How many diets have you tried to make in your life? Most of us have tried to follow at least a restricted eating plan at some point in our lives. And how many of us have benefited from this in the long run? Probably very few. Many gave up halfway, and some simply returned to having unhealthy living habits soon after completing the program. So what should we do? Tom Rath has fought a disease to achieve a healthy and prosperous life, showing that anyone can be healthy in the long run. All you have to do is focus on eating right, moving, and sleeping well.
Many people do not begin to take care of their lives until a doctor alerts, with phrases like "You're out of shape," or "You'd better start exercising if you want to live for a long time."
If you want to avoid this embarrassing conversation with your doctor, follow this simple advice before someone needs to alert you.
Having a healthy lifestyle is not easy. It can be difficult to say 'no' to soda or a large portion of fries, but resisting these temptations can bring you great benefits. The earlier you start taking care of your body, the better your chances of living a long and healthy life.
In fact, researchers at the University of Gothenburg found that 90% of the population could live to age 90 or older if they made some important life choices. You can increase your energy levels, maximize your potential at work and sleep better by eating well, starting with a healthier breakfast.
It is true that health is partly determined by your genes, but it is important to develop healthy habits regardless of your genetics.
You can not change your DNA, but it can change your lifestyle. And your lifestyle has a big impact on your genes!
Tom Rath is an extreme case of this. When he was just 16, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), which shuts off the gene in controlling tumor suppression, leading to cancerous growth throughout the body.
Instead of giving up, the author focused on what he could control: his diet, physical exercises, and his sleep. He learned how to lessen the chances of cancer spreading and managed to live a long and healthy life.
Even if you have a genetic tendency to obesity, exercise can reduce that predisposition by up to 40%.
Keeping the correct diet is more complicated than it seems. You can always check the food labels for nutritional information, but that is not enough. If you want to be healthy, you need to think hard about the foods you eat.
You should ask yourself a question before eating anything: regarding nutritional value, will this food bring me losses or gains?
People start diets assuming they will reach a specific endpoint. For example, they expect to lose 5kg if they avoid carbohydrates for two months. And so, these diets last a short time; they are not enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy long-term nutrition means determining whether your food has a positive or negative effect on your body, and that means considering all the ingredients contained in it. A healthy salad, for example, can generate losses if you add a fried chicken or bacon in it.
Rath noticed that his favorite dish, salmon with barbecue sauce, made him suffer from the sugar in the sauce. Then he tried to learn to enjoy the taste of the salmon without the sauce.
Also, the quality of what you eat is more important than quantity. Do not worry so much about counting calories - there are things far more important than that.
In general, try to eat foods with a ratio of at least one gram of protein to each gram of carbohydrate. But that does not mean you can eat bacon and sausages every day! Processed meats should be the latest on your protein list.
Meanwhile, some foods should always be avoided, such as potato chips, which contain more than 20 grams of carbohydrate per gram of protein.
If you want to stay active, going to the gym every two days is not enough; you need to limit your inactivity too.
Chronic inactivity is a big risk in the modern world, as large numbers of people work sitting at a desk all day. That only increases our inactive hours, like when we are sleeping, driving or watching television.
Reducing your chronic inactivity is much more important than doing short exercise sessions. In fact, a 240,000-person study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that adults who spend most of their time sitting of mortality 50% higher; even if you exercise seven hours a week. If you sit for more than six hours a day, your risk of dying increases at a rate similar to your risk of smoking or overexposure to sunlight. Your good cholesterol rate drops 20% after only two hours sitting - and you will start burning calories at a rate of only one calorie per minute! So try to be active in your daily routines by adjusting your habits. It is more efficient than performing irregular exercises, and easier too!
You can start with little. The idea of getting in shape may seem complicated, but using the ladder rather than the lift is easy. Each task is an opportunity to accomplish more activity on your day. And stay active at home too! Your home is the most convenient place to develop a more active lifestyle. Buy a treadmill, an elliptical, or start aerobics with videos online. Also, try cutting out the time you spend watching television. People who watch more than four hours of television a day are twice as likely to suffer from major cardiac events.
Few people can sleep for long enough on today's busy days. Of course, we are all very busy - but sleep should not be neglected.
There is a very common misconception that people who sleep less are more hardworking and work harder; they stay up all night because they are very productive.
But although staying up until 5 in the morning to prepare the presentation the next morning may seem like dedication, this is not the reality. You become less alert if you have not slept the night before, so your presentation will not be as good as if you had had a good night's sleep. And studies have shown that losing just 90 minutes of sleep decreases your attention by a third.
Think about it: who would you like to pilot your plane - a rested pilot or a pilot who stayed up all night studying landing techniques?
There is a reason why most of us can not get enough sleep. In our fast society, sleep is seen as a sign of weakness. The author learned this from his parents as a child, so he stayed up late as a teenager, even if he was not doing anything productive. Over time, he took this behavior to his academic performance. He felt that sleeping was wrong and lazy.
People with higher performance usually have healthy sleep habits. You may have heard about the famous study you discovered that takes 10,000 hours of practice for you to become brilliant at something. But did you know that the same study also found that the best have an average of eight hours and 36 minutes of sleep each night?
By comparison, the average American sleep is six hours and 51 minutes on weekdays. Sleeping is a vital part of achieving your goals, do not see sleep as laziness.
Would you give your child a cigarette? What about a candy bar? You may have answered "no" to the first question and "yes" to the second, but cigarettes and sugar are more alike than you think regarding damage to the human body.
Sugar is a toxin and is very harmful to health. Along with its derivatives, it causes diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.
The average human consumes their weight or more in sugar every year. Adding sugar to processed foods is always unnecessary - healthy foods like fruits and vegetables already have enough natural sugar.
The added sugar is only there to give an extra flavor to the food; it has no nutritional value and is dangerous to our health. A Harvard University study found that sugary drinks contribute to 180,000 deaths each year!
Some nutritionists call sugar "sweet for cancer cells," because it speeds up aging and inflammation, encouraging the growth of tumors.
Sugar is also addictive, and that means it needs to be treated like any other drug. It is important to keep it under control, so it does not control you.
Your brain gets stimulated and releases dopamine when you eat sugar, just like it does when you smoke a cigarette. And like cigarettes, the more sugar you eat, the more you'll want to eat. You also generate a tolerance to sugar, so you need to eat more and more to experience the same sense of pleasure.
The best way to avoid this cycle of abuse is never to start. Look for other sweet products and ingredients, such as agave nectar, aspartame, dextrose, fructose, corn syrup and even honey. Some of these foods may be healthier than sugar, but they still increase your craving for sweets and sugary foods.
Have you ever felt tired, even after you slept nine or ten hours? Sleeping is an instinctive act, and we all sleep, but you can improve your sleep.
As it is a key part of your health, it is important to sleep efficiently. Efficient sleep is the time when you are sleeping, not just shaking or turning in bed. Some people can lie down for nine hours, but can only sleep five hours.
The phase of rapid eye movement (REM) is the most important part of efficient sleep. It is at that moment that your brain processes your thoughts and memories. REM sleep also plays an important role in overcoming traumatic and difficult events.
There are some strategies for achieving adequate REM sleep. First, try to limit the use of the "snooze" effect of the alarm clock. Many people believe that they can get half an hour or even an extra hour of sleep in the morning, but that extra sleep is not useful if it is stopped every five minutes.
Then, set your alarm for the later possible time; have as much sleep as you can.
You can also limit your exposure to artificial light before going to bed. Artificial light has a negative impact on your melatonin, which plays an important role in regulating your sleep cycle. So if you read before bedtime, use small reading lamps, and try not to watch television or use the computer.
A good night's sleep impacts your health in countless ways. In fact, researchers have shown that people with poor sleep efficiency are five times more likely to develop colds.
There are no shortcuts to getting to healthier foods, but eating dark, vibrant fruits and vegetables is a good start. Eat green foods like broccoli, spinach, cabbage or cucumbers. Red and blue fruits like apples, strawberries, and raspberries, are also highly nutritious.
12min tip: Check out our 'Health & Welfare' category, to learn more ways to get healthier and more productive!
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