these simple habits that work wonders

THE ESSENTIAL

  • Poor nutrition and lack of exercise are the biggest health risks worldwide.

If you want to live a healthier life, here are some simple tips and good habits to adopt a healthier lifestyle and keep your weight in shape over the long term.

physical activity

Unsurprisingly, the most important thing is not to forget to exercise: In order to maintain a healthy body weight, the World Health Organization recommends physical activity of moderate or sustained intensity. “Walking, cycling, cycling, sports in general, active relaxation and play are common forms of physical activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their level.” Start slow if you’re dreading the word sport, take advantage of the good weather to practice in nature and don’t hesitate to motivate yourself when you’re struggling. One buzzword: Avoid a sedentary lifestyle that has harmful health effects.

The benefits of physical activity are numerous: “Beyond the calorie consumption, the physiological effects of physical activity are at the beginning of a virtuous cycle: muscle mass is largely preserved at the beginning of the use of energy substrates. Because the more physically active you are, the higher the heat dissipation – even when you are at rest. His practice is also involved in the regulation of glycemia (blood sugar levels) and hormone and energy metabolism.” explains Irène Margaritis, Deputy Risk Assessment Director and Head of the “Food, Animal and Plant Health” sector in the Risk Assessment Department of ANSES.

stop dieting

On the dieting side, we’ve known for decades the physiological or psychological harms of weight loss diets that pose real health risks. “Paradoxically, one of the most important and recurring consequences of the practice of deprivation and exclusion, regardless of diet, is weight gain, even obesity. The more you diet, the more you encourage weight gain.” indicates ANSES.

So it’s not about doing without, but about a varied and balanced healthy diet by avoiding (too much) sugar, especially in drinks and processed products: “Excess calories from foods and beverages high in free sugars also contribute to unhealthy weight gain, which can lead to overweight or obesity. The latest findings also show that free sugar has an effect on blood pressure and serum lipids, and suggest that reduced free sugar intake reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease.” says the WHO.

Limiting free sugar intake should be less than 10% of total energy intake, and it is recommended to go further and go below 5% of total energy intake to increase health benefits. A great way to avoid harmful added sugars is to cook for yourself and avoid eating industrial foods and drinks.

Prefer unsaturated fats

In summary, a healthy diet consists of the following: at least 400 g (or 5 servings) of fruits and vegetables per day, legumes (e.g. lentils and peas), dried fruits and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed corn, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice), rich in fiber, help us feel full and guarantee the health of our intestinal bacteria and our transit. Less than 30% of total energy intake should come from fat.

Unsaturated fats (found in fish, avocado and nuts, as well as sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils) are preferred over saturated fats (found in fatty meats, butter, palm and coconut oils, cream, cheese, clarified butter, etc. lard) and Trans fats from ruminants such as cows. “Industrial trans fats found in baked and fried foods, as well as in snack foods and pre-packaged foods such as frozen pizza, tarts, cookies, biscuits, waffles or at least cooking oils and spreads, cannot be part of a healthy diet and should be excluded,” says the WHO.

You should not avoid proteins that bring a feeling of satiety and contribute to muscle health, preferring vegetable proteins (the majority of which we find in the superalgae: spirulina, soy, hemp, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, tree nuts, legumes) or lean meat like poultry.

mindfulness meditation

And since we can tend to eat when we’re not hungry because we’re bored or because we’re stressed or tired, practicing a mindfulness meditation activity won’t make the pounds fly off, but can help stay in the present moment, be more aware of eating habits, and so remove yourself from it in order to feel good physically and mentally.

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