No matter what stage of your life, a balanced diet and a healthy weight are important for achieving well-being. While it may sound simple, we understand how difficult it can be to consistently and safely maintain a healthy lifestyle alone. Here is some general information on how to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you need further assistance or have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your supplier or schedule a nutritional consultation with our office.
The foundation of a healthy lifestyle must begin with nutrition. People generally talk about an 80/20 rule, which means that health and weight loss are achieved by focusing 80% of your efforts on nutrition and 20% on exercise. A healthy diet should focus on nutrition for whole foods and consist mainly of meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When planning a diet, it is important that you avoid limiting your calories during your body’s needs. It is surprisingly easy to limit yourself too much, which stops your metabolism and weight loss. Apps like “myfitnesspal”, “Weight Watchers” and “lostit” can help you determine your daily calorie needs and get started.
The American Heart Association recommends one of two options for maintaining cardiovascular health: A) at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise 5 days a week (150 minutes in total) or B) at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3 days a week (75 minutes in total). They also recommend 2 days of high intensity strength training. You need to choose activities that are fun and enjoyable for you. It helps you maintain healthy blood pressure, potentially lower cholesterol, support your metabolism and relieve stress.
Many people ask us, “How much should I weigh?” Although morbidly obese men and women are at higher risk for health complications such as heart disease and diabetes, their weight does not tell the whole story. A person of normal weight with a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle should not be considered “healthy”, just as an overweight person who constantly maintains an active lifestyle while following a nutritious diet should not be considered. Classified as “unhealthy”. However, if you are curious about measuring your ideal weight, you can use an online tool to calculate your body mass index (BMI). A healthy weight on this scale equates to a BMI between 19 and 25. If you have high muscle mass or above average, this index may not be the best health indicator for you.
5 tips for a healthy lifestyle
Creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be daunting, but small steps can make big changes. Here are some tips to help you get started on the path to wellness.
• Eat and cook real food!
In general, you should avoid high-sugar drinks, processed foods and frequent eating in restaurants. Focus on eating a diet high in protein, healthy fats (think almonds, salmon, avocado) and natural sugars. www.ewg.org/goodfood is a great resource for starting healthy, nutritious family meals.
• Get active!
Take small steps, such as parking farthest away from the grocery store or using part of your lunch break to go with your colleagues. Join a kickboxing class or a Zumba program! Exercise should be something fun that you can expect every day instead of a commitment that gets you to the gym in the morning.
• Get hydrated!
Your cells need water to function. If you are dehydrated, so will all your organs and tissues. Set a goal of drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Limit the amount of soda (even diet soda!), Sweet tea or alcohol you drink as this not only dehydrates you but also adds an alarming amount of sugar to your daily diet.
• Get a good night’s sleep and sleep!
Who does not like this trick ?! We are all guilty of falling asleep in front of the TV at night or lying awake in bed watching the phone, but a good sleep routine can dramatically improve your health. You can not lose weight if you typically get less than 6 hours of sleep a night. A good night’s sleep (6-8 hours) improves memory and mood, reduces inflammation, increases energy and helps maintain a strong metabolism.
• Reduce stress!
Easier said than done, however, increased stress and cortisol levels can wreak havoc on your metabolism and put your body in a fat storage state. Focus on 30 minutes a day to relax, take deep breaths, meditate, pray or try yoga on YouTube. Try it for 1 week and see if your day changes dramatically.