Did you know that most meals you order at a restaurant will exceed average calorie requirements? A study reported in Science Daily found 92% of both large-chain and non-chain restaurants serve meals that exceed recommended calorie requirements for a single meal.
If you know you’ll be eating out, strategize beforehand. Look at the menu and have an idea of what you’ll order. If you are going to partake in an appetizer, only have a small portion, and take part of your main meal to go.
Choose My Plate.gov recommends that at least half of your plate at every meal should be filled with fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables are beneficial because they:
Contain filling fiber
Have heart-boosting and cancer-fighting antioxidants
Are lower calorie than other food groups
The rest of your meal should be one-quarter healthy protein and up to one-quarter whole grains.
Mindless eating, without tracking how much you’re eating or how often, can lead to unexpected weight gain. A snack while studying and a couple sodas at night all add up. To gain a clear perspective on your eating habits:
Track everything you eat for a week. You can do this by hand in a journal, or with an app like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit.
Look for unhealthy patterns and opportunities for easy changes. For example, starting a meal with a salad can make you fuller quicker, so you don’t overdo it with seconds on the entrée and side dishes.
Swap soda for water a few times a week and note the results. Doing so could eliminate a couple pounds every month.
Sedentary behavior is linked to health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. According to the CDC, you should aim to:
Get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
Participate in muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week.
Typically, vigorous exercise leads to more health benefits.
In addition to carving out regular fitness time into your schedule, here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your routine.
If you live close enough to school or work, ride your bike or walk. As you navigate your daily schedule, walk if you can. Exercise has mood-boosting benefits like the release of endorphins, which is a great way to begin your day.
Not everyone loves running, and some people dislike the weight room. But that doesn’t mean you should completely neglect aerobic and anaerobic exercises. The key to creating a sustainable healthy habit is to choose something you enjoy. Maybe it’s:
Chronic stress can lead to a whole host of negative effects, including illness, headaches, insomnia, and decreased productivity. Over the long term, stress can contribute to a number of health problems, including:
Happiness levels have a direct effect on overall health and help decrease the effects of stressful situations. According to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley, happy people have up to 12 times lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.