10 Golden Rules for a Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting a healthy lifestyle isn’t as difficult or complex as some may portray. Stick to these 10 Nutrition for Longevity Golden Rules for a Healthy Lifestyle and you will be on your way to better health. 

 

1. Eat and Drink Your Vitamins

Consume 6+ servings of fruits and vegetables per day to ensure you are absorbing essential micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. Count your colors instead of calories. Eating the rainbow is a great way to include a variety of vitamins in your diet.

  • Red foods contain phytochemicals and can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Look for tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, strawberries, watermelon, or cherries.
  • Orange or yellow foods have Vitamin A and Vitamin C to promote healthy skin and vision. Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, and lemons are all ways to get your orange and yellow nutrients.
  • Green foods are high in Vitamin K, antioxidants, and folates that benefit bone health. Kale, broccoli, peas, kiwi, green grapes, and brussels sprouts are all green foods to prioritize.
  • Blue or purple foods contain antioxidants to benefit heart disease and protect our cells. Healthy examples are eggplant, blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, and beetroots.
  • White or yellow foods have anti-inflammatory properties that support the immune system. Healthy white foods are cauliflower, garlic, shallots, parsnips, or white beans.

 

2. Ditch Refined Sugar and Flour

Added sugars and refined flour lack the essential fiber and micronutrients your body needs to feel full.  Whole grains are fiber-rich which increases satiety and helps to block sugar cravings – opt for whole wheat flours instead of refined flour.  Limit added sugars by utilizing the natural sweetness of fruits. Reach for fruits to increase the sweetness of an ordinarily bland meal.

 

3. Water Load

Drink ½ your body weight in ounces each day. Drinking 10-12 ounces of water before a meal can increase satiety and make you more aware of your body’s hunger cues. Keep a reusable water bottle with you to help you keep track of your water intake throughout the day.

 

4. Follow a 12/12 Intermittent Fast

Schedule your 3 core meals within a 12-hour window to avoid grazing on snacks throughout the day. Give your body the break it needs to rest, digest, and reset between meals and overnight.

 

5. Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Bed

Your metabolism starts to slow down approximately 7-8pm. Studies show that this timeframe is in line with when we are starting to tire and wind down for the evening1.  Allow your body to focus on rejuvenating your cells instead of wasting energy on digesting calories that will not be burned for energy while you sleep.

 

6. Move Daily

Researchers have proved that daily exercise contributes to overall health and longer lifespan3. Evidence shows that regular exercise can even help in the treatment of some chronic illnesses and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases2.   Every day strive to complete 50-60 minutes of low impact movements, and 15-20 minutes of moderate-high intensity cardio. Make 2 of your 20-minute workouts strength training each week.

 

7. Post Workout Window

In addition to your 3 core meals, have a recovery snack 15-minutes post-workout that includes a healthy carb, lean protein, and a healthy fat. Have your next balanced meal within 1-2 hours after your workout.  Nutrition for Longevity’s Baobab Bliss Smoothie is a great nutrient-dense post-workout recovery snack!

 

8. No Screens With Meals

Electronic devices distract you from your natural hunger cues. Putting screens away during meals allow you to pay attention to the food in front of you. Watching TV or scrolling through social media has been shown to increase the calories we consume in one sitting3.

 

9. Prioritize Sleep

Sleep deprivation alters hormones that regulate hunger cues. When we lose out on sleep, we crave food more often, even after our bodies have had their needed nutrients4. Establish a relaxing nighttime routine to enhance the length and quality of your sleep. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Do not deviate from your regular sleep schedule more than 2 hours on any given night.

 

10. Reduce Stress

Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine. Constant stress is not good for our bodies and can contribute to cardiovascular disease5.  Activities like walking, meditation, and yoga can take your mind off thoughts, memories and events that cause stress and worry.

 

References

  1. Eckel-Mahan K, Sassone-Corsi P. Metabolism and the circadian clock converge. Physiol Rev. 2013;93(1):107-135. doi:10.1152/physrev.00016.2012
  1. Vina J, Sanchis-Gomar F, Martinez-Bello V, Gomez-Cabrera MC. Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise. Br J Pharmacol. 2012;167(1):1-12. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01970.x
  1. Braude L, Stevenson RJ. Watching television while eating increases energy intake. Examining the mechanisms in female participants. Appetite. 2014;76:9-16. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2014.01.005
  1. Greer SM, Goldstein AN, Walker MP. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nat Commun. 2013;4:2259. doi:10.1038/ncomms3259
  1. Dimsdale JE. Psychological stress and cardiovascular disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;51(13):1237-1246. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2007.12.024