keithjennison March 23, 2009

There are two secrets to preventative medicine; exercise and diet modification. Numerous studies have shown that hitting the gym (or even just walking!) 3-5 days each week considerably reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer and many other health problems.

One needn’t necessarily cut out his or her favorite foods to lose a few pounds. Instead, portion control and moderation, combined with exercise 3-5 days per week, are the keys to improved fitness.

healthy weight
Losing weight begins with a good breakfast. This is a message Americans are told from childhood through educational campaigns, commercials and from their parents. Yet somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many people lose this most basic lesson amid the hustle and bustle of a busy day.

One study of 4,218 adults found that women who ate breakfast were much more likely to have a body mass index less than 25, which puts them in the healthy weight category.

Additionally, it was discovered that women who had at least one serving of whole grains each day weighed less and had slimmer waistlines than those who ate none. Cereal is one of the best ways to start the day, particularly ones that offer 5 grams of fiber per serving. Nature’s Path, Kashi and Barbara’s Bakery are all nutrient-packed cereals to look for.

eating healthy
Add skim milk and fruit, then enjoy the health benefits of protein, complex carbohydrates, calcium, antioxidants and fiber. Eggs are a surprisingly beneficial breakfast too. The protein leaves people feeling fuller longer and keeps blood sugar at an even keel all day long.

Lunch healthy weight takes just a ten-minute change. While quick-and-easy cafeteria food or pizza Fridays may seem ideal during a hectic day of work, studies show that those who bring food from home generally bring healthy foods, smaller portions, slightly less calories and foods packed with more nutrients, healthy fats, protein and fiber from whole foods .

A turkey sandwich, an apple and a yogurt would make an ideal lunch and can be thrown together in less than five minutes. Some people prefer to graze every couple of hours, rather than sit down for a 30-minute lunch.

This kind of snacking keeps metabolic rates up and calories burning all day long. Fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, whole grain bread, diced peppers, carrots, broccoli and dip, yogurt, raisins and granola all make healthy snack foods.

raw foods
Some people recognize the value of eating healthy organic foods but still want to try a diet to jumpstart their weight loss. The Mediterranean Diet is a highly regarded option that emphasizes healthy eating patterns. The Mediterranean substitutes fresh local ingredients for processed foods.

Most meals include lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, olive oil, whole grains, pasta and cereals. In lesser amounts but still present is fish, poultry, eggs and low-fat dairy. A glass of red wine is usually served with lunch or dinner as well, which has proven heart health benefits.

With just a few simple lifestyle changes, a person can increase his or her life expectancy significantly, look healthier and feel more productive.