Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes

Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes

by Tom Rath

Most of us make poor lifestyle choices that increase our risks of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. While some diseases are inherited, we can prevent them by making small lifestyle changes that improve the way we sleep, eat and exercise. This book is a collection of proven and practical ideas for leading better, healthier, and longer lives.

Summary Notes

Making Minor Adjustments in Your Life

“You can modify many choices to ensure they are a net gain.”

If you want to live a healthy life, you need to start making minor adjustments to how you eat, exercise and sleep. The quality of food you eat is far more important than quantity. Some foods are healthy, while others are not.

Excess sugar, for example, is harmful because it is linked to aging and inflammation, which can lead to cancer. Vegetables and fruits, on the other hand, are healthy choices that lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. So you need to ditch unhealthy foods rich in fats, sugars, and carbohydrates for healthier choices.

Aside from food, you must also prioritize staying active throughout the day. When you lead a physically active lifestyle, you have more energy to carry out your daily activities. Staying physically active entails more than just including sports and exercises in your daily routine; It also includes avoiding sitting down for long hours as it could make you obese, increasing your risk of dying early.

What’s equally important to staying active is having an adequate amount and quality of sleep. Adequate sleep is not just about lying on your bed for more than four hours; it is more about having sound or deep sleep during the hours you are in your bed. To achieve this, you need to adjust your sleeping pattern.

Actions to take

Focusing On Quality

“Quality of sleep beat quantity by a wide margin.”

Making minor adjustments is a significant step to living a healthy life. When doing this, you need to focus a lot on quality to stay healthy. You must prioritize quality sleep, food, and an active lifestyle for better health outcomes.

Many people think the best quality foods are low in sugars, fats, and calories, but this isn’t true. The best quality foods have a balanced ratio of nutrients. For example, foods with a balanced ratio of carbohydrates and protein are healthy. Natural foods are also more beneficial than processed foods, and eating them helps prevent diseases.

How you prepare your food also affects its quality. Some cooking methods are healthy, while others are not. While most of us prefer fried and grilled foods because they are tastier, these cooking methods have been linked to inflammation, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and other health issues.

There is also more to quality sleep than spending many hours in your bed. This explains why even if you spend many hours sleeping, you may still feel tired and lousy in the morning. To avoid this, you need to learn how to sleep soundly and deeply during the hours you are in your bed. Poor quality sleep raises blood pressure and increases inflammation, heart disease, and the risk of a stroke. The good news is that there are ways to improve your sleep quality.

Actions to take

Limiting Your Quantity of Food Intake

“When food is served "family style" from large plates, bowls, or platters placed in arms' reach, people simply eat more.”

Consuming quality food is crucial for your health and well-being, but the quantity of food you eat also matters a lot. To stay healthy and live a long life, you need to eat the best quality foods in moderation.

Sometimes, we are forced to eat larger quantities of food because we serve them the family style—with large bowls, plates, and platters at arm's length. Even though family-style meals have good intentions of strengthening your bond with your siblings and parents, it obligates everyone to take a sample of each item to avoid offending the chef. To limit your food intake, you must modify how you set your family meals and do rigorous activities to burn calories.

You also need to avoid eating fast to limit the quantity you consume. When you eat too fast, your digestive system doesn't have enough time to signal your brain that you're full, so you tend to keep eating and end up overeating.

Controlling food portions will also help us limit the quantity of food we consume. The portion size in most homes and restaurants today is larger than necessary, and we eat substantially more food when we have larger portions.

Actions to take

Hunger and Bad Choices

“The hungrier you are, the harder it is to resist unhealthy foods.”

Sometimes, we make bad choices because of hunger. When we let ourselves stay hungry for too long, we find it challenging to resist unhealthy foods like burgers, pizza, brownies, and ice cream. Hunger can make us eat too fast, which is detrimental to our health. Moreover, when hungry, we are tempted to start our meals with the wrong foods even if we have various options. So to make great food choices, you need to avoid staying for long hours without eating anything by eating healthy snacks.

It will also help if we stigmatize unhealthy foods that cause diabetes, cancer, and obesity by giving them some negative label. For example, labeling lollipops as “sugar on sticks” and donuts as “deep-fried dough.” This will help make common unhealthy foods less socially acceptable for you and your household. Changing how you look at foods can subtly improve your default choices.

Aside from food, we also need to make better choices when it comes to staying active and sleeping. This isn’t just about choosing what exercises to perform but also when and how to best do them. If you want to burn extra fat, you need to schedule your exercise routine before breakfast. When doing daily chores, you must also ensure you’re doing them correctly to prevent yourself from hurting your spine.

One useful method for staying healthy is the 20-minute rule. This states that you need to give yourself at least 20 minutes to chew your food properly and savor its taste. Similarly, you must also indulge in at least 20 minutes of moderate activity to significantly improve your mood for the next twelve hours.

Actions to take

Prioritizing and Motivating Ourselves to Do the Things That Keep Us Healthy

“So instead of letting these broad, long-term goals overwhelm you, pick specific reasons that motivate you to be more active right now.”

To stay healthy, we must learn to prioritize certain things over others. For example, you need to find a way to prioritize time to indulge in physical activities, even if you do a job requiring you to sit down for many hours.

Healthy living can be challenging, so you must motivate yourself to practice healthy habits. If you want to motivate yourself to exercise regularly, for example, start with the part of the routine you enjoy most.

Actions to take

Don’t just read. Act.
Read comprehensive summaries and discover carefully compiled action lists for active learning
Phone Phone