hot or dry climate] and other health factors.
The main point is that you want to stay hydrated to keep your body functioning well. If you often feel thirsty or your urine is dark yellow, you’re not drinking enough water. Staying hydrated can also keep you feeling full and give you something else to do if you like to eat. Try sipping on water rather than grazing or drink water to curb your appetite before a meal.
4/ Move more
Ideally, you should be doing at least 150 minutes of cardio exercise, 60 minutes of strength training and 20 minutes of stretching every week to maintain your health. Start slow and build up to meet the minimums.
If you need a nudge to get you moving, try a wearable like a Fitbit or Apple Watch and set some weekly goals. If you’re the type that likes to do things with friends or other people, join a group class, ride or run. If you need expert advice to address a medical issue or improve your performance, start with a Sport Medicine physician and other experts.
5/ Sleep well
Everyone needs 6-8 hours of sleep/night to maintain good health. If you’re not sleep well, ask yourself Why not? Sleep can be affected by mental and physical health conditions that can be treated once you’re aware of the problem. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercise routine and daily schedule can improve the quality of your sleep.
There is nothing fancy about these five basic habits but they are the foundation for good health.
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