Wrap a tape measure around your waist (at belly-button level) and suck in lightly. For optimum health, your waist size should be half your height.
2. Walk 30 minutes a day.
The best predictor of how long and well you will live is your exercise capacity. Since you only need 30 minutes daily, go with hassle-free methods: Use the stairs instead of the elevator, or vow not to watch Grey's Anatomy unless you're on a stationary bike.
3. Clean out the fridge.
Execute your nutritional felons by reading the label of every food stashed in your cupboards, refrigerator, desk drawers, pockets or cheeks. Throw out any food that has any of these in the first five ingredients: saturated fat, trans fat, simple sugar, enriched bread or high-fructose corn syrup.
4. Shop smart.
A 100 isn't just good for spelling tests — it's also a symbol of nutritional perfection. Restock your kitchen with 100 percent whole-grain or wheat bread. (Don't accept ploys like multigrain or seven-grain; it must say 100 percent.) Add 100 percent fruit juice (not the masquerading "fruit drink") as your main beverage besides water. Loiter in the produce section.
5. Fiber up.
For breakfast, skip the syrupy coffee drinks and sugary cereals that have the equivalent nutritional value of lightbulbs. Have breakfast with fiber to slow down the movement of food into your bloodstream and through your intestines and to keep you balanced throughout the day. Not a bran fan? Add a tablespoon of psyllium husks to your morning juice.
6. Pick and stick.
Since a variety of choices can cause overeating, pick the meal you rush through most (typically breakfast or lunch) and eat the same healthy option every day.
7. Embrace fat.
If you slip in 70 calories of healthy fat 20 minutes before each meal, you'll activate a hormone that informs your brain that you've eaten. This way you won't feel compelled to overeat during the actual meal. Try one handful of nuts to turn on the satiety signal.
8. Make "you-turns."
When you make a nutritional mistake, think of the advice your GPS gives you when you miss a turn: "At the next available moment, make an authorized U-turn." Then get back on the right road.
9. Equip yourself.
Go to a sports store for a good pair of lightweight running shoes. They're well-cushioned and designed to handle the heel-to-toe movement of walking. Also, go to TVGuide.com for a free video download of a 20-minute YOU: On a Diet workout that requires no weights and little time.
10. Share this list.
Living life as part of a community releases oxytocin, the hormone that makes you feel warm and fuzzy and turns off your hunger. What a way to make friends.
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