You can find a million tips on the internet about how to stay healthy and attractive: count calories, do a lot of sports, eat less, and so on. But scientists have a different point of view. Here are 14 scientifically proven tips to help you stay healthy with the least amount of effort.
1. Stop counting calories.
A high quality of food is more important than calories. A 20-year-long study showed that processed foods and sugary drinks cause the biggest weight gain. So pay attention not to how many calories there are in your food but to how healthy it is.
2. Fill up half of your plate with vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are sources of fiber, water, and useful microelements. Research has shown that if you put a lot of vegetables and fruits on your plate, your health improves. The same thing works for supermarkets: if half of your shopping cart is filled with fruits and vegetables, you are halfway to being healthy.
3. Eat what you want and when you want.
Sometimes we decide to avoid our favorite products for a while, but we can’t keep it up forever, and then we eat a lot of it and gain weight. To always stay strong and healthy, we need to eat what we want and enjoy every piece without feeling guilty. Lift the prohibition on not thinking about your favorite food all the time.
4. Use the “rule of 2 bites.”
If you really want to eat something very unhealthy, deceive your brain: take one bite, drink a glass of water, and then bite once more. The sensation of being full will come much faster.
5. Start your day with protein.
Foods rich in protein reduce the levels of the “hunger hormone” — ghrelin. That’s why eggs, chicken breast, and Greek yogurt can help you feel full until lunch more effectively than a carbohydrate breakfast.
6. Walk 2 minutes every hour.
If you have to sit while working, make it a rule to walk 1–2 minutes for every hour you spend sitting. You can always find a reason to visit a different department, walk to the floor above, or go outside for a minute. This will help you stay active for the entire day.
7. Never eat snacks from a packet.
You can quickly eat a huge amount of chips, cookies, or candy from a big pack in 5 minutes. Put the snacks on a plate, or sort them into smaller bags: this will help you control how much you have eaten and when it is time to stop.
8. Use the “rule of 10 minutes.”
This rule works for any good habit. If you want to go to bed earlier, go to sleep 10 minutes before you originally planned. If you want to do yoga but can’t find any free time, start with 10 minutes a day.
9. Choose big meals.
A professor from Pennsylvania conducted a study and came to this conclusion: large portions of food or meals containing a lot of water are a great way not to overeat. A big bowl of salad will fill your stomach much faster than a handful of nuts, and this will make you feel full.
10. Reduce your sugar consumption to 6 spoons.
A huge amount of sugar in your food makes the chances of getting type 2 diabetes higher. It also leads to obesity. Health experts made recommendations for daily sugar consumption: 6 tsp a day for women and 9 for men.
11. Be selfish.
Being selfish means thinking that you are the most important person. Diet expert Ann Fletcher recommends putting yourself first and caring about yourself and your own body. Be selfish: stop giving things away to others. Get something for yourself first.
12. Move your desk closer to the window.
Research shows that a large amount of sunlight has a positive influence on 2 things: the quality of your sleep and your productivity. In order to be healthy, find a way to get a well-lit working place.
13. Drink warm beverages.
Warm beverages decrease the amount of metabolic waste, so the process of aging slows down. Tea or a glass of warm water (ideally 30 minutes before a meal) speed up digestion, increase the productivity of your metabolism, and improve blood circulation.
14. Don’t brush your teeth after eating.
Specialists don’t recommend brushing your teeth right after food — you should do it at least 30 minutes after. If you ate or drank something sour, don’t brush your teeth after eating so as not to damage the enamel.