2014-01-17 / Sports

Jen’s Fitness Forum

Want to live to 100?
By Jen Font de Bon

There are many factors involved in determining life expectancies, some of which are out of our control. Yet we have power too. By living consciously, considering consequences, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, one can extend his life expectancy by numerous years. Below are some guidelines for eating your way to 100. Over the next couple of weeks I will provide tips for activity, mindset, healthy habits, lifestyle practices, and other considerations that can help you push a century!

1. Choose a Mediterranean diet. Many studies show that eating a Mediterranean diet can extend your life in years, while also improving its overall quality. Next time you’re in the supermarket, think fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, and olive oil. Include fish, eggs, and dairy a couple of times each week. For beverages, stick to water and tea. Moderate alcohol and coffee intake is good too, as long as you keep it to one glass of red wine each day and no more than two cups of joe.

2. Focus on obtaining your vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from foods, not supplement pills. There are more benefits that come with getting your vitamins from foods as opposed to supplements because of the additional nutrients your body absorbs. For example, broccoli is packed with vitamin C and also provides fiber and protein. If you feel weak or exceptionally tired when changing your diet, get a blood exam to check for nutritional deficiencies. The results can help you focus on getting more of what you need. If you do decide to choose supplements, consult with a doctor and make sure the product you pick is FDA certified.

3. Stop eating when you’re 80% full.

Portion control is so important, yet many times ignored. It is easy to eat everything put in front of you, and in today’s society plates tend to be triple the size they should. Eat slowly, chew your food well, and put the fork down before you’re stuffed. After 20 minutes you will feel perfectly satisfied, and much better than if you’d pushed down those last bites.

4. Forget about “quick fix” diets. If you need to lose weight, do it responsibly by consuming a variety of whole, nutritious foods, controlling portion size, and exercising regularly. Be patient and stick with it. Once you’ve reached a healthy size, maintain it. Good health comes from consistency, so be sure to find a balance that’s practical and works for you.

5. Cook in, dine out less. Preparing your own food means that you know exactly what’s going into it. Plus, working in the kitchen can be a wonderfully meditative time for you to unwind and relax at the end of the day. Whether done alone or with friends and family, cooking helps keep the mind sharp and expands creativity. Make it a ritual, and don’t be afraid to get inventive. Let your senses lead you– many times the best meals come from improvising with whatever’s leftover in the fridge!

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