The three basics are food, sleep and exercise, though the balance depends on age. As we get older we tend to need less of all three. Metabolism slows with age, so we feel less hungry; with age we become less active and therefore need less sleep However, all three basics are required at any age if we are to remain relatively young and healthy throughout our allotted span.
For the purpose of this essay, let us assume that you are a young man or woman of about eighteen years. You have an interest in sport as well as in academic work, preparatory to employment. You look forward to a long, active trouble-free, healthy life. no doubt you have been inoculated against the common killers such as typhoid, tetanus, diphteria etc. Let us also assume that you have been born with healthy genes and have both a normal resistance to disease and a good recovery rate. You were not born with any physical defects or handicaps which require special medical treatment. You have an average to good health record. You wish to keep your health, even improve it.
Take food. The temptation is to overeat. Stop when you stop feeling hungry. When this is socially difficult go without the next meal. What to eat ? Try to avoid 'convenience' foods; keep the intake of carbohydrates, fats and sugar low. Protein builds the body without thickening the waistline. All this of course assumes that a balanced and varied diet is available. Nobody could lecture the Ethiopian or the refugee or the very poor on this subject. When to eat ? Three meals a day should be enough for a young man; one too many for an old man. Eating sweets, chocolates, ice creams, cakes etc between meals can undo all your good intentions. fresh vegetables, not over-cooked, are excellent. If you can obtain fresh food in variety, good. Eat according tot eh rules, and forget food ! And don't forget, ladies, that you also need food. too much slimming can destroy appetite and lead to the downward spiral of starvation; anorexia....
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