5 Simple Rules for Optimal Health

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Adopting a healthier lifestyle can seem complicated, with conflicting advice from various sources and experts.

However, it’s not as complex as it seems.

For optimal health, weight loss, and daily self improvement, follow these five simple rules.

Rules for optimal health

1. Avoid consuming toxic substances

Many substances people consume are very harmful.

Items like cigarettes, alcohol, and addictive drugs can be particularly dangerous and hard to quit.

If you’re struggling with these substances, they should be your primary focus before diet and exercise.

While moderate alcohol can be acceptable for some, everyone should avoid tobacco and addictive drugs.

Moreover, today’s most common issue is the consumption of unhealthy, disease-causing junk foods.

To achieve optimal health, you need to limit these foods.

Perhaps, one of the most effective change you can do in your diet is to reduce the consumption of processed, packaged foods.

This might be challenging as a lot of these foods are engineered to be highly appealing and quite difficult to abstain from. Study 1

In terms of specific ingredients, avoid added sugars like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, which can damage your metabolism when over-consumed. Study 1

It’s also recommended to avoid all trans fats, commonly found in some margarines and packaged baked goods.

2. Exercise regularly by lifting and moving

Using your muscles is very important if you want to achieve optimal health.

While working out and weightlifting can indeed enhance your physical attractiveness, the benefits to your looks are a small part of the whole picture.

Exercise is also essential for maintaining optimal functionality of your body, brain, and hormones.

Weightlifting can decrease your blood sugar and insulin levels, improve your cholesterol, and reduce triglycerides. Study 1

It also boosts your testosterone and growth hormones, both of which are linked to an improved state of well-being. Study 1

Additionally, exercise can help reduce depression and the risk of various chronic diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more. Study 1

Moreover, physical activity can help in fat loss, particularly when paired with a healthy diet.

Fortunately, there are various ways to exercise, that don’t require a gym membership or expensive equipment.

Outdoor activities like hiking or walking can be beneficial, especially when you can soak up some sun for vitamin D. Walking can also help with weight loss and belly fat.

The key is to find an exercise routine that you enjoy in order to stick to it over time.

If you’re out of shape or have medical conditions, consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

3. Prioritize quality sleep

Sleep is critical for overall health, and lack of sleep has been linked to various diseases, including obesity and heart disease. Study 1, Study 2

It’s essential and highly recommended that you get enough, quality sleep.

If you’re struggling with sleep, consider the following strategies:

  • Avoid drinking coffee or caffeine late in the day.
  • Aim for consistent sleep and wake times daily.
  • Ensure your sleeping environment is completely dark, without any artificial lights.
  • Lower the brightness of your home’s lights a few hours before going to sleep.
  • For additional strategies on enhancing your sleep quality, check out this article.

You may also need to consult your doctor if you have a sleep disorder, as many are common and often easily treatable.

4. Minimize excessive stress

A healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise.

However, your emotional health and mindset are equally important. Chronic stress can be devastating.

High stress levels can increase cortisol, slow down your metabolism, raise junk food cravings, fat and/or visceral fat, and increase the risk of various diseases. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3

Stress is also a significant contributor to depression, a health issue that is massive in this day and age. Study 1

To reduce stress, simplify your life, exercise, take nature walks, practice deep-breathing techniques, and consider meditation.

If your daily life’s burdens lead to excessive stress, you may need to consult a psychologist.

Reducing stress will not only make you healthier, but it will also improve other aspects of your life.

Feed your body with real foods

The simplest and most effective way to maintain a healthy diet is to focus on real foods.

It’s always better to go for unprocessed foods that look as they do in nature.

A balanced diet should include a combination of animal and plant-based foods — meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, along with healthy fats, oils, and high-fat dairy products.

Whole, unrefined carbs are perfectly acceptable if you’re healthy, lean, and active. These include potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, and whole grains like oats.

However, if you’re overweight, obese, or have metabolic issues such as diabetes or metabolic syndrome, reducing major carbohydrate sources can lead to significant improvements. Study 1, Study 2, Study 3

People often lose a lot of weight by simply cutting back on carbs because they tend to eat less subconsciously. Study 1, Study 2

Always aim for whole, unprocessed foods over factory-produced ones.


Always remember, adopting a temporary dieting mindset is not beneficial as it rarely works long term.

Instead, strive for a lifestyle transformation. Being healthy is a marathon, not a sprint.

It takes time, and lifelong commitment is essential.

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