Everyday it seems as if we are flooded with “new” ways to stay healthy. Today it’s this and tomorrow it’s that and we’ve lost count of the actual number of diet books on the shelves nowadays.
When we are overwhelmed with information, much of it contradictory, we tend to just ignore almost all of it! Who has the time to sort through all those studies?!
We want to make things easier by offering you a list of tips to help keep those of you in Juneau healthy with a minimal amount of effort.
No, we aren’t kidding. If you follow even half of these tips, you’ll be alright.
How to stay healthy and fit without trying? Keep reading! What have you got to lose?
1) Fill Half of Your Plate with These
Vegetables are classified into two main groups; starchy and non-starchy. Starchy veggies have more calories and carbs, so avoiding these is a good idea. Think potatoes, corn, beans.
Non-starchy veggies include carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, bell peppers, cabbage, and dark leafy green veggies.
If you fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies, you are on the right track towards eating healthy! Exchanging carbs for non-starchy veggies means fewer carbs and calories, which means you can eat the same amount of food, but you are eating healthier. Who knows? You might even lose some weight!
2) Use a Smaller Blue Plate/Bowl
This sounds a little nuts, but it’s been proven over and over; eating from a smaller sized plate or bowl causes most people to eat less. It’s an illusion and even if you are completely aware of it, your brain somehow thinks that you are eating plenty.
The same is true of the color blue. For some reason, eating off of blue plates (or in a room painted blue) causes people to eat less.
3) Add Fruit
Don’t drink your calories! Fruit juice tastes great, but the fact is that it won’t fill you up. The skin and fiber in fresh fruit is not only filling, but it has far fewer calories. Try eating a whole piece of fruit as a snack or as dessert.
4) Think Fishy Thoughts
Some of the most nutrient dense foods are in seafood. Fatty fish, especially, are a terrific source of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat two servings a week of fish such as salmon, herring, or mackerel. How to keep the body healthy? This is one tasty way to do it!
5) Consider a Supplement
There is no question that getting your vitamins and minerals from whole foods is best, but many people find that they simply can’t eat enough to get all the nutrients their bodies need. Three supplements you might want to consider are fish oil (especially if you don’t like fish), calcium (for women), and soluble fiber. Speak to your doctor or chiropractor first.
6) Glorious Green Tea
One of the healthiest beverages on the planet is green tea. Low in calories, this tea from Japan is simply overflowing with antioxidants and nutrients. The special antioxidants in green tea have been shown to lower your risk of disease.
7) Cut Out the Cream
If you can learn to like it, coffee is healthiest when it’s consumed black. Artificial sweeteners are fine, but skip the cream, sugar, or things like caramel syrup.
8) Skip the Soda
If you really want to be healthy (or healthier) avoid sugary drinks like sodas or sweetened fruit drinks. Sugar is one of the main culprits behind obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
9) Stock Up on These
Let’s face it; everyone wants a snack now and then. If you are hungry for a snack and all you find is a cupboard (or vending machine) full of potato chips, cookies, or candy, that’s what you are going to eat. Always keep healthy snacks on hand so you can make a smart choice.
10) Choose Real Food
Most American’s live on highly processed foods, such as packaged meals, cereals, and fast food. Simply by choosing real foods, such as unprocessed meats, whole eggs, fruits, veggies, and brown rice, you can be a bit healthier with every meal!
11) Turn it Down, Set it Down, Turn it Off
Practice mindful eating by paying attention to what you are eating. Too many people watch TV, look at their cell phone, or do other tasks while they eat. This can cause you to eat far more than you intended. Turn off electronics or at least put them aside and look at what you are eating.
12) Walk Whenever Possible
With our busy schedules, it can be hard to find time to exercise. Small steps really add up, however. If you are on the phone at work, pace in your office. Go for a walk on your breaks or walk over to your co-worker’s office to talk to them, rather than send them an email. If possible, see about installing an adjustable desk that allows you to stand.
13) Avoid the Elevator
Avoid the elevator and escalators and opt to take the stairs. Other tricks for getting in some exercise include parking as far away as possible and walking or getting off the bus a block or two before your usual stop and walking the rest of the way.
14) Beautiful Bedtime
If you struggle to fall asleep, you aren’t alone. Sleep is extremely important to your health, however, so try these tips:
- Turn off TV’s and cell phones at least 30 minutes before bedtime
- Try to go to bed at the same time most nights
- Learn to meditate or use deep breathing techniques to help you fall asleep
15) Be Proactive
Staying healthy isn’t just about what you eat and exercise; it’s a combination of many things. Being proactive about your health is just as important as what you eat and how much you move. Get your annual check up from your doctor, dentist, and chiropractor. Be sure to get your annual flu vaccine and if you take regular medication, don’t forget to take it as you should.
16) Drink in Moderation
Many American’s drink far too much alcohol, which is detrimental to your health. Women should have no more than 1 drink per day and men no more than two. You can read more about what constitutes moderate drinking here.
17) Follow the 80/20 Rule
This rule says that if you get exercise, sleep, and eat right 80 percent of the time, the other 20 percent won’t matter. Don’t worry if you decide to have some pizza now and then, if you are eating healthy most of the time, pizza is fine. This is one of the best ways to stay healthy!
18) Learn to Cook
Enjoying some take out every now and then is a nice treat but learning to cook some basic meals that you like means you will not only know exactly what you are eating, but chances are that you will eat more fresh foods, like vegetables.
19) Meatless Mondays
It doesn’t have to be Mondays, you can pick any day you like, but try to find one day each week when you go without meat. This doesn’t mean filling up on donuts and Ramen but try vegetarian dishes like eggplant parmesan or bean and cheese burritos.
20) Think Bites, not Servings
When it comes to things you love, like brownies or candy, going without can lead you to binge eating tons of those things later. So, if you are simply dying for a brownie and you can’t shake that craving, try enjoying one or two “brownie bites” or get a half dozen donut “holes” and give 3 or 4 to a friend.
21) Take Your Time
Don’t rush through your meals. Whenever possible, slow down and eat at your leisure. Taking time to talk to whomever is with you or looking out the window gives your stomach time to send your brain the signal that you are full.
Being healthy is easier than most people think. It doesn’t take hours at the gym or memorizing food values. All you need to do is follow a few simple tips for the healthy life everyone wants.
We hope you found our tips to be healthy without trying of benefit to you and your family in Juneau. If you did, please feel free to share it.
Dr. Brent Wells and the team at Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab encourage you to live a healthy, happy life by following good eating habits. If you would like to know more about how you could improve your health or if you are feeling pain and would like to know more about how chiropractic care can help you, please call one of our 4 clinics or click here to make an appointment.
One of the best things about life is that every day, you have an opportunity to become a healthier, happier version of yourself. Let Better Health Alaska help you reach your goals. Call us today.