This article is designed to give tips to readers about how they can improve or augment actions in their life to have a healthy lifestyle; it is not meant to be all inclusive but will include major components that are considered to be parts of a lifestyle that lead to good health. In addition to the tips about what people should do for healthy living, the article will mention some of the tips about avoiding actions (the don’ts) that lead to unhealthy living.
“Healthy living” to most people means both physical and mental health are in balance or functioning well together in a person. In many instances, physical and mental health are closely linked, so that a change (good or bad) in one directly affects the other. Consequently, some of the tips will include suggestions for emotional and mental “healthy living.”
All humans have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body, but we humans have different requirements as infants, children (kids), teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors. For example, infants may require feeding every four hours until they gradually age and begin to take in more solid foods. Eventually they develop into the more normal pattern of eating three times per day as young kids. However, as most parents know, kids, teenagers, and young adults often snack between meals. Snacking is often not limited to these age groups because adults and seniors often do the same.
• Eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); it is important to remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal.
• The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
• Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts (with emphasis on beans and nuts).
• Control portion sizes; eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
• Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories in the sodas and sugar drinks; diet drinks may not be a good choice as they make some people hungrier and increase food consumption.
• Avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease gastroesophageal reflux and weight gain.
• If a person is angry or depressed, eating will not solve these situations and may make the underlying problems worse.
• Avoid rewarding children with sugary snacks; such a pattern may become a lifelong habit for people.
• Avoid heavy meals in the summer months, especially during hot days.
• Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats of any type.
Tips for special situations:
• People with unusual work schedules (night shifts, college students, military) should try to adhere to a breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine with minimal snacking.
• People who prepare food should avoid using grease or frying foods in grease.
• People trying to lose weight (body fat) should avoid all fatty and sugary foods and eat mainly vegetables, fruits, and nuts and markedly reduce his/her intake of meat and dairy products.