What is a Healthy Lifestyle?
A healthy lifestyle is put under strain when eating-related problems coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and bad habits are part of ones day to day living arrangements.
An unhealthy way of living can lead to a lot of complications, may it be medical, physical, and even emotional. However, there are steps that you can take to change your unhealthy way of living and be on the road to healthy lifestyle.
Simply put, a healthy lifestyle is a choice. You choose to eat healthy foods; you choose to avoid bad habits; you choose to exercise regularly; and, lastly, you choose to stick with it. Nobody is going to force you towards living a healthy lifestyle. Oh, there will be people who are going to tell you to do this and do that; eat this and do not eat that. However, the choice will always be yours. Remember, everything is in your hands. Healthy living is choosing to have a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle will not only lower down your risk of developing food-related problems, but it can also control and improve medical conditions. This has been proven scientifically that a healthy lifestyle can and will improve and prolong your life; however, this cannot cure your illnesses. Let us say for example that you have hypertension and diabetes controllable by medications. A healthy lifestyle will only help to control the disease, but not to cure them. You will still need to take your medicines as prescribed by your physician, but a healthy lifestyle will significantly decrease the risk of developing complications related to your illness.
Achieving a healthy lifestyle though is a very difficult and monumental task to do. After all, we are at a fast food era where delicious and unhealthy foods abound. Plus, there are also a lot of temptations that can easily disrupt our determination to stay healthy. Moreover, with our very busy schedules, we tend to forget that we have a choice. Instead, we choose the easy route.
Healthy Lifestyle / Nutritional Myths Busted
Many people have tried going on a diet and ended up being disappointed because it did not achieve what he or she wanted. It failed not because they lacked determination, but it failed because it was already flawed in the first place.
Here are some of the common nutritional and exercise myths.
Some people who want to shed a few pounds tend to go without eating breakfast, however, this practice does more damage than good. Remember, your breakfast is what is going to give you that push to start your day with energy, and skipping breakfasts will only make you more tired and hungry throughout the day. Skipping meals is okay. Not if you want to feel hungry all the time and battle with food cravings. Never skip a meal. Instead, eat small meals. It is better to eat small meals because it will keep your hunger and food cravings at bay. Some people think that vitamins and food supplements are enough to give you the energy you need for the day.
Think again. These vitamins and food supplements are just there to help you but not give what your body needs throughout the day. Weight loss products, be it natural or herbal, are perfect for those who want to lose weight. Wrong. While they can help you shed a few pounds, you will, more often than not, gain them all back plus more when you stop the product. Only exercise and diet can keep the weight off for good. When it comes to exercise, it is better to follow the “no pain, no gain” statement. Wrong. You will only hurt yourself all the more if you use pain as your gauge to achieving a good workout.
It is better to pace yourself. This way, you decrease the risk of injuring yourself by making sure that your musculoskeletal system as well as cardiorespiratory system can meet the physical demands. Exercise alone is enough to keep you health, and you can still eat anything you want as long as you exercise. Wrong. To be truly healthy, there needs to be a good balance between exercise and diet.
It is this way of thinking that makes people fail at achieving a healthy lifestyle. But this can be corrected.
Living Towards a Healthy Lifestyle
Many people want to live a healthy lifestyle; however, as stated above, it is a very challenging thing to do. It is difficult because it is so easy to give in to temptation, and some people do not have the determination and motivation to stick with their “going healthy” plan. Plus, there are also some people who do not know just where to start.
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A carpenter uses a set of house plans to build a house. If he didn’t the bathroom might get overlooked altogether. A chef uses a menu, mise en place lists and recipes to plan dishes. An F&B Department has a yearly budget to guide them through the fiscal year.
Rocket Scientists would never begin construction on a new booster rocket without a detailed set of design specifications. Yet most of us go blindly out into the world without an inkling of an idea about finances and without any plan at all.
Not very smart of us, is it?
As we already now a money plan is called a budget and it is crucial to get us to our preferred financial goals. Without a plan we will glide without direction and end up stranded on a far-flung financial reef.
If you have a spouse or a significant other, you should formulate this budget together. Sit down and outline out what your joint financial goals are long term and short term. Then chart your route to obtain those goals. Every journey begins with one step and the first step to accomplish your goals is to make a practical budget that both of you can live with.
A budget should never be a financial starvation diet. That won’t work for the long haul. Make rational allocations for food, clothing, shelter, utilities and insurance and set aside a levelheaded amount for entertainment and the occasional luxury item. Savings should always come first before any spending.
Even a small amount saved will help you reach your long term and short term financial goals. You can find many budget forms on the internet. Just use any search engine you prefer and type in “free budget forms”.
You’ll get lots of hits. Print one out and work on it with your spouse or significant other. Both of you will need to be happy with the final result and feel like it’s something you can abide by.
Why Should I Make a Budget?
You say you know where your money goes and you don’t need it all written down to keep up with it? I issue you this challenge. Keep track of every penny you spend for one month and I do mean every penny.
You will be shocked at what the itty-bitty expenses add up to. Take the total you spent on just one unnecessary item for the month, multiply it by 12 for months in a year and multiply the result by 5 to symbolize 5 years.
That is how much you could have saved AND drawn interest on in just five years. That, my friend, is the very grounds all of us need a budget.
If we can get control of the small expenses that really don’t matter to the overall scheme of our lives, we can enjoy financial success.
The little things in truth do count. Cutting what you spend on lunch from five dollars a day to three dollars a day on every work day in a five day work week saves $10 a week… $40 a month… $480 a year… $2400 in five years….plus interest.
See what I mean; it really IS the little things and you still eat lunch everyday AND that was only one place to save money in your daily living without doing without one thing you really need. There are a lot of areas to slash expenses if you look for them.
Set some specific long term and short term goals. There are no wrong answers here. If it’s important to you, then it’s important period.
If you want to be able to make a down payment on a house, start a college fund for your kids, buy a sports car, take a vacation to Maldives… anything… then that is your goal and your reason to get a handle on your financial situation now.
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Nowadays, it is hard to ensure that you are eating the right food and that you are getting all the nutrients that your body needs. Having the time to plan meals and cook them is a rarity these days. Not surprisingly, it is easier for many people to just grab a bite from the nearest fast food restaurant, inadvertently filling up their stomach with fats and empty calories. Fortunately, one can always fill in the gaps with a good choice of nutritional supplements.
“But I Eat Right! Do I Still Need It?”
Chefs, cooks and foodies have access to the best foods and ingredients. It is considerably easy for chefs and cooks to whip up healthy dishes on a daily basis. So, does this mean they do not need to take nutritional supplements? According to nutrition experts, the answer is definitely a resounding yes.
Over the past decade, there is a noticeable increase in reported deaths resulting from diabetes and heart diseases. It is incredibly alarming that more and more people are diagnosed of these diseases – and chefs are not spared from these ailments. These diseases have become widespread. The number of individuals suffering from these diseases has dramatically increased. Admittedly, the primary cause of these conditions is poor nutrition.
As chefs and cooks, it is hard to stick to a healthy diet. With all the food tasting going on inside the kitchen, it is definitely hard to get rid of bad eating habits. If you are not into growing, marketing or using organic ingredients or food products, it is inevitable that you will also be popping ingredients or food items that have been grown using fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides or other harmful chemicals. It is unfortunate, but it has become a practice to use chemicals in order to grow large fruits and vegetables – at the cost of losing precious vitamins and minerals in food.
Regardless of the measures you employ in order to maintain nutrition in your cooking, it cannot be denied that most cooking methods remove substantial amount of vitamins and minerals from food. A carrot once prepared for cooking may contain considerably less than the amount of nutrients it initially has. In truth, the same carrot may have been sprayed with chemicals to keep its color and freshness. This is the reason why many chefs prefer to purchase local ingredients for their dishes.
“What Should I Take Then?”
There are many nutritional supplements in the market. It is up to you to check out your options and do your research. It is important, however, to remember that these supplements are not intended as substitute for a good and healthy diet. These are only meant to fill up the gaps in your diet. Perhaps, you can start with a multivitamin taken on a daily basis. You can also check out other products that are in the market. Nowadays, you will find supplements that are rich in antioxidants. Regardless of your choice, it is also a good idea to consult with your physician.
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Nowadays, more and more people are concerned about the kind of foods they are eating. It is easy to get hold of food, but unfortunately, many of the foods served in restaurants or found in grocery stores are far from being healthy. If you want to make sure that you are eating healthy, you need to know what it is you are putting in your mouth. This means that you have to read nutrition labels.
Why Do You Need to Read Nutrition Facts?
By learning how to read nutrition facts on food labels, you will find yourself making wise choices. Nowadays, you will find labels like “healthy” or “low fat” in packages. Food manufacturers know that more and more people are concerned about nutrition, so they often placed misleading labels in order to encourage people to buy their products. If you do not know how to read nutrition facts, you will likely take the misleading labels at face value and purchase the products.
It is easier to be in control of your eating habits if you take the time to read nutrition facts. But not everyone knows how to do this. Here are some tips on how you can fully gauge the nutritional value of a food product by checking out the nutrition facts on food labels.
1. Check the serving size. You will usually find the serving size and number of servings per container at the top of the food label. The serving size differs from one product to another. If you observe your own serving portions, you should definitely check this out. Otherwise, you could end up eating more than you eat normally. If you normally eat twice the serving printed on the label, you need to double the nutritional fact numbers.
2. Add up the “number of calories” and the “number of calories from fat”. “Calories” section tells you the number of calories the food product contains. A section labeled as “calories from fats” also tells you the same. if you are trying to lose weight, these sections should matter to you. For instance, if one serving would give you 200 calories with 100 calories from fat, you should reconsider eating a second serving. You may end up consuming more calories than you need.
3. Take note of the “Total Fat”. This section includes the number of different kinds of fats including those good for you like Omega-3 fatty acids, mono saturated and polyunsaturated fats. This also includes bad fats like trans fats and saturated fats. Good fats can help lower the cholesterol level in your blood. They are also good for your heart. Trans fats are those that are formed while liquid oils are being converted into fats. They are either hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. The former is used as preservatives because they prolong the shelf life of certain products.
4. Check out the sodium content. Practically all food products in the market have sodium content. Unfortunately, this particular ingredient is sometimes hidden in many processed foods, so take note of the nutrition facts to see how much sodium does a particular product contain
5. .See how much cholesterol the product contains. Check out the cholesterol section of the nutrition fact. This will tell you how much cholesterol you will be consuming with each serving. Take note of the type of cholesterol the product contains. There are two types of cholesterol. These are the HDL or the “good cholesterol” and the LDL or the “bad cholesterol”.
6. Check the “Total Carbohydrates” and “Fiber” content. The Total Carbohydrates section represents the total amount of carbohydrates the food product contains per serving. You should also check the fiber content of the product. You will have an idea how many grams of dietary fiber each serving of the food contains.
7. Take note of the sugar content. This is a huge concern especially if you are borderline diabetic or you are suffering from diabetes. You need to be vigilant about this when buying or eating processed foods. You will be amazed at how large the amount of sugar is on some food products.
8. Check out the Protein content and the amount of Vitamins and Minerals the product contains. Do not just buy something without checking whether you can derive anything good from it. Proteins, vitamins and minerals are things that food products should offer – however minimal the amount is. However, you will definitely benefit if the food product contains a lot of these things.
9. Check out the product’s “Percent Daily Value”. This is usually found at the bottom of the label. Usually, the nutritional facts are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. This should be placed in all kinds of packages. This information shows the limits of the nutrients based on the caloric diet prescribed by the country’s nutrition experts.
You need to learn how to read nutrition facts on food labels if you would like to make sure that you will be eating healthy. Even people who observe healthy eating lifestyle can still eat too much fats, sugar or sodium if they do not bother to read food labels.
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