We all wish to have a long and happy life, where disease and troubles do not reach us.
But what do we do to accomplish this? In case you didn’t know, more than 80% of your health depends on what and how you eat, if you do sport or not, if you rest enough and what emotions and feelings are you experiencing.
The remaining 20% is genetically transmitted or related to the environment and the health system of the country you live in.
Having a healthy diet should not be a challenge for anyone. It works on the same principle as other things in life: practicing makes everything easier to do.
Although there are hundreds of theories for a healthy diet, with information more or less understood, there are four core principles that need to be considered for a healthy lifestyle:
A. Eat whole and not processed foods
I know it is almost impossible to avoid all chemicals and processed foods from your daily menu, but try to eat fewer such products.
In general, what enters the stomach should have a single ingredient: fruit, vegetables, nuts, some meat, eggs etc. Avoid white carbohydrates and sugars from the menu. Reduce the amount of bread, pasta, cakes, pastries, cereal flavors, fries and so on.
B. Variety is the main ingredient in your diet
Our body is complex and needs a variety of nutrients to function properly. Therefore, you need to consume foods from many group foods.
You need all three key macronutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. According to some researchers, the healthiest diets are rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates.
It is important to consume products containing Omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish such as salmon, flaxseed, nuts, beans and soy. Micronutrients are also important and all the vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function optimally.
C. Consume large amounts of vegetables
Make sure you include in your menu at least seven daily servings of vegetables, which usually affects your state of happiness and health in general.
Most vegetables don’t have calories, give you a feeling of fullness and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Try to eat as many types of vegetables with different colors as you can.
Unlike fruits, there is no limit of how many vegetables you can ingest. Fruits are important in your diet because they are rich in antioxidants and nutrients, but some contain more sugar and therefore should be consumed in moderation.
D. Practice conscious eating
This last principle of a healthy lifestyle teaches you to be aware of how you eat. Avoid eating food in front of the TV or computer, the way to work or while doing any other activity.
Eat enough to get enough. Your brain will communicate much faster when you have reached saturation levels and you will avoid compulsive eating.
It’s about being more aware of how you eat than what you eat. Those who eat consciously are aware of their eating habits and how they eat. They are one step ahead of hunger. They eat when they’re hungry and stop when they are full.
Eating consciously helps you to eat slowly, savoring the food and not eating on autopilot.
In addition, eating consciously not only help you lose weight, but also help fighting against many diseases: diabetes, reduce eating mood, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and of course improves your physical appearance.
2. Practice any physical activity
To have a long and disease free life you need to follow two important rules: choose and follow an effective workout plan along with a healthy diet. Find some exercises or sports that attract you and practice them consistently. Try to do sport twice a week.
Even if you have a job and doesn’t allow you to go twice a week to the gym, do a few simple exercises at home or why not at the office. For example, get up from the chair every 30 minutes and walk for 1 minute across the room.
At home, try doing a few pushups in the morning, squats and crunches to keep yourself in shape.
Are you free on weekends?
Ride your bike through the park or do rollerblading. Take your dog outside for a walk, walking is very healthy.
If you are a beginner and want to go to the gym, we recommend pilates sessions. They are suitable for you because it protects your joints, helps you control your abdominal muscles, balance and breathing.
Or choose 60 minutes of cardio three times a week: jogging, swimming, cycling sprints.
3. Give your body enough time to rest
The reality is that if you do not sleep enough, you wouldn’t have a good energy level and productivity during the day. It is important to wake up every morning at the same time and go to bed when you feel tired. If you respect this principle for several days, your body will adjust and you will have more energy every day.
Stress not only makes you irritable all the time but it affects your health and body. There are many ways that you can keep stress under control, yoga and meditation, playing sports and sleeping. Stop thinking about problems, find the most effective way that helps you relax and make the most of it.
You can even take classes on stress management or go to a psychologist, if you feel that you can not manage to eliminate stress all by yourself and need qualified help.
5. Positive Thinking
You really need to avoid negative thoughts if you want to improve your lifestyle. Your thoughts create the reality you live in. Keep control of your mind and influence your reality in a positive way. Positive thoughts lead to positive feelings and emotions that have a positive effect on the entire body.
Motivate yourself with positive ideas. Read positive books and have positive hobbies.
People who have a positive thinking can manage to solve complex problems with ease, escape quickly from a difficult situation and achieve superior results (both physically, and intellectually) than others with similar skills, but with a negative attitude .
Also, positive thinking increases your immunity and help you quickly get rid of any disease that affects you.
Only you can choose how you think. But if you want to live a long and beautiful life, the answer is one: Think positive! Think smart!
6. Be a moderate person
Last principle of a healthy lifestyle is moderation. Find balance in your life. You can do almost anything you want if you do it with moderation. A classic example is alcohol. You can drink a glass or two on a daily basis but if you increase these quantities over some time it means that you already have a problem.
But moderation does not just apply to alcohol. Overuse at work, obsession with weight loss and even going to the gym too often are other unhealthy habits that need to be considered.
Also, too much moderation is also another issue that needs to be controled. The World will not end if you lose one night a week in the club, if you eat in rare ocasions a whole dark chocolate or if you have not been in the mood to go to the gym for a week. It is okay to occasionally pass through such times.
Remember: Everything in moderation, including moderation itself!