3 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle
Less Than 3% of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle
If you ask most Americans if they live a healthy lifestyle, they’ll answer “yes.” But the data says different.
Nearly 36% of Americans are obese.
Nearly double that are overweight.
Even 1/3 of our children are obese.
So can most of us truthfully say we’re healthy?
A study entitled The U.S. National Health and Nutrition Survey says “no.” Researchers found fewer than 3% of Americans are living what can be considered a healthy lifestyle.
But we could change this statistic with a few minor lifestyle changes.
What Makes a Healthy Lifestyle?
Researchers classified a healthy lifestyle quite generously. Lead researcher Ellen Smit, associate professor at OSU College of Health and Human Sciences, said that “the behavior standards we were measuring were pretty reasonable, not super high. We weren’t looking for marathon runners.”
For them, a healthy lifestyle meant people were following four general principles of healthy living:
1) Eating a good diet
2) Engaging in moderate exercise
3) Not smoking
4) Keeping body fat below a certain threshold (measured through BMI)
The Shocking Results
Data from over 4,700 participants showed just 2.7% of people engaged in all four healthy lifestyle choices. Sadly, 11% of study participants didn’t adhere to a single one, and just 10% were able to maintain a healthy BMI.
There were signs of hope, though. Roughly 70% of individuals didn’t use tobacco products, and 38% already ate what researchers called a reasonably healthy diet. Women were more likely to adhere to these two healthy choices than men.
That’s good news for you!
What You Can Do to Beat Those Odds
Remember, these healthy lifestyle choices aren’t difficult, and accomplishing them is definitely within your reach.
The key to success in any lifestyle change is to take things one step at a time. Concentrate on one small thing you know you can change, then move on.
Step One: Quit Smoking
It can be one of the hardest choices to make (due to physical addiction), but quitting smoking results in some of the best results.
Step Two: Reduce Your Caloric Intake
The Hollywood Cookie Diet® can help with that. Use these low-calorie meal replacement cookies to help keep you fuller longer and eliminate unnecessary (and unhealthy) between-meal snacking that adds hundreds of calories (and grams of fat) to most Americans’ daily diets.
Step Three: Add Activity to Your Lifestyle
Slowly add in exercise (a leisurely walk daily or an active weekend hobby like kayaking or bicycling).
You’ll be on your way to that healthy lifestyle in no time because your BMI will automatically fall in line when you’ve mastered these last two steps. Plus, as you grow accustomed to a healthier diet and more active lifestyle, you’ll actually start to crave these things—making it much easier to stick with your personal, long-term wellness program.