Small ways to be healthier

Look at the menu and decide what you’re eating before you get to a restaurant. A recent study at the University of Penn found we tend to order healthier food if we plan ahead like that, up to 1,000 calories less per meal. 

Eat in total silence. Meaning don’t watch TV or listen to music. Researchers at Brigham Young found we eat less if we can hear ourselves chewing. One group ate 30% fewer pretzels when they could hear them crunch. 

If you’re a woman, work out a little harder in the 2 weeks after you start your period. Scientists in Sweden tracked women’s workouts for four months, and found the extra estrogen you get in those 2 weeks helps build more muscle. 

Don’t use diet drinks as mixers. The lack of sugar makes your body absorb alcohol faster. Researchers at the University of Kentucky had people drink vodka with lemonade and with diet lemonade. They ended up with 25% more alcohol in their system when they had diet, even though they drank the same amount. 

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Not just to lose weight, it also improves brain function. A study in Canada recently found that walking up four flights of stairs a day reduces your “brain age” by about two years. 

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