We face a myriad of health challenges in society today but we can be proactive to make sure we live healthier lives!
For good health, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. It is not about a single meal, it is about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference!
- Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in proteins and complex carbohydrates
- Replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat foods
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Reduce salt and sugar intake
- Eat regularly, control the portion size
- Drink plenty of fluids especially water
Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don’t have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine. We all could:
- use the stairs instead of the elevator,
- go for a walk during lunch breaks (and stretch in our offices in between)
- make time for a family weekend activity
Gradual changes in our lifestyle are easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. For three days, we could write down the foods and drinks we consume throughout the day, and make a note of the amount of movement we made. It won’t be difficult to spot where we could improve:
- Skipping breakfast? A small bowl of healthy cereal, a piece of whole grain bread or fruit, could help slowly introduce it into our routine.
- Too few fruits and vegetables? To start with, we can introduce one extra piece a day.
- Favorite foods high in fat? Eliminating them abruptly could fire back, and make us return to the old habits. We can choose low fat options instead, eat them less frequently, and in smaller portions.
- Too little activity? Using the stairs or taking a walk daily could be a great first move.
- Get plenty of rest! Living a balanced life is also about making sure you allow your body to recharge with sleep.
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. People are using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles. Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain and may even help you live longer.
There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.
During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.
These are the most popular methods:
- The 16/8 method: Also called the Lean-gains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
- Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500–600 calories on two nonconsecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
Who Should Be Careful Or Avoid It?
Intermittent fasting is certainly not for everyone.
If you’re underweight or have a history of eating disorders, you should not fast without consulting with a health professional first.
In these cases, it can be downright harmful.