# Tips to Better Health

By Disabled World - 2007-10-07

Everyone knows, whether they want to admit it or not, reducing calories will help you to lose weight. However, just as you should reduce the calorie intake, you need to know when to eat.

1. Eat Less Later in the Day:

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the one meal that should not be missed. Lunch should be healthy but a less than what you ate for breakfast. As you approach dinner, eat healthy but light. Avoid after dinner snacks or eating before bed!

2. ZZZ:

Does sleep really affect health? You bet it does. During sleep, your body is resting and recovering from all the work is has done throughout the day. Your serotonin levels are brought back in line, your muscles relax, and mind is allowed to clear itself in preparation for the next day. If you are not getting the proper amount of sleep, you will notice it in a physical way. While there is no magic number, usually between six and eight hours a night is appropriate. If you have difficulty getting to sleep, before you climb into bed, try Yoga, listening to soft, relaxing music, a glass of wine, or if you can talk someone into it, a good massage.

3. Body Fat:

When you think about losing weight, more importantly than weight is the amount of fat you are carrying around. This fat is measured with what is called Body Mass Index, or BMI. For women, if you are fit, your percent of body fat should range from 21% to 31%. If you are in incredible shape, that could be as low as 10%. For men, fit should be between 14% and 25%, and excellent shape, as low as 2%.

(Try our Body Mass Index Calculator)

To calculate your body fat, write down how much you weigh (be honest - no one will see this but you). Multiply your weight by 703. Next, write down your height, in inches. Multiply by that same number. Then you will divide your weight number by your height number. That is your BMI. For example, if your weight were 150 pounds x 703, your weight answer would be 105,450. If your height is 5'4", that would be 64 inches x 64 for a total of 4,096. Taking the 105,450 divided by 4,096, you come out with a BMI of 25.7.

4. Water:

Water is excellent for the body and good health. Water helps flush out toxins and other unwanted things lingering in the body. Water also replenishes fluids that help lubricate the internal body, keeps you hydrated, reduces hunger, which helps with weight loss, and helps to make skin look smooth and young. If you are not used to drinking water, it may seem hard at first, but very quickly, you will enjoy the clean, refreshed way it makes you feel. At a minimum, you should drink 64-ounces a day and more if you can.

5. Increased Protein:

Many diets of today's society pull you back and forth, one telling you to eat more protein, and one less. The fact is that if you are not exercising as much as you used to or if you are exercising heavily, your body could in fact need more protein than what the RDA recommends. The good balance for either scenario is 50% to 60% carbohydrates, 20% to 25% protein and 20% or less of fat. If you stick with this equation, you will benefit.

6. Lunchtime:

Instead of eating a heavy lunch, put together something light and easy and go for a walk. You can sip on a protein drink or snack on fruit while enjoying a nice brisk walk before heading back to the office. You will feel refreshed and more invigorated for your afternoon tasks.

7. Some like it Hot:

Hot, spicy foods that contain curry, chilies, or other hot peppers such as cayenne, help to trigger endorphins. These hormones are what make people feel good and well balanced. In fact, endorphins are like a natural morphine that helps ease pain and provide a sense of well being. The next time you are feeling a little down or have some minor pain, try eating something spicy.