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Eating Healthy For a Longer Life

Let’s face it – almost everyone dreams of having a nice body. Being fit and in good shape seems to be the status quo of the latest “high status.” Yet the United States has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. The fact that there’s a burger joint everywhere you turn works against some struggling people’s attempts to stay healthy. For some individuals the craving for fattening foods is so severe it literally becomes an addiction.

However, erring in the other direction, people have become accustomed to being afraid of calories. Although some calories can be bad for you, there is such a thing as good calories, as well. Almost everything that you eat has calories. (Water, coffee, a few other things have none.) What you decide to put in your mouth will determine the outcome, good or bad. Choosing to change your eating habits and involving yourself in thirty minutes of exercise a day can start you on the road to successful weight loss. For those who are already fit, healthy eating is the key factor in maintaining optimum weight and health.

Basic ingredients
Eating healthy is a common sense, not faddish, thing. The main thing to do is get fiber into your diet, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, the appropriate servings of breads and starches, drink plenty of liquids and so on. And healthy foods don’t have to taste bad. There are all types of delicious foods that are low in fat and taste good too. Fresh fruits and vegetables are probably the best choice to make when you’re hungry or want to munch. They can be quite tasty when you jazz them up a little. Try adding some yogurt and granola to a fruit salad, or dipping some baby carrots in a light ranch dressing. The possibilities are endless.If you’re a “sweet tooth” sufferer, finding a way to fill that void can be challenging. Some have success with sugarless hard candies, or even sugar-sweetened ones, in small amounts.

Learning to restrict the fattening things you’ve used as possible “comfort foods, “ and finding at least a workable substitute, is important to long-run success. Remember: The goal is to limit, not eliminate, the most fattening or unhealthy items. You cannot achieve “eating perfection,” so give yourself a break.In the end, the ultimate decision belongs to you. Deciding to eat healthy is a conscious choice, and if you’re not ready to change your eating habits, it might be hard for you to succeed. There are options available to you. If your diet will include your first exercise and food reduction in more than a few years, you are advised to see you doctor or primary healthcare provider. After that your doctor might recommend seeking out a dietitian for some advice on better eating, whether or not you are overweight. Dietitians are medical professionals and can help you plan out your meals, teach you the importance of measuring your portion and be there for you until you’ve reached your goal.

Non-medical approaches
Being 20 percent or more overweight can be a serious impediment to a healthy lifestyle. In addition to medical approaches to weight loss there are groups with self-help and controlled-intake programs, like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Curves and others. Success rates for these types of programs vary widely, and no weight loss can be guaranteed for specific individuals.

However, they have been demonstrated to work for certain people, and they do not involve trips to a doctor or clinical dietitian. You will have to consider an investment of some $350-400 per month, at a minimum (exclusive of special offers), which can be a savings in some cases over what food shopping would cost, especially for overeaters.

Living a longer and healthier life doesn’t have to be a struggle. Neither do you have to deny yourself the things you like. If you eat wisely for six days of the week, there is no reason, unless you are in training or have a medical condition, that you can’t have a bowl of your favorite ice cream on the seventh. The so-called 80/20 Rule, used in some behavioral modification approaches, allows for 20 percent variation from the ideal. By this standard, one day a week for special treats is a winner, beating the ratio at just under 14-1/2 percent. Of course, if you don’t have to fight your weight, just find your “balance” and carry on – healthily, of course.Learn to discipline yourself. Have faith in yourself.

Believe that you are truly capable of achieving your goals, and you can. With some good decisions, and a lot of persistence, you really can eat healthy, live healthy and stay healthy for the rest of a good, long life.