Facebook Pixel

Six Healthy Habits You Can Start TODAY!

Rate This

Everybody wants to be healthy, right? Although there are some things we can't control about our health, there are many things we can. By developing healthy habits that we practice on a daily basis, we can tip the odds in our favor for living a long and vibrant life.

1. Drink more water. Most people don't drink nearly enough water to properly hydrate their bodies. If you simply consider the fact that the human body is about 75% water, it helps to understand the importance of drinking the recommended daily amount of 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses. The problems associated with improper hydration and the benefits of proper hydration are too many to list here, but consider this one: Inadequate fluid intake and dehydration increases the risk of developing kidney stones. If you've ever suffered the pain of a kidney stone, that knowledge alone could be enough to prompt you to drink up.

2. Eat less food more often. Many people believe that the best way to lose weight is by skipping meals and eating less often. The truth is that when you skip meals, the metabolism slows down and you burn less calories and fat. It's better to eat five or six small meals and snacks (eat every three hours throughout the day) to keep the metabolism going. Include a protein (cheese, fish, lean meats, nuts, eggs, milk, etc.) with each meal or snack to help prevent glycemic (blood sugar) spikes that can lead to weight gain.

3. If it's white, don't bite. White bread, white rice, white sugar--these are all processed (refined) carbohydrates that have been stripped of their natural vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Stick with more natural foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and stevia (a natural sweetener). Processed foods that contain limited amounts of natural fibers and nutrients may fill you up, but they can still leave your body malnourished. Natural foods contain the fibers and minerals your body needs to function properly.

4. Give your liver a daily cleansing. For most of us, our livers are working overtime to filter toxins from the air we breathe, the foods we eat, and the things we drink. Like any filtering system, the liver needs to be cleaned occasionally to help it operate properly, so another good healthy habit to develop is periodic detoxification. For a good natural detoxification, squeeze half a lemon in 8 ounces of water and add stevia to taste first thing every morning. The lemon juice helps clean out the liver and also balance blood sugars naturally.

5. Get moving. There’s no way around it—if you really want to get and stay healthy, exercise is a key factor. Research has proven that consistent aerobic exercise prevents obesity and insulin resistance that can lead to type 2 diabetes. Exercise has proven to be just as effective as a particular oral diabetic medication in sensitizing the insulin receptor sites to allow glucose into the cells—and you don’t need a prescription! Of course, the benefits of exercise reach much farther, including cardiovascular health, stress reduction, muscle toning, and sleep enhancement.

6. Get your sleep. Sleep rejuvenates cells and helps in the healing process and also helps to maintain and boost the immune system (e.g., the chances of catching a cold increase if you haven’t had a sufficient amount of sleep). Lack of sleep also leads to stress, which leads to increased cortisol release, which leads to weight gain. How much is enough? For most adults, approximately 7-8 hours of sleep a night is about right.

As we all know, there's no time like the present to start on the road to better health. Start these healthy habits today and in no time they will be a natural part of your daily routine!

Dr. Tina Marcantel is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Gilbert, Arizona. For more information about her practice and to read many more articles by Dr. Marcantel, please visit her Web site at http://www.drmarcantel.com.

Add a Comment46 Comments

There is evidence that fresh lemon juice lowers the glycemic index of a meal, thus helping out the liver since it is what changes glucose into fat. No idea if it detoxes anything though.
I stick to the drink half your weight in ounces of water as a rule of thumb, but if I feel quenched I stop drinking,
Also, it doesn't matter how many meals you eat, just slow down! We all eat to fast, try to take 30 minutes to eat dinner. You'll feel better and will prevent insulin spikes.

October 10, 2011 - 1:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

If white rice is so bad, why do the populations that base their diet heavily on white rice have such amazingly low rates of heart disease and diabetes? The problem with white rice was that it was devoid of thiamine. As a result, people who depended too heavily on unenriched white rice as their food source were at risk for a deficiency disease called beriberi. But as long as you get some other source of thiamine and fiber, there's nothing wrong with white rice.

[Personal website removed as per guidelines]

August 4, 2011 - 7:55am

Just read this article on one of the hottest days in Toronto,Ontario Canada and I found it very entertaining that so many people had their own advice and opinions about water and drinking.I personally don't know of any other drink that could ever quench my thirst then water and that makes me feel healthy and mentally alert.Water is the best way to go on one of the hottest days and heat alert here in Canada.

July 21, 2011 - 3:51pm

As a physical therapist I love step 5...get moving. Exercise has so many benefits from cardiovascular, improving mental health, controlling blood surgar and blood pressure, and reducing joint stress. Everyone should not only consider exercise but specifically adding strength training to their daily routine.

~JTrempe PT, ATC

[personal website removed by Moderator per posting guidelines]

July 10, 2010 - 3:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

At one point i was told brown rice had more gluten and white rice was better for you because of that.

June 25, 2010 - 9:10am

Eating 6 meals a day, or every three hours, is one of the biggest myths in health, and and one of the reasons people fail to lose weight long term. Not only is it extremely difficult and stressful to cook and prepare so many little meals and bring them everywhere you go all day in tupperware containers, but the number of meals a person eats per day has ABSOLUTELY NO effect on the metabolism. Unless you are fasting for 72 hours or more, your metabolism wont change. Think about it, do you really think the human body's metabolism will slow down if it goes 10 hours without food? Do you think our ancestors, who were leaner, healthier, and stronger than us ate every 3 hours? It doesn't matter if you eat 10 meals a day, or 1, if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you'll lose weight, if you eat the same amount, you stay the same weight, and if you eat more than you burn, you'll gain weight.

May 6, 2010 - 7:24am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to annonymous)


I think there is a misnomer with the term "high metabolism", people associate with weight loss. All it means it converting food into energy to maintain life, and a high metabolism would indicate an efficient system, meaning you'd burn almost all the food and store none of it as fat.

Yes, the number of meals DOES have an effect on the metabolism. The digestive system is like any other input/output system. Think about it. The smaller the portions of food eaten, the less work your body has to do to digest the food because and the more efficiently it can use food, hence (higher metabolism). If you ate 3 large meals, you're body would have a hard-time digesting that amount of food causing your insulin levels to spike and you would get sleepy, and if you did it for a lifetime, you could end up with Type 2 diabetes.

To keep a system in check, it needs to be consistant, so eating small portions less often and doing so slowly will guarantee that.

June 30, 2010 - 5:48am
EmpowHER Guest

#4 - Detoxify your liver - has no scientific basis. Drinking lemon and stevia once a week sounds like a quack remedy for a problem you don't have.

April 19, 2010 - 4:41am
EmpowHER Guest


April 15, 2010 - 5:27am

In regard to the HER GUEST comment about "There is no proof eating less more often is any better than eating a lot less often". Actually this is what I teach my clients and it does work!
By eating more meals through out your day (5-6 meals) around 300 calories per day aprox. you will definitely see a change on the scale over time. By eating this often it keeps the metabolism moving. Granted along with the mini meals you must get your body moving on a regular basis as well. And by adding in water consumption, the recommended amount...it will also add right to your success. I personally recommend to my clients in the beginning 8 - 8oz glasses per day to begin the habit of regular water consumption, then slowly move them into drinking half their body weight in oz. The more water the better! :)
I do agree that all individuals are different and what they need...but drinking water is something almost every person I know could improve upon. So drink up ladies!!

To Your Weight Loss Success!
Jennifer Rundall
Weight Loss Mentor & Coach
Thinspiration Coaching
(link deleted by EmpowHer moderator)

April 9, 2010 - 12:51pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Healthy Eating

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!