World Health Day is celebrated each year on April 7th, and this year we’re gonna help all you Vets kick a newer, healthier lifestyle into gear with Veteran-approved nutrition plans – just in time for World Health Day!
What Is World Health Day?
Before we get into the details about how you can shed pounds, get healthier, and feel good doing it, let’s cover the basics: What is World Health Day? And why is it even a celebration? We all know that it’s good to be healthy… So what’s the point in having a day to celebrate it if not to rub it in our faces that we haven’t achieved our fitness goals?
Ever heard of a little group called the World Health Organization (WHO)? We sure hope so because they’re a key factor in understanding why we celebrate World Health Day! April 7th actually marks the anniversary of the WHO’s founding in 1948 – just seven years after the Pearl Harbor attacks.
The WHO has regional offices across the world and is a United Nations (UN) agency. They promote health and safety worldwide and serve the vulnerable wherever they can. Recently, they’ve been working on initiatives to expand universal health coverage and increase response times to emergencies.
If you check the WHO’s website, you’ll find that each year’s World Health Day celebration is focused on a unique health-related topic. This year, the theme is “Our Planet, Our Health.”
You can find more about the 2022 World Health Day theme here, but at VeteranLife, we’re always focused on the health and happiness of our military Veterans, which is why we’re presenting you with options for Veteran-approved nutrition plans to celebrate.
Veteran-Approved Nutrition Plans
Almost every nutrition plan out there has its naysayers. But for everyone who’s adamantly against a nutrition plan, there’s someone who has found an incredible amount of success on that same plan. Finding the right plan for you on World Health Day is a matter of trial and error.
Read a little bit more about common nutrition plans below and test out the ones that seem to be the most compatible with your lifestyle! Your new Veteran diet awaits!
The Keto diet has seen a massive increase in followers over the past few years. There are staunch devotees to the plan and equally as many people who are adamantly against it. For all it’s worth, a ton of people have managed to lose a lot of weight and create healthier habits by following the Keto diet.
Keto is not for the faint of heart, however. But as a Veteran, you definitely won’t have a problem in that department. However, there are several different types of Keto diets to consider that you may want to take a look into.
In most variations of standard Keto, you get 75% of calories from fat (think cheese, whole milk, avocados, and extra-virgin olive oil), 20% of your calories from protein (that’s right, steak and burgers), and only 5% of calories from carbs. This is a great choice for people who need to get a jump-start on their diet and weight loss for World Health Day.
Generally, Keto followers also try to stay away from prepackaged or frozen meals to make sure the nutrients they’re getting are clean and the best ones to feed their body during this time of restrictive eating. Most people try to stay underneath a 25-carb limit if they’re looking for quick weight loss, but carb limits on Keto can be as high as 50 grams per day.
Standard Keto diets have also been reported to ease symptoms in people with epilepsy, per the Canadian Family Physician.
Also known as cyclical Keto, this version of the Keto diet has you regularly coming into and out of ketosis – the process by which the body starts to burn fat when it doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy.
Followers will adhere to a low-carb diet, usually 30 carbs or less, for around five days in a row. Then they’ll have a day or two filled with carbs. This is great for Vets who aren’t completely sold on Keto or have a hard time sticking to an around-the-clock restrictive diet.
In dirty Keto, followers don’t have to worry about where their nutrients are coming from. So long as they’re eating less than their allotted carbs per day, their food can come from anywhere, including prepackaged and frozen meals. This is one of the easiest Keto diets to follow.
Atkins is a slightly different type of Keto/low-carb diet that works in phases. As you build up through the steps, different types of foods will become available to you. This is done to ensure your body is in full fat-burning mode before moving on to foods with more carbs or sugars.
Atkins also offers prepackaged meals, sweets, and protein snacks to make this tough version of the Keto diet much more manageable. Their frozen, pre-made chili bowl is actually DIVINE.
This is the basic diet plan we’ve probably all tried before. And there’s a reason for that! Biologically, being in a calorie deficit is the only reliable way to lose weight. This means that you have to take in fewer calories than your maintenance amount, or if you can’t, then you have to supplement with exercise. (We know everyone hates that word, but it’s time to get back to your PT days, recruit!)
Don’t worry! We’re not going to add math on top of exercise – that would just be cruel. There are a ton of calculators online in which you can input your age, height, sex, weight, and activity level to determine how many daily calories you need to lose weight. This one is simple and to the point.
For example, a 45-year-old man who weighs 200 lbs. and is mostly sedentary would need to consume somewhere around 2,200 calories per day to maintain his weight (a.k.a. maintenance calories), 2,000 calories to lose weight slowly, and 1,700 calories to lose weight at a decent pace.
All you need to do is stay at or under the limit the calculator tells you, and you should lose weight if you’re logging your food correctly. Throw in a bit of exercise, and you’ll be well on your way to hitting those nutrition goals.
For some people, counting calories seems like too much upkeep to be able to properly manage. But we’re living in the 21st century, y’all! There are endless apps that you can download on your phone to keep up with your calories and exercise that make this process easy as pie – or easy as… uh, salad, if you’re dieting.
Most of these apps will automatically deduct what you eat from your total allotment of daily calories as you log them, so there’s little to no math required!
This diet is exactly what it sounds like. It follows the nutritional guidelines of what someone during the Paleolithic Era might have eaten. The Paleo diet is filled with vegetables, nuts, fruits, fish, and lean meat.
This nutrition plan purports to help get the body back in shape by returning nutritional habits to those that are biologically suited for humans rather than the processed, prepacked, and frozen meals of this century.
On the Paleo diet, followers are encouraged to avoid dairy, grains, legumes, refined sugar, salt, potatoes, and anything highly processed. According to Mayo Clinic, the Paleo diet can help followers increase glucose tolerance, better control their blood pressure, and lower their triglycerides.
There can be a ton of intermittent fasting benefits if done correctly. However, it’s important to make sure you know the line between fasting and starving – a.k.a. harming your body.
Intermittent fasting focuses less on what food goes into your body and more on when it goes in. During intermittent fasting, you go a longer period of time without eating. People just starting might only eat within an eight-hour window during the day. Others may go 12-14 hours in between meals or only eat one meal per day a couple days during the week.
Many people like to combine intermittent fasting with Keto to maximize results. Mind you – none of this should be attempted if you’re just starting out with intermittent fasting or haven’t talked to your doctor about it.
Researchers from the New England Journal of Medicine tell us that intermittent fasting can help “protect organs against chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, age-related neurodegenerative disorders, even inflammatory bowel disease and many cancers.” They also reportedly have a positive effect on thinking, memory, heart health, and tissue health.
What To Know About These Veteran Nutrition Plans
As a Veteran, you know what it means to put in hard work to make things happen. That same work ethic has to be applied to diet and nutrition; otherwise, nothing will work for you.
You don’t have to get up and go to the gym twice a day every day, but getting up off your couch or out of your office chair every once in a while to stretch and walk around can have a much more positive impact on your body than you may imagine.
As you embark on one of these nutrition plans for World Health Day, it’s important to remember that your plan is well-rounded and includes some form of physical activity to kickstart your goals and keep your body happy during this period of adjustment.
If you’re tackling a nutrition plan that has off days or cheat days, don’t go overboard. It may seem harmless to have one day of the week where you eat nothing but brownies and Cheetos, but that one day can quickly and easily undo a week’s worth of hard work. Enjoy a few Cheetos and a brownie, but don’t make that a habit or your entire diet during off-days in your new nutrition plan.
You’re probably sick of hearing it, but moderation is the key to many diets – especially a low-calorie diet. Make a habit of checking food labels when you’re out buying groceries, and before you know it, checking what’s in your food won’t seem like a chore anymore. Don’t be afraid to split servings in half or only have a bite of something good every now and again if it keeps you from over-indulging.
The point is – do what you have to do to get your mind and body on the right track to nutritional success!
How To Celebrate World Health Day
Celebrating World Health Day is more than just taping up some green and blue balloons with the WHO’s logo on April 7th. Want to know how to celebrate World Health Day? Take some time to learn more about health issues impacting the world at large and visit the WHO’s website to see how you can help.
Stuck in the office on World Health Day? You might think figuring out how to celebrate World Health Day in office settings is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! Gather a group of coworkers and organize a wellness day at work! Create a walking track around your building outside or even a fun walking maze around the cubicles in your office. Bring in some tasty protein drinks for everyone to try. Make a meeting with coworkers to talk about World Health Day and see how your company can contribute to the WHO’s mission.
You can also start right here by following a Veteran-approved nutrition plan. When you’re at your best, you can better serve the people around you – whether that includes your immediate household or strangers who need help you can provide. World Health Day is full of possibilities – for yourself and for others. Start taking advantage of them now with these nutrition plans!
*The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.