20 Ways to Stay Healthy

Because this is the last article of the semester, I feel that I should leave you with a few words of wisdom. Although there are many ways to improve your diet and stay healthy, I have compiled a list of 20 tricks that will ensure success.

1) Eat breakfast. According to the latest research from the National Weight Control Registry, 78 percent of successful “losers” (people who have lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off) eat breakfast 7 days a week; 90% eat breakfast at least 5 days a week.2) Buddy-up. Having the support of a friend increases weight-loss success. Gym buddies are nice, too.3) Go halfsies. Can’t resist that doughnut? Try dividing up an irresistible food itemand just eat half of it.4) Keep tabs. Write down what you eat for a week. Keeping track helps control food intake. Find out if you suffer from “food amnesia.”5) Get moving. Physical activity on a regular basis (that means almost daily) is one of the keys to losing weight and staying in shape. It’s just a whole lot easier if you exercise.6) Know your number. Find a scale and use it, regularly. Hopping on a scale helps – it’s called accountability.7) Make it a multi. Take a multivitamin daily for good “insurance.” If you drink at all, it’s a must.8) Front-load your calories. The saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” is good advice. The calories you eat in the morning are more satisfying than those eaten later in the day.9) Learn to like fiber. For a number of reasons, including filling you up for fewer calories and yes, regularity, find a few fiber-rich foods and include them in your diet everyday.10) Eat fruits and vegetables. You’ll be healthier and slimmer – enough said.11) Consider calcium. Especially for young women. Believe it or not, women can grow into their 20’s (yep, you may have not reached your final height yet)so give your body what it needs.12) Learn to like low-fat. Protect your heart and waistline, and yes, protect against some types of cancer.13) Drink water. At least 6-8 cups a day. Your skin will thank you and your gut will too.14) Give yourself time. It takes about 20 minutes to register fullness (called “satiety”). Take a break before heading for seconds. Give your stomach time to sense whether it needs more food.15) Be portion-wise. Avoid foods labeled “Big Gulp, “Big Bag,” “Family Size” and other descriptors that indicate there’s way more than one serving in a cup, bag orbox.16) Adjust add-ons. Try opting for more veggies (peppers, mushrooms, broccoli) and less-fatty toppings on your pizza; lettuce and tomatoes instead of cheese on your sandwich; non-creamy sauces and dressings on your pasta and salads instead of high-fat ones.17) Conceal crave-ables. Keep candy and high-fat goodies out of sight.

18) Slow down! Hobble the speed-eater in you by training yourself to eat with the opposite hand or trying chopsticks.19) Practice alternation. When drinking alcohol, have a non-alcoholic drink in between ethanol-containing ones. In other words, beer – Diet Coke – beer – Diet Coke.20) Keep it whole. Sleuth out the whole-grain options in your food universe. Look to include 100% whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereals and brown rice in your diet. You’ll be adding healthy fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants.

There you have it! Twenty important tidbits to guarantee a slimmer, fitter, healthier you. Try to incorporate some of these tips into your daily routine and you will be astonished by what a little exercise and healthy eating can do.