What Are Some Health Tips to Help You Reach Optimal Health?

Michael Roizen, MD

Dr. Michael Roizen believes that “you can change the way your body works, and the way you feel, with the food you eat.”

Through his experience as a practicing physician, he knows firsthand that people can increase their quality of life with smart eating choices. Dr. Roizen has provided a few initial ways you can start living being proactive about your health.

Health tips to help you reach optimal health:

Plan your meals: Start every day knowing when and what you are going to eat. That way, you’ll avert the 180-degree shift between starving and gorging that occurs when you skip meals.

Don’t undereat: When you try to “diet” by going for long periods of time without eating or by taking in too few calories, your brain senses starvation and sends an SOS signal through your body to store fat. To really lose weight, you have to keep your body from switching into starvation mode. The only way to do it: Eat often, in the form of frequent, healthy meals, and snacks.

Grab some walnuts: Eat a little healthy fat — like a handful of walnuts — about 20 minutes before a meal. It will take the edge off, so you will not be tempted to overeat.

Get a lift: Muscle is not just for football players, bouncers, and souped-up cars. Adding some muscle will help lower your levels of blood pressure sugar. The more muscle you have, the more you increase insulin receptivity.

Walk this way: Try to walk a minimum of thirty minutes each day. You will notice not only the positive physical effects, but also psychological effects. Remember what self-esteem comes from: the ability to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. Walking accomplishes both.

Let food fight the fat: Inflammation-reducing food is your best weapon against fat. To reduce obesity-causing inflammation, eat foods with nutrients that can do just that. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in walnuts, are great for helping reduce inflammation.

Choose Unsaturated over Saturated: Meals high in saturated fat produce lower levels of leptin than low-fat meals with the exact same calories. That indicated you can increase your satiety and decrease hunger levels by avoiding saturated fats found in sources like high-fat meats, baked goods, and whole-milk dairy products.

Stand up straight: One of the easiest ways to strengthen your abdominal muscles – and support your back – is through good posture. Practice good posture by bringing your head and neck back, and breathing in to tighten your gut.

Know your enemies: Limit your saturated and trans fats to less than 20 grams a day. These fats increase arterial inflammation, which promote plaque buildup, and turn on the mechanism that increases (bad) LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Schedule sleep: If you get less sleep than you need, you increase your arterial again and your risk of heart attack. Studies have shown that the optimal amount of sleep each night is seven to eight hours for men, and six to seven for women. So be sure to get your sleep!

Michael Roizen, MD
Institute Chair, Chief Wellness Officer, Wellness Institute, Cleveland Clinic