- Monitor How Much Salt You’re Eating Even if you NEVER reach for the saltshaker, your food is a lot saltier than you think!
Why? Lots of seasonings include tons of salt for taste. Also, foods with long shelf lives like frozen and canned foods, use salt as a preservative.
“It’s very difficult to avoid salt when you eat out,” John says. “Normally, my first choice when I eat out is the plainest thing on the menu, which means either a salad or turkey. Anything that says it’s been seasoned… [or is] in a sauce usually includes a lot of salt.”
If it sounds bland or gross, that’s because we’ve been conditioned to eat a lot of salt. Still, we can’t deny the health hazards of a high-sodium diet.
“There’s just too much salt out there. Most Americans eat much more salt than they should every day,” John adds. “It took me a year or two to really wean myself off [salt]. It made my blood pressure go down.”
- Know Yourself and Do Your Research Before Changing Your Diet While many of us accept that changing your diet or lifestyle for the better is a healthy move, no one wants to feel deprived of the food they enjoy.
It’s essential to research what kind of diet seems doable for you in the long-run. For example, if chicken nuggets are your absolute favorite food and non-negotiable in any new diet, a low carb diet would be more nugget-friendly than a vegetarian diet.
John says the key to simplifying your food choices (and your life) is to “cook more at home and really study labels… Read the labels of everything you buy.”
Also, if you’re worried about feeling hungry, you have to eat foods that will make you feel full without eating lot of it.
“You’ve really gotta not just cut the calories you eat, but the types of calories you’re consuming,” John says. “100 calories of sugar is a lot different from 1000 calories of lettuce.”
- Exercise Alone Won’t Make You Healthy, But it Sure Helps Okay, you picked a diet that’s perfect for your needs and lifestyle. A little uncomfortable, but totally tolerable.
So now, how important is exercise in all this? Do you have to start working out to be healthy?
Well, depends on what your health goals are. If you just want to lose weight, John says no, you don’t HAVE to.
“Exercise is important, but I’ve read over the years that diet is going to make the biggest difference,” he says.
If you think about the pure numbers of it, it makes sense. Which is the easiest way to burn 500 calories: running at a steady pace for about 45 minutes, or just avoiding that slice of cake?
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