There is no shortage of heavily promoted quick weight loss schemes and exercise plans that promise instant results. This can be frustrating when you want to find real information that you can use to make informed lifestyle choices. However, making those choices is actually pretty straightforward. First, eat moderate amounts of the foods that provide your body the nutrition it needs. Second, start a regular exercise program. Finally, eliminate habits that are harmful. Here’s one more tip: don’t try to change everything at once. Make small changes that you can manage without excessive stress. Over time, you will build a healthy lifestyle that is sustainable and enjoyable.

 

Nutrition and Healthy Eating

A nutritious diet is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Remember that your body is literally made out of what you eat. Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily menu. Include whole grains to provide carbohydrates. For protein, concentrate on beans and other legumes. A moderate amount of meat, poultry or fish is okay as long as it is lean. Dairy products, fats and oils should be limited in quantity. The emphasis is on low fat foods and lots of fiber. This type of diet reduces the risk of conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and perhaps even cancer.

 

There are a number of nutritionally sound eating plans available. Two examples are the South Beach Diet and the Mediterranean Diet. If you want a plan that is organic and free of GMO foods, you can try the Maker’s Diet developed by health professional Jordan Rubin. Another option that works quite well is to simply follow the classic “food pyramid.”

Put Your Body in Motion

Diet alone is not a complete healthy lifestyle. The Mayo Clinic says everyone needs at least 150 minutes each week of moderate aerobic exercise. Any activity that gets your body moving, your heart pumping and your breathing rate up is aerobic exercise. Running, swimming and playing basketball or tennis are examples. A brisk walk fits the bill as well. You can even get an aerobic workout by raking leaves or doing other yard work.

 

You should include a couple of weight lifting sessions or other strength training activity as part of your weekly fitness program. The benefits of being in good physical shape are extensive. You will feel more energetic. Exercise can help you lose weight if you need to. Physical fitness is also linked to improved heart health and improved lung function.

 

Eliminate Unhealthy Habits

We all can fall into unhealthy habits. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and drug abuse are the most serious examples. None of these behaviors is compatible with a healthy lifestyle. You may not be able to break one of these habits on your own. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.

 

Another problem people face today is stress, which can lead to loss of sleep, headaches and more serious health problems. Consider practicing a form of meditation to reduce stress. You’ll feel better. In addition, research shows meditation can reduce blood pressure and chronic pain. Clinical research has also found links to better heart health and reduced blood pressure.