If you've ever made fun of an overweight person while watching a wedding video and later discovered it was you, it may be time to improve your health.
If your spouse left you, citing your enormous backside as the primary reason, it may be time to improve your health.
And, if you've ever been offered a job as the "before" model for some "Lose 59 lbs. of Belly Fat with One Simple Trick" website, it may be time to improve your health.
Even if these things didn't happen to you, you might recognize the need to improve your health. The good news is you already know how: Exercise and eat right. The bad news is you've known how for years but still haven't done anything about it ... until now.
Here are five of the simplest ways to do it ...
No. 5: Drink more fluids
You may have heard the "rule" that everybody should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Of course, that recommendation seems to vary depending on which study you are reading at the time.
In reality, the Institute of Medicine suggests around 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day for men and 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) for women. Thus, the Mayo Clinic suggests that the old "8 by 8" rule should, at the very least, be reframed as a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day, since all fluids count toward your daily total.
Don't let the initial annoyance of having to urinate seemingly every 12 minutes deter you from this simple way to improve your health. Being properly hydrated allows your body to absorb nutrients better, meaning more energy and less hunger.
Drinking enough fluids -- especially water -- also removes toxins, regulates body temperature, helps with metabolism and it protects and moisturizes joints.
It also helps you not eat like a pig ...
No. 4: Keep a food journal
Most people are unhealthy because they eat like pigs -- ironic, considering everybody knows that eating like a pig causes health problems. The problem isn't a lack of knowledge; it's a lack of accountability and discipline.
Writing down everything you eat makes you accountable and helps develop discipline (if your initial reaction to this idea is you couldn't possibly write down everything you eat because it would give you blisters, then you really need to write down what you eat).
According to a study from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research, keeping a food journal DOUBLES the effectiveness of dieting.
Seeing "I ate 37 ice cream bars, 12 doughnuts, a cheeseburger, Crisco, and a diet Coke for lunch" written down forces one to evaluate his or her eating habits and change them.
Writing it down before you eat it gives you time to change your mind and maybe add some vegetables ...
No. 3: Eat vegetables
It seems counterintuitive that adding more food to your plate would improve your health. Of course, it also seems counterintuitive that everybody on the planet understands that eating healthy and exercise leads to improved health, yet obesity remains a major problem.
Eating a serving of vegetables at every meal -- be it a pile of peas next to the side of beef or lettuce and tomato on a bacon sandwich -- will help you not overeat. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out, the water and fiber in vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories.
In addition to filling your stomach, vegetables contain these things called vitamins. Vitamins support the enzymes that convert proteins, carbohydrates and fats into energy, which means you won't feel sluggish and hungry 14 seconds after lunch.
Eating vegetables for a between-meal snack curbs hunger immediately and gives long-lasting energy. And with all that extra energy, perhaps you'll feel like exercising ...