Five Ways to Live a Long and Healthy Lean Life – According to Science

Here’s how to benefit by making minor tweaks to your lifestyle

Here’s how to benefit by making minor tweaks to your lifestyle.

What is a blue zone diet anyway? For those unfamiliar with the ‘Blue Zone,’ it is a diet that incorporates particular eating patterns of those who live in regions known for the most extended lifespan. You have probably already heard of most of these concepts, which start with limiting processed foods, added sugar, meat, and dairy and emphasising plant-based nutrition. These simple alterations to your diet can help anyone design a longer and healthier life — despite where they might live.


What’s involved?

People who currently live in blue zones enjoy a longer and healthier life, mostly due to their diet and lifestyle choices. These concepts are straightforward and may be applied to anyone. The following information is from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, published in 2016.


One: The 80% rule

A rule signifies leaving the dining room table when your stomach is 80% full rather than fully stuffed with food. That last 20% is that gap that tells you that food isn’t needed to fill that hunger gap because you feel pretty comfortable. We all have this feeling when eating — although many of us tend to ignore it! However, that 20% gap will signify the difference needed to lose or gain weight. Blue zone individuals eat smaller meals late in the afternoon and then stop eating altogether for the rest of the day.


Two: Eliminating stress

This is a big one, yet so hard for most of us. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, which brings us closer to developing an age-related disease. Yet, people that live the longest have the necessary means to eliminate that stress by praying, having a nap or showing gratitude for the people in their lives and what they currently have.


Three: Get moving

People who live the longest don’t indulge in strenuous exercise (much to my disappointment). Instead, they attend to gardening and housework using the good old-fashioned tools of the trade — rather than the electrical means we all seem to have. Their environment encourages them to move regularly throughout the day -rather than desk-chained folks! Well, we can offset this with a standing desk, perhaps?


Four: Getting your beans and legumes on

Living longer means eating more beans, legumes and soy too. Pork is eaten about five times a month, with the smallest size possibly known to man being the size of a card deck. How is that for protein intake? You can just as well get it from beans and live a lot longer!


Five: Put love ahead of everything else

People that live the longest always put their family first. That means keeping your elderly parents close by, investing in loving spending time with their kids, and committing to a life partner. So many of these can seem out of reach for most people today, but trying to put your family members first as much as you can, and show them love and kindness, can increase your life’s quality and longevity. Plus, it might help build closer and loving relationships.


Six: What is your life purpose?

Okinawans call this ‘Why I wake up in the morning?’ Have you ever asked yourself this question? If you do, expect your life to extend another seven years. So, take the time to think of what lights you up to keep going daily. It will increase your drive for life and inspire you in the process. 


Key takeaways

We could all take a leaf out of the blue zones’ way of life to further enhance our own. These are just some of the nine points that have led these unique individuals to maintain a healthy lifestyle and increase longevity. We can all adopt one or all of these simply by making the conscious choice to enjoy our life a lot more and step back on all the things we think are needed, in favour of love, family and kindness to ourselves. 

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