Count them: nine easy ways to a healthy body

An estimated 50 million Americans will go on diets this year according to ttp:// Whether it is through books, support groups or clinical programs, Americans will try to lose unwanted weight.

The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that 30 percent of U.S. adults, 20 years and older – over 60 million people – are obese. In Florida alone, 60 percent of adults are considered overweight or obese according to 2005 records.

Excess weight and obesity is calculated using the body mass index (BMI), which uses a person’s height and weight. An adult with a BMI between 25-29.9 is overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

Here are some safe and easy tips for college students to help lose unwanted weight and live a healthy life.

1.Watch what you eat- You should start to be aware of the types of foods you eat. When choosing what to eat you should ask yourself: How much fat is in this food? What is the nutritional value?

2. Eat less processed foods- Instead of going to get fast-food when hungry, try making a lunch from home.

3. Eat more “life-giving” foods- Eating foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and fresh fish rather than heavy foods like beef and pork will help increase a healthy lifestyle.

4. Limit your food intake at night- Eating heavy meals at night is not good for food digestion. You should try to eat dinner before 7 p.m., which will give your body enough time to properly digest food before going to sleep.

5. Become Active- Get involved. Whether it is a group activity or an individual workout, it is a good idea to be active. If you don’t enjoy hard outdoor activities such as jogging, running or walking try a light indoor activity like yoga or Pilates. Whatever you choose, exercise at least three times a week.

6. Drink more water- Since your body is made up of 60 percent of water, keep your body hydrated at all times. Gatorade can be good for athletes, but nothing beats water. Remember, when you are thirsty that is the first sign of dehydration.

7. Take the stairs instead of the elevator- While walking to class or work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, believe it or not, it helps.

8. Have a positive attitude- If you don’t think you can, then you can’t. If you think you can, you will. Remember what James Allen said, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

9. Set realistic goals- Do not overwork yourself. Try to set goals that you know you can achieve, not goals set by someone else.

Contact Katrelle Simmons at