Get Healthy: How to Eat Right and Feel Your Best

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The foods you eat determine how well your body functions on a day to day basis. Therefore, it is important to eat a nutritious, varied diet in order to feel your best. That means that you need to choose foods from all the food groups, being careful not to overindulge in one or ignore another. This sounds easy enough, but it can be much harder than it seems, particularly if you let your food cravings get the best of you.

Creating a Nutritious Diet Plan

In order to find out which foods are important to eat, and to get an idea on how much of each food to eat, there are two important resources. One is the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the USDA, and the other is the Food Pyramid of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The food pyramid, which was revamped almost ten years ago, advises that it is important to eat between six and eight servings of grains per day. Cereal, rice, pasta, and bread all fall into the grains category. Further, at least three of these servings need to be whole grains.

One slice of bread equals one serving of grains. In addition, one serving of cereal would be one cup, one serving of pasta would be a half of a cup (cooked). Items like donuts and muffins should be eaten sparingly.

In addition to grains, it is important to get between four and six servings of vegetables and between two and four servings of fruits. These foods do not contain a lot of fat, which means they are perfect foods for anyone that is watching what they eat. In addition, fruits and vegetables give you minerals, vitamins, and fiber, all of which you need to feel great and stay active. Steaming them is a great idea. Eating them in a salad is another good choice, but do not add a bunch of toppings or high-fat salad dressing. One serving of vegetables is a half of a cup, although leafy greens are a cup. One serving of fruit is also half a cup.

You also need two or three servings of dairy products, like yogurt, cheese, and milk. Because milk and cheese can be high in fat, look for reduced-fat or fat-free options. If you have a recipe that calls for sour cream, try yogurt instead. One cup of milk or yogurt equals one serving of dairy. Two ounces of cheese is another serving.

Finally, you should consume two or three servings of foods like fish, poultry, meat, eggs, nuts and beans. When it comes to your meat, bake or broil your meal so that it is healthy. When purchasing meat, buy the round or loin cuts because they are lean. If you see fat or skin on your cut before you prepare it, take it off. One serving of fish, poultry or meat is approximately three ounces. You can also get protein from foods like peanut butter and dried beans. These are good options because they do not contain the same cholesterol and animal fat as meat products. To get a serving, have a fourth of a cup of cooked beans or one tablespoon of peanut butter.

Be careful with sweets, oil and fats. You need to have a small amount of these items in order to be healthy, but you do not want to overindulge and you do not want to consume them every day.

Eat Good Foods in the Proper Proportion

When it comes to your target amount of calories, everyone is different. How old you are, your gender and your activity level all factor in. A child older than two but younger than eight could need anywhere from 1400 and 2000 calories per day. Women can eat about 2200 calories per day. Men should try and get about 3000 calories a day. However, if you do not get a decent amount of exercise, those numbers should be about 500 calories lower.

If you are concerned about your eating habits, listen to what your body is telling you. Stop eating when your belly is satisfied. Do not wait until you are full. After about half an hour, see how you feel. If you do not need any more food, that is great. However, if you are still hungry, eat a bit more until you feel better.

Stay Active

The new food pyramid has a spot for exercise. In order to be healthy, you must be active. You will be amazed at what the right food and a little bit of activity can do for you.

Discover The Ten Best Ways To Boost Your Health

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Often as humans, we try to make things complicated. If it is too simple we think there must be some hidden secret. But when it comes to health, most of the best advice really is straight forward and simple.

1.    Understand your weight and how it affects your health. It is estimated that around 30% of women and as many as 40% of men in England are heavier than their healthy weight. There are almost ten thousand deaths that are premature each year, and some evidence suggests that obesity cuts off up to a decade from your life expectancy.

2.    Salt and fatty foods should be reduced. Many of today’s chronic illnesses are due in part, to too much fat and salt in our daily diet. Diseases such as diabetes, heart trouble, and stroke are often associated with diets that have these excesses in them.

3.    Alcohol should be consumed only modestly or not at all. It is unknown to most that the consumption of excess alcohol is a leading factor in many ongoing health issues such as heart attacks and cancer, according to the NHS.

Men are 3 times more likely to suffer a stroke if they consume 3 or 4 units of alcohol each day. Those that are interested in more details can visit our section on alcohol consumption.

4.    It is important to exercise. Regardless of your weight, it is important to get physical activity. For those that are overweight, it can help reduce it to healthy levels. But even those with no weight issues will benefit from regular exercise. People of all ages and levels of conditioning will benefit. Even lite exercise done on a regular basis will reduce the risk of several common health problems. You can lessen your chance of stroke and heart attacks by as much as 50%.

5.    Control stress. In recent years close to half a million people living in the UK said their stress levels at work were so high they believed it was making them physically sick. 20% of visits to the doctor are related to stress-related psychological problems that are severe enough to warrant medical care.

This can lead to serious health related issues such as clinical depression, anxiety and of course high blood pressure. Check the other sections of our site for more advice on stress management.

6.    Eat more healthy foods like vegetables and fruit. You should be consuming several portions of vegetables and fruit each and every day. Getting the fiber and nutrition that comes from 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day helps to keep your weight at healthy levels and reduces the chances of developing diabetes or having a stroke.

We have some tasty recipes that will make it easy to eat the necessary portions each day. Look for more on our site.

7.    Get more sleep and improve the quality of it. It is natural to sometimes have issues with sleep. Almost everyone runs into this problem sooner or later. Some estimates suggest that in the UK alone, as many as 33% of adults regularly suffer from lack of sleep or the sleep they get is low quality.

When you are not rested well enough, it can cause you problems at work and in personal relationships. These problems can in turn increase levels of stress. To get a good night, it starts with making habits of going to bed at the same time every night. Your body can learn and anticipate your schedule if you make it regularly.

8.    If you smoke, consider quitting. Even if you have been smoking for years, your health can have immediate benefits by quitting. In less than a half an hour, your breathing will improve. Soon after, your blood pressure will get better. Some say that your lungs will begin to start clearing within a day or two of quitting.

After several days of quitting you will start to breath better and you will begin to feel more energized. If you want to quit, but find it difficult, then you may want to ask your doctor about the many medical treatments available today.

9.    Make sure you do not have an STI. Certain types of sexually transmitted infections can go undetected for a long time before discovering you have something. Infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia reduce a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. These infections cannot be detected just by looking at someone. So if you have engaged in sex without protection, you should be tested.

These days it is easy to be tested and the earlier you find you have an STI, the better the chance of clearing it up before any major issues.

10.    Women should regularly check for lumps. A full one-third of people in England develops cancer during their lifetime. While cancer is more common in the elderly, it occurs with consistent frequency in those who are not yet old.

The earlier you find cancer the better chance you have of recovering from it and the less that will be required for recovery. It does not pay to delay a checkup. Paying attention to your body and overall health can help in detecting problems early. Try to notice any lumps or if a mole changes colors or if your energy suddenly reduces and you do not know why.

Changing Your Habits: Work Wellness Programs

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Many people think of the office as just a place to get their work done and possibly advance their career. However, the workplace is becoming much more than that. It is also a place where you can become healthy.

Employers are beginning to understand that in order for a worker to be productive, they also need to be healthy. Therefore, many are including wellness programs on-site in order to give back to their employees and help them stay healthy.

Because this is such a big deal, many employers give their workers incentives for using the wellness program. The program could include help with smoking cessation, weight loss, nutrition, stress reduction, and even back care. The hope is that these programs will promote a healthier, happier workplace, which will then translate into improved productivity.

Still, regardless of your employer’s feelings on the matter, you have to be invested in your own health to be successful. The following tips will help you become a better you.

Research

When it comes to your office’s wellness program, it is important that you understand what the offerings can do for you. From there, be aware of what is happening in your community. There should be events that you can join that will help you stay healthy while still supporting an excellent cause. You will stay motivated on your wellness journey and feel good about working toward something that can help others. It is a win-win situation.

Your company may also have events that you can join. Talk to the human resources department to find out more about what is happening at your workplace. Find out if your benefits carrier has any tools or programs that might be useful for you. Talk to others about what you are doing and how you are doing it. Coworkers and friends may then decide to go down a similar path.

The wellness program, therefore, is a great way to stay on top of your goals and can help you stick with your plans even when the going gets tough.

You Have Support

Many people work toward many different goals each day. Some want to lose weight. Others are battling an addiction. Regardless of what your personal goal is, it is important to remember that you are working to get healthy. The healthier you are, the less likely you are to be diagnosed with serious health problems like cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and more.

In the United States, about thirty-three percent of all deaths are as a result of either bad nutrition, lack of activity or smoking. About half of all chronic conditions are a result of lifestyle issues.

Dealing with Smoking and Weight Loss

Several hundreds of thousands of people die from smoking every year in the United States. About twenty percent of all deaths can be traced back to this habit. Smoking is an addiction, and as such, it is not easy to overcome. If you want to finally put down your cigarettes for good, you have to first have a reason for quitting. From there, you need to outline how you are going to stop and choose a date to begin. Understand that it will be hard. See if there is a wellness program at your company that can help you find success.

Eating poorly and not staying active is also dangerous. Just over 350,000 people die in the United States each year because they have a bad diet and they are too sedentary. If you want to slim down, you need to burn more calories than you eat. It is not a hard concept, but it is certainly hard to do. Set a goal for your weight loss. Figure out how you are going to get more active. Think about your diet. Remember that baby steps will equal big success in the end.

It is not easy to change your ways. Therefore, doing things a little bit at a time is a great way to reach your goals. You do not need to make drastic changes to your diet, for example. Simply cut back a little and move a bit more. You may have a formidable goal ahead of you, but that can be reached with a bit of work over time.

Remember to speak to your doctor before your make changes to your diet and exercise routine. You can do it!