1. Eat More Healthy Fat
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)—found in olive oil, avocados and nuts—may help prevent visceral (belly) fat, a kind that can trigger inflammation and put you at risk for diabetes and cancer. One study found that people who got roughly 25 percent of their daily calories from MUFAs gained no visceral fat, while those who ate fewer MUFAs and more carbs added the dangerous fat to their midsections.
2. Walk It Off
You don't need a gym to get an energizing workout. Simply walking in nature can significantly boost your self-esteem and mood, according to one study.
3. Go Red
If you want to put an end to "I can't believe I ate all that," reconsider the color of your dishes. A 2012 study found that people consumed less snack food when they used red plates as opposed to blue or white. Researchers think this may be because we subconsciously associate the color red with stopping.
4. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
Too little shut-eye (less than five hours) or too much (more than nine) may put you at risk for heart trouble. Short sleep sessions raise levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which is linked to increased calorie intake and could, over time, contribute to cardiovascular problems. Sleeping too much may lead to low levels of exercise—another risk factor for heart disease.
A study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy
found that people who had sex an average of 12 times per month had greater heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of how well the heart responds to subtle changes (like standing versus sitting). Higher HRV is a good thing; it may lower your risk of developing heart problems.
Next: Dr. Oz answers 4 of your most pressing health questions