1. Don’t Drink Sugar Calories
2. Eat Nuts
3. Avoid Processed Junk Food (Eat Real Food Instead)
4. Don’t Fear Coffee
5. Eat Fatty Fish
6. Get Enough Sleep
7. Take Care of Your Gut Health With Probiotics and Fiber
8. Drink Some Water, Especially Before Meals
9. Don’t Overcook or Burn Your Meat
10. Avoid Bright Lights Before Sleep
11. Take Vitamin D3 if You Don’t Get Much Sun
12. Eat Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are the “default” health foods, and for good reason.
They are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals and all sorts of antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.
Studies show that people who eat the most vegetables and fruits live longer, and have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and all sorts of diseases (51, 52).
13. Make Sure to Eat Enough Protein
Eating enough protein is incredibly important, and many experts believe that the recommended daily intake is too low.
Protein is particularly important for weight loss, and works via several different mechanisms (53).
A high protein intake can boost metabolism significantly, while making you feel so full that you automatically eat fewer calories. It can also cut cravings and reduce the desire for late-night snacking (54, 55, 56, 57).
Eating plenty of protein has also been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels (58, 59).
14. Do Some Cardio, or Just Walk More
Doing aerobic exercise (or cardio) is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.
It is particularly effective at reducing belly fat, the harmful type of fat that builds up around your organs. Reduced belly fat should lead to major improvements in metabolic health (60, 61, 62).
15. Don’t Smoke or do Drugs, and Only Drink in Moderation
If you’re a tobacco smoker, or abuse drugs, then diet and exercise are the least of your worries. Tackle those problems first.
If you choose to include alcohol in your life, then do so in moderation only, and consider avoiding it completely if you have alcoholic tendencies.
16. Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on the planet.
It is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants that can fight inflammation (63, 64, 65).
Extra virgin olive oil leads to many beneficial effects on heart health, and people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes (66, 67).
17. Minimize Your Intake of Added Sugars
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.
Small amounts are fine, but when people eat large amounts, it can wreak havoc on metabolic health (68).
A high intake of added sugar is linked to numerous diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and many forms of cancer (69, 70, 71, 72, 73).
18. Don’t Eat a Lot of Refined Carbohydrates
Not all carbs are created equal.
Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful.
Studies show that refined carbohydrates are linked to overeating and numerous metabolic diseases (74, 75, 76, 77, 78).
19. Don’t Fear Saturated Fat
The “war” on saturated fat was a mistake.
It is true that saturated fat raises cholesterol, but it also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and changes the LDL from small to large, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease (79, 80, 81, 82).
New studies that included hundreds of thousands of people have shown that there is no link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease (83, 84).
20. Lift Heavy Things
Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your body and improve your body composition.
It also leads to massive improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity (85, 86).
The best approach is to go to a gym and lift weights, but doing body weight exercises can be just as effective.
21. Avoid Artificial Trans Fats
Artificial trans fats are harmful, man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease (87, 88, 89, 90).
It is best to avoid them like the plague.
22. Use Plenty of Herbs and Spices
There are many incredibly healthy herbs and spices out there.
For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, leading to various health benefits (91, 92, 93, 94).
You should make an effort to include as many different herbs and spices as you can. Many of them can have powerful beneficial effects on your health.
23. Take Care of Your Relationships
Social relationships are incredibly important. Not only for your mental wellbeing, but your physical health as well.
Studies show that people who are close with friends and family are healthier and live much longer than those who are not (95, 96, 97).
24. Track Your Food Intake Every Now and Then
The only way to know exactly what you are eating, is to weigh your foods and use a nutrition tracker like MyFitnesspal or Cron-o-meter.
This is important to know how many calories you are eating. It is also essential to make sure that you’re getting in enough protein, fiber and micronutrients.
Studies show that people who track their food intake in one way or another tend to be more successful at losing weight and sticking to a healthy diet (98).
Basically, anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to help you succeed.
I personally track everything I eat for a few days in a row, every few months. Then I know exactly where to make adjustments in order to get closer to my goals.
25. If You Have Excess Belly Fat, Get Rid of it
Not all body fat is equal.
It is mostly the fat in your abdominal cavity, the belly fat, that causes problems. This fat builds up around the organs, and is strongly linked to metabolic disease (99, 100).
For this reason, your waist size may be a much stronger marker for your health than the number on the scale.
Cutting carbs, eating more protein, and eating plenty of fiber are all excellent ways to get rid of belly fat (101, 102, 103, 104).
This article lists 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.
26. Don’t go on a “Diet”
Diets are notoriously ineffective, and rarely work well in the long term.
In fact, “dieting” is one of the strongest predictors for future weight gain (105).
Instead of going on a diet, try adopting a healthier lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it.
Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect of better food choices and improved metabolic health.
27. Eat Eggs, and Don’t Throw Away The Yolk
Whole eggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.”
It is a myth that eggs are bad for you because of the cholesterol. Studies show that they have no effect on blood cholesterol in the majority of people (106).
Additionally, a massive review study that included 263,938 individuals found that egg consumption had no association with the risk of heart disease (107).
What we’re left with is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and the yolk is where almost all of the nutrients are found.
Telling people to throw away the yolk is among the worst pieces of advice in the history of nutrition.