Five Simple Steps to Take Now For a Healthier You
As a country, we’ve come to relish and expect everything to be fast and easy. We have drive thrus at the bank, coffee shops and of course restaurants. But at what cost? Our over dependence on comfort and ease has caused us to become one of the most unhealthy nations in the world. If a person doesn’t have their health then nothing else matters. Here are five simple steps that you can take towards a new healthy life:
- 1. Fiber. Most of us don’t get enough of it. Why is this so important? Fiber keeps things moving in our digestive system. This means that when the food we eat is being digested, fiber keeps it from ‘stalling’ or hanging around in our intestines. Fiber also acts as a cleansing agent for our colon because as it moves along, it takes with it harmful bacteria and other agents living in our colon. It can help you feel full quicker and for longer so for those of us trying to lose weight this is important. Fiber is found in mostly all fruits and vegetables but if you want to get the most bang for your bite, try eating:
- a. Beans and legumes
- b. Whole grain breads
- c. Stop drinking your fruits/veggies and start eating them. You’ll get more fiber that way
You can take a supplement but only as that: a supplement. Make sure you get the bulk of your fiber from your diet, not a pill or powder.
- 2. Start moving around more. Earlier I mentioned our country’s tendency to want things easy. This manifests itself in our propensity to drive through as many places as possible. Next time, get out and go inside the bank or the restaurant. Park further away than you have to in the grocery store parking lot. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Small changes add up.
- 3. Take a multi-vitamin. Most of us are not getting nearly enough of the recommended amounts of the vitamins and minerals that we need. If you’re able to, identify what is missing most from your diet and buy specifically those supplements. For the rest of us who don’t really know buy a multi-vitamin. Look for one formulated specifically for your age group and gender.
- 4. Cut back on the fast food. Do you really need to go to McDonald’s three times a week? You don’t have to stop going altogether, just cut back. Also think about what you’re ordering. Do you really need to order the whole meal? How about just the burger and then grab an apple? *French fries are usually as many or more calories than the sandwich!
- 5. Start reading labels. Don’t buy something because it sounds or looks good from what’s on the front of the box. Read the nutritional information and the ingredients. Ingredients are listed in order of highest percentage compromising the food to lowest. So if something has sugar listed as the first ingredient, walk away! This will help you control what you’re taking in and make sure that if you’re going to use up that many calories, it better have some sort of nutritional value (fiber, vitamins and minerals).
Essentially, change is hard. Start small and work your way up. It may seem daunting to do an overhaul of your lifestyle and eating habits but by making small measurable changes, you will not only point yourself in the right direction but you’ll position yourself to increase your healthy habits. Good luck!