Did you know an unhealthy diet is the leading cause of death in the United States every year?
Around 678,000 people die each year from causes related to an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. Making a healthy lifestyle change is something anyone can do.
Personally, I don’t like calling it a diet because a diet is depriving you from certain things you love.
Making a lifestyle change is more than just changing your diet or switching to lots of exercise, it’s making healthier choices overall. To create a lifestyle change, you must change your habits.
Did you know the average calories consumed daily by Americans is 3,600? According to health.gov, women are supposed to consume 2,000 calories daily and men are supposed to consume 2,500?
Therefore, the average American is eating 1,000 calories more than they should be each day. Of course, if you’re working out for more than an hour a day the calorie intake changes, but excessive calorie intake is bad for you.
According to cspinet.org, there were 529,999 deaths in 2016 because of dietary issues. The basic American diet is too high in saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. When you are eating too many of these things, you’re at risk for many diseases.
Therefore, you need to change your diet if you don’t want these life-risking diseases. 25-30% of your calories should come from healthy fats. The majority of your fats need to come from unsaturated foods like avocado, nuts, fish, and cheese. Less than 10 percent of your fat’s intake should come from foods with saturated fats like baked goods, dairy products, and red meats. 35% of your calories should come from proteins.
Protein helps your nails, bones, hair, and skin grow properly. Protein can come from any type of meat, eggs, nuts, or fish. Chicken is a lean meat hence it is your best source of protein. 40-60% of your calories should come from carbohydrates. Many studies and people believe carbohydrates are bad for you and cause people to become overweight. However, these people are not entirely correct.
Our bodies need carbohydrates because they produce glucose which then moves into our bloodstream to provide energy. There are simple carbohydrates and healthy carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are the ones with the most sugar or empty calories, these are the bad carbohydrates you want to avoid eating.
Some healthy carbohydrate filled foods are whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. The benefits of eating healthy foods are maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reducing your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, consuming the proper vitamins and minerals, and keeps your weight at a healthy level.
Another big part in changing your lifestyle is drinking water. 75 percent of Americans fall short of the amount of fluids they need for proper bodily function. Water is essential to our bodies. If you are a person who is moderately active, you need to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. If you are working out or playing sports you should be consuming your full bodyweight. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself that is a ton of water, but it keeps you hydrated.
Before every meal a person should drink an eight-ounce glass of water, wait ten minutes, then eat. When you do this, you get fuller and you won’t eat as much as you would if you didn’t drink that eight-ounce glass.
Did you know the leading cause of kidney stones is dehydration? If you don’t drink the proper amount of water daily your body becomes imbalanced. According to Medical News Today, drinking water helps oxygen move through your whole body. A major benefit to drinking water is healthy skin.
When you aren’t drinking enough water, your skin becomes dehydrated and often times dries out and gets wrinkly. You should stay hydrated while working out as well, because if you are dehydrated, it is really hard to rehydrate. Additionally, exercise is a very important factor for living a healthy lifestyle.
According to Harvard University, an average person needs to work out for at least an hour three to five days a week. There are different types of exercise people can perform.
Personally, I enjoy cardio. Not many people enjoy cardio because it is tiring and oftentimes not fun. However, cardio is very good for you and has many benefits. Cardio lowers your risk for heart disease, lowers your blood pressure, helps regulate your blood sugar, reduces chronic pain, helps maintain a healthy weight, and helps you sleep.
People should pair a 30-60 minute cardio session with a different workout three to five days a week. There are different types of cardio people can do, it doesn’t have to be the same thing every time you perform a cardio workout. Some cardio workouts are running, dancing, jump ropes, swimming, the elliptical, and a stair-climber. Cardio can be performed before or after the rest of your workout.
Lots of people combine cardio with strength training because it is the most efficient way to burn fat and calories. With strength training, you want to focus on one or two muscle groups per day. You don’t want to work out your arms and legs on the same day because your body will not have time to recover properly.
Working out is good for you and has many health benefits. When you work out, it helps you maintain a healthy weight, boosts your energy level, and improves your mood. Exercise also helps prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes, various cancers, high blood pressure, and reduces stress and anxiety.
When you combine exercise with healthy foods and plenty of water your quality of life will be so much better. You will lower your risk for many diseases and your body will be so much healthier. Making these little decisions in your life can really improve the outcome.
If you do make the decision to better your lifestyle, you will live longer with fewer medical complications. You will become more comfortable in your own skin and love who you are.