Self Help Skills

Healthy Life: The 35+ Most Important Things You Should Know About Nutrition, Dieting, And Fitness


General well being


1. Avoid stress, anger, negative thinking etc.


2. Keep busy: Do stuff. Read. Walk. Talk to friends/family. Help others. There are so many ways.


3. Be clean: Bathe often. Wear clean clothes. Wash your hands thoroughly before you eat.


4. Get some air: Some clean air. And keep some plants in your house.


5. Sleep better: Please read the guide to sleeping better.


Healthy eating


6. Only eat till you're about 3/4 full then stop.


7. Hydrate well: No soda or juice or anything like that. Just water. Lots of water.


8. Fish is healthier then every meat. Poultry is the best meat.


9. If you want your weight to stay off, respect your metabolism. Eat always (preferably small portions).


10. Not every fat is bad (trans fats are), not every sugar is bad (e.g. fructose and dextrose).


11. Minimize sugar: It's all empty calories. research also suggests that sugar increases your triglycerides and bad cholesterol, and is definitely linked to diabetes.


12. Avoid artificial trans fats: Research links trans fats to heart disease, and possibly diabetes and obesity. Trans fats are found in most processed foods - baked goods including cakes, biscuits, cookies, crackers, spreads like stick margarines etc.


13. Eat more vegetables. And fruits.


14. Healthy eating and exercise boosts our confidence too.


15. If you must have alcohol, go for red wine. Experts say it is healthier.


16. Stop eating out. Get more home-cooked meals. Stop fast food altogether.


17. Four things can predict your lifetime risk of a heart attack: Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, Blood Pressure (get them checked) and smoking.




18. Walking increases our brain activity by about 20%. (Stanford University study)


19. Walking is a good start for anybody who doesn't exercise.


20. Use stairs. Simple but effective.


21. If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, do some cardio 3-7 times per week for at least 30 minutes.


22. Running for as little as five minutes a day could add years to your life. And it doesn't matter how fast you run. After studying 55,137 adults between the ages of 18 and 100, it was discovered that runners had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes and a 45% lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.


23. 1 minute of high intensity exercise: Do a physical exercise (running, skipping, spot running, jumpting, pushups, pullups, running up the stairs, etc) intensely for 1 minute, rest for a minute, and then do it again. Do it 10 times (in 20 minutes time). Consult your doctor if you have a heart condition, or get out of breadth easily, before you do it.


24. Have some fitness goals: Lose weight (fat), gain muscle, increase strength/stamina, increase muscular endurance (very important for maintaining body in middle age), improve cardiovascular health (keep the ticker active), become better at some sport (this is a very helpful goal).


25. Set up some milestones, once you have a fitness goal in mind: Mind you, set achievable milestones, otherwise you will be discouraged quickly - e.g. lose 2 pounds in 15 days.


26. To stay healthy, run a hundred micro-marathons: And do the 10,000 steps a day. Run a 100 micro-marathons throughout the day. Every hour, try to walk briskly at 80 steps/minute for 10 minutes - that's 800 steps. Do this 12 times during the day, and you have made your 10,000 steps a day


27. Did you know that you can burn up to 350 calories in a work day by just tapping your foot?


28. Yoga is good for building body strength, flexibility and balance, but it's not a substitute for cardio exercise (running, cycling, aerobic training).


Losing weight


29. The #1 secret to losing weight: It's natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping weight off.


'Healthy weight loss isn't just about a 'diet'. It's about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes.' (CDC)


Remember, the weight-loss industry is worth $30 billion a year, mostly made from false advertising awashed with words like 'melt away,' 'no diet or exercise is required', and 'miracle' substances, as well as 'seek and destroy' fat.


30. Alton Brown's four lists method

- Daily (whole grains, green tea, fruit, nuts)

- Three times a week (oily fish, tofu, yogurt, sweet potato)

- Once a week (alcohol, desserts, red meat, white starch)

- Never (soda, canned soup, 'diet' anything, fast food)


31. Put a mirror on your fridge/in your kitchen: May force to pause before making food choices.


32. Try intermittent fasting

This is less daunting than heavy-duty diet and exercise. There can be many approaches to fasting: No sugar for a day; no solids for a day, no food for a day, no carbohydrates for two days, no non-veg food for a month, and so on.


33. Try easy food substitutions

Just Google search 'food substitution lists', or 'eat this not that'.


34. BMI: Short for Body Mass index, BMI, when taken into consideration along with blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol, becomes a marker of the dangers of obesity. BMI of most adults increases after age 30, and has a direct influence on heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and arthritis.


(BMI formula - metric) BMI = ( Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters x Height in Meters ) )


BMI < 18.5 kg/m² = Underweight.

BMI between 18.5 kg/m² - 24.9 kg/m² = Healthy.

BMI between 25 -30 kg/m² = Overweight

BMI of 30.0 kg/m² or greater = Obese

BMI of 40.0 kg/m² or greater = Extreme obesity


(Note: These figures are a bit different for women and men. Just Google 'BMI for women', for example)


35. BMR: Short for Base Metabolic rate, BMR is the amount of energy (in the form of calories) that our body needs to function regularly if it were resting for 24 hours a day.


Accounting for 60%+ of our body's daily energy use, BMR is a big thing.


BMR is important because once we know how much energy (food) we need to survive daily, we can then calculate how much calories (from food) we need per day. Thus, BMR is a very useful tool in planning our daily diet. And we also know how much calorie-burning we got to do to reduce our weight.


(BMR formula - metric):

For men: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5

For women: BMR = 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) – 161


36. How many calories to burn?

It is not an exact science. But you can start by 'guestimating' the amount of body fat you got:


Lookup Table for Men


Waist (inches) Approximate Body Fat%age

25  - 5%

26  - 6%

27  - 7%

28  - 8%

29  - 9%

30  - 10%

31 -  11%

32  - 13%

33  - 15%

34  - 17%

35  - 19%

36  - 21%

37  - 23%

38  - 26%

39  - 29%

40  - 31%

41  - 34%

42  - 36%

43  - 39%

44  - 42%

45  - 44%

46  - 46%

47  - 48%

48  - 50%

49  - 52%

50  - 54%


Lookup Table for Women


Waist (inches) - Approximate Body Fat %age

25  - 15%

26  - 15%

27  - 16%

28  - 17%

29  - 18%

30  - 21%

31  - 23%

32  - 26%

33  - 28%

34  - 31%

35  - 34%

36  - 37%

37  - 40%

38  - 43%

39  - 46%

40  - 48%

41  - 51%

42  - 53%

43  - 56%

44  - 58%

45  - 60%

46  - 62%

47  - 63%

48  - 65%

49  - 66%

50  - 67%


(Source: Leigh Peele)


The figures are only averages.


Next figure to know: The amount of calorie in each kilo of fat

Which is roughly around 7000 calorie. You can use all this information to find the amount of body fat in your body, as well as how many calories you have to burn, keeping in mind that an average adult needs at least 1800-2000 calories daily.


The other figures you will need is amount of calorie burn from different exercise activity. Search Google for 'calorie burn chart', which always takes into account age-wise BMR figures.


For example, sitting for an hour takes only 85 calories, Running for an hour, on the other hand, use up to 700 calories (depending upon your weight).


Workplace health


37. Get up at least 15-20 or more times a day. Make any excuse, but get up.


38. Don't sit for more than 30-45 minutes at a time. Get up and move some.


39. The 20-20-20 rule for reducing computer eyestrain: After every 20 minutes, the computer user should take a break for at least 20 seconds and look at objects that are 20 feet away.


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