This plan is not intended to replace direct advice obtained from medical professionals. Consult directly with medical professionals before starting this or any other program to improve your health.
This page may be updated. Check back to be sure you have the latest information.
THE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
MAINTAINING GOOD HEALTH
Copyright July 24, 2003 7:38 AM CST
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
Updated June 1, 2005 7:10 PM CST
Copyright June 1, 2005 7:10 PM CST
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
Updated October 5, 2019 2:15 PM CST
Copyright October 5, 2019 2:15 PM CST
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
Healthy Lifestyle Plan – Edition 72.21 (505th Revision on 10/5/2019)
“The Lord directs us to make the maintenance of good health a part of our lives.” Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
The contents of the “Healthy Lifestyle Plan” web page have been reorganized and alphabetized as follows. These links will take you to the named sections on this web page.
This plan is not intended to replace direct advice obtained from medical professionals. Consult directly with medical professionals before starting this or any other program to improve your health.
If you are in the SRPG group (the SRPG group is the Standard Risk Plus Group, which is the ill, pregnant women, nursing mothers (this relates to the effect on infants [nursing mothers are the “Plus” in the term “Standard Risk Plus Group”]), children, and the elderly), get the approval of a medical professional to follow this plan BEFORE you follow this plan and read the topics “When to Visit a Doctor or Other Medical Professional” and “When to Listen to a Doctor or Other Medical Professional.”
One of the guiding principles of this plan is to keep things as simple as possible. Therefore, this plan talks more about those few things that account for 99% of the maintenance of good health and talks less about the multitude of things that account for 1% of the maintenance of good health. In addition, this plan is as brief as possible.
Another guiding principle is that a healthy lifestyle plan can always be improved. Therefore, this plan will constantly be updated. Many sources of information have been and continue to be consulted and new sources are continually being added. Some key sources of information are listed on our Information Sources page. We do not endorse everything on the listed websites.
No healthy lifestyle plan is guaranteed to maintain good health. That includes this plan. The reason is that healthy lifestyle plans cannot possibly take into consideration all of the variables in the life of everyone who follows such plans. These variables include how healthy a person is or is not, the effects of age, needs determined by gender, how well the person follows the plan, etc., etc. However, following a healthy lifestyle plan will increase the likelihood of maintaining good health. On the other hand, if God promises you that following a healthy lifestyle plan will result in the maintenance of good health, then it will.
The number attached to each item rates its value with respect to maintaining good health. The rating scale is from 1 to 10. “1” indicates least value. “10” indicates greatest value. We are in the process of rating sources of information on our Information Sources page. These sources include the American Heart Association, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. On the subject of nutrition, American Heart Association recommendations carry the most weight because they do the best job of taking into consideration nutritional science. As more information is obtained, the rating of an item may change. Please note that a rating lower than 10 still means that you should be concerned about the rated item. Also, we are in the process of tagging items whose ratings we know will never change. Their ratings appear in italics.
Ask God to show you how to maintain good health. God is greater than any healthy lifestyle plan.
Change over to the “Healthy Lifestyle Plan” at a moderate pace.
THIS IS A CRITICAL SUBJECT! Go to Nutrition.htm for the “Proper Nutrition” web page.
Learn how to overcome food cravings. Go to FoodCravings.htm.
This section will enable you to determine your target weight. All weight values are the values you would obtain by weighing yourself wearing indoor clothing and shoes.
You are able to determine a more reliable value for your “stress weight” (see below) by using two different sources of information for your base weight: your ideal BMI weight and your weight table weight. Go to //www.dietsearch.com/bmi.html to find your ideal BMI weight. You type in your height then type in various, weight values until you hit a BMI of 22.5. The weight value that gives you a BMI of 22.5 is your ideal BMI weight. Write this down. Next, go to //www.healthchecksystems.com/heightweightchart.htm to determine your weight table weight. Your height on this website is equal to your height without shoes plus 1 inch. So, for example, if you are 5 feet tall without shoes, your height on this website is 5 feet 1 inch. To calculate your weight table weight, add the lower and upper values of your weight range then divide the sum by 2. This is your weight table weight. Write this down. Calculate your base weight by taking the average of your ideal BMI weight and your weight table weight:
Base Weight = (Ideal BMI Weight + Weight Table Weight) ÷2
Stress Weight = Base Weight + 15 pounds
Your stress weight is what you should weigh in case you experience extreme stress and lose weight at an accelerated rate. The typically smallest women and the typically biggest men can add 15 pounds to their base weight and still have a good BMI.
Target Weight (What You Should Weigh)
Your target weight is the same as your stress weight unless you experience the symptoms of starvation weight (see below). If you experience the symptoms of starvation weight:
- Immediately stop losing weight.
- Immediately start putting on weight.
- Add 15 pounds to your stress weight to obtain a new target weight value.
Your starvation weight is the weight at which you literally begin to starve. It is signaled by anemia. Symptoms of anemia include:
- Loss of concentration
- Pale skin, including decreased pinkness of the lips, gums, lining of the eyelids, nail beds and palms
- Shortness of breath
If your weight falls far enough below your starvation weight, you will experience swelling in your legs. If it falls even further, you will experience difficulty swallowing.
A person needs a certain amount of muscle mass. In order to achieve this they need to do the following:
• Use the “Weight Control System” (see below).
o As you exercise (see “Exercise” section below), your weight will do one of the following:
• Your weight will decrease.
• One of two things have happened:
o You haven’t been exercising long enough to see your weight either stay the same or increase.
o You are in the weight loss phase of a weight loss – weight nonloss cycle. You will eventually hit the weight nonloss phase of the cycle. In this phase, your weight will either stay the same or increase.
• Your weight will stay the same.
• You have lost body fat but gained more muscle mass than body fat lost. You can confirm this by checking your “fat areas” for shrinkage.
• Your weight will increase.
• You have lost body fat but gained more muscle mass than body fat lost. You can confirm this by checking your “fat areas” for shrinkage. This involves a greater gain in muscle mass than if your weight had stayed the same.
• Learn about the typical pattern of weight change as one eats right and exercises by clicking here: ValleyCurve.htm.
Do not fail to read the “Shape Control System” section above, first.
God never intended weight loss to be complicated or painful. This simple weight control system is based on extensive, multidiscipline research. It is the only weight control system that is based both on weight control science and hunger science. This system does not require that you endure any grief. You may, however, need to respond to approaching grief. You will be able to respond before the grief “arrives.” Do not ignore any part of this weight control system. Read the following carefully:
1. Ask God to give you or maintain for you a proper body weight, as you follow these weight control principles.
2. Determine what your proper weight should be by following the “Proper Body Weight” section above.
3. All hunger involves an emotional element – joy or sadness.
4. Grief is extreme sadness.
5. There are two types of hunger – appetite and food cravings.
6. Appetite involves joy.
7. Food cravings involve sadness.
8. Appetite tells you that you need to eat.
9. Food cravings tell you that you need to eat one or more certain foods.
10. Do not eliminate either plant or nonplant foods entirely from your diet. A plant or nonplant food supplement is still a plant or nonplant food, respectively.
11. Stay away from processed foods. Contrary to popular belief, they are not necessary for dealing with food cravings.
12. Eat meats (turkey, chicken, beef, etc.) as often as you like.
13. Eat your regular amount of food but (permanently) shift your diet so that you eat more plant foods than nonplant foods. This shift alone will automatically result in weight loss. You can shift your diet as much as you want and you can shift it gradually or all at once. The more plant foods you eat, the faster you will lose weight. Eat all types of plant foods. Follow these rules:
a. Eat more vegetables than fruits and grains. These are the least fattening and result in the least amount of food cravings, if any. The more vegetables than fruits and grains you eat, the faster you will lose weight.
b. Eat more fruits than grains. These are in the middle when it comes to being fattening and resulting in food cravings, if any. The more fruits than grains you eat, the faster you will lose weight.
c. Eat less grain. These are the most fattening and result in the most food cravings, if any.
14. Eating as described above may result in food cravings. Food cravings alert you to approaching grief. If you have food cravings, follow the principles at FoodCravings.htm. Then:
If you still have food cravings, if you eat as described above, food cravings tell you that your next meal (only) needs to be shifted back more to nonplant foods. Start the meal with nonplant foods. Do not begin eating plant foods until your food cravings go away. When your food cravings cease, if you have an appetite, begin eating plant foods. Do not eat more than your regular amount of food.
15. Be ready for CI attacks (Control Indifference attacks). These are attacks of indifference to exercising control over whether you eat. You, temporarily, cease to care about following any rules governing whether you eat. Note that these attacks affect whether you eat and not what you eat. CI attacks are a somatopsychic (body-affecting-mind) phenomenon. (Actually, the body affects the brain, which in turn affects the mind.) The body is telling the mind that there is urgent dietary need AND THAT THE NEED IS SO COMPLEX THAT THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR YOU TO PROCESS THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO MEET THE NEED YOURSELF IN TIME TO AVOID HEALTH LOSS. A CI attack gets a person to supply one or more dietary deficiencies. Beware! Do not take a CI attack feeling to be an actual CI attack. Virtually everyone does. You distinguish the two by trying to ignore what you are experiencing. If it is just a feeling, you will be able to refrain from eating. If you cannot refrain, eat and eat anything!
16. After a time, eating as described above will no longer result in weight loss. If you are not yet at your proper weight, you will now need to cut back gradually on the amount of food you eat. How gradually is completely up to you. Slower is easier but you will lose weight more slowly.
17. If any of the following occur, you have lost too much weight: dizziness, fainting, loss of concentration, pale skin (including decreased pinkness of the lips, gums, lining of the eyelids, nail beds and palms), shortness of breath. If any of these things occur, immediately eat something.
18. Once you achieve your proper weight, maintain the amount of food you are eating. If you have food cravings, remember to follow item 14 above. Remember to try to ignore what might only be a CI attack feeling. Check your weight daily. If you have lost weight, eat more than usual. If you have gained weight, eat less than usual.
19. You can further improve your health by following the other health principles on this page and the nutritional principles found at Nutrition.htm.
20. See The WLC Weight Loss Page for updated information.
The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine….” It is a common saying that “laughter is the best medicine.”
Maintain a comfortable temperature and comfortable humidity.
Take a 30-minute walk once a day. Get a good pair of walking shoes. You may replace all or a part of your walking time with stair climbing, yard work, or moderate-to-heavy housework. If you prefer more vigorous exercise, such as jogging or biking, 20 minutes at least three times a week is recommended. Whatever physical activity you engage in, start out slowly and end slowly. The more active you are the better. I Timothy 4:8 says in part: “…bodily exercise profiteth….”
Make sure your food has good flavor(s) BEFORE you eat it! Substances called “flavor einsteins,” are found in everything that has any flavor, including solid foods, beverages, seasonings, condiments, spices, herbs, pepper, etc., etc. These “flavor einsteins” convert food in the stomach into either healthy nutrients or unhealthy nutrients. Foods that flavor einsteins convert into healthy nutrients have flavors you like. Foods that flavor einsteins convert into unhealthy nutrients have flavors you don’t like. Flavors you don’t like do not include spoiled flavors. They are just flavors you don’t like. Flavors you don’t like can be flavors that other people like. So, the next time you order a salad in a restaurant and the dressing has a fresh flavor but a flavor you don’t like DO NOT EAT IT! The unhealthy nutrient flavor einsteins in the dressing will convert the salad into unhealthy nutrients and your health will be affected.
All that being said, a further explanation of the nature of flavor einsteins is in order. Flavor einsteins are not imaginary things but neither are they physical things. Flavor einsteins are processes in the brain. These processes instruct the stomach on how to handle food.
Finally, as you improve your nutrition your present flavor einsteins will be replaced with better ones. As a result, you will begin to like the flavor of some foods more and the flavor of other foods less.
• Cook all nonplant foods until they are well done where possible.
• Use cooking methods that allow fat to drain off.
• Drain off all fat after cooking.
A toxic substance is anything that your body possesses too much of. Some substances are more easily toxic than others. It is the most easily toxic substances about which we need to be concerned.
Plant Foods Versus Nonplant Foods
Nonplant foods contain more pesticides than plant foods. This means that plant foods are safer than nonplant foods. Therefore, we must eat much more plant foods than nonplant foods. The following is from “Living and Raw Foods” at //www.living-foods.com/index.shtml:
Pesticide Residues in Animal Products vs. Plant Based Foods
Most people’s concerns about organic foods are centred on fruits and vegetables. Although these crops are subjected to an array of chemicals the real problem appears to be the meat and dairy. This is because most pesticide residues are known as lipophilic, which means they are attracted to fat. They lodge in the fat tissues of the animal, bird or fish becoming more and more concentrated as they move up the food chain. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest, who are a consumer watchdog group, reported that pesticide residues are more frequently found in meat, poultry, fish, butter and lard than fruit and vegetables. In his book “Diet For A Poisoned Planet” David Steinman processed a vast amount of data from the Total Diet Study conducted by the FDA. He concluded that foods could be divided into three categories according to the number of toxins found in them. He named these categories “red” (for most toxic), “yellow” (for moderate), and “green” for lowest in poisonous substances. With the exception of raisins and peanuts* all the foods in the “red” group were meat and dairy products.
* Raisins are derived from drying fruits that are notorious for being subjected to chemical spraying. Peanuts often contain a highly toxic carcinogen…and are not recommended by the author as a safe food unless their freshness can be guaranteed.
The following is from “Renewal Research” at //www.renewalnow.com/index.htm:
Pesticides: Covert Poisons
…animal-derived foods dominate what has come to be known as the “Dirty 15.” This list, compiled by the National Academy of Sciences…identifies the foods that contain the most and the nastiest pesticides. Now you might think that the worst offenders would be weeded out through the food inspection process. But that’s not the case. Take meat, for example: Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims to inspect it, only one of every 250,000 animals slaughtered–that’s 0.00047 percent–is actually tested for pesticide residues. So why do meats and dairy products have such high concentrations of pesticide residues? Well, animals ingest the pesticides through their feed. Considering that it takes 16 pounds of soybeans or grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, the average cow or chicken consumes an enormous amount of pesticide-laden feed in its lifetime. Once ingested, the pesticides, being fat-soluble, are stored in the animal’s fatty tissues….the pesticides linger in these fat cell storage sites and eventually get eaten by humans. Then the human body does the same thing: It…[stows] them away in fatty tissues. But the toxins remain, poisoning the immune system, sabotaging cellular structures, and scrambling the processes of [healing]….The pesticides are even more harmful to humans than to animals because they’re so highly concentrated by the time they get into our systems. It’s actually a two-step process. First, the toxins from the feed are concentrated in the animal’s body. Then when a human eats that meat, the toxins are further concentrated in his own fat cells.
Avoid certain seafood and do not eat too much seafood. See the “Proper Nutrition“ page (see above) under the “grocery list” subsection for quantity of seafood to eat. See the “Proper Nutrition” page (see above) under the “Nonplant foods include” section under the “Seafood” subsection for types of seafood to eat.
Toxic Substances in Nonplant Foods
Do not eat liver or kidney from any animal. The largest concentrations of potentially toxic substances are found in these organs.
Irradiated foods are not good for you. The following GOVERNMENT STUDY is from “HISTORY AND STATUS OF THE QUARTERMASTER CORPS RADIATION PRESERVATION OF FOODS PROJECT 7-84-01-002” at //www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/.Foodirad-v1/CDROM/fimg2b/016pg001-1080.html:
The loss of preference occurring in an irradiated food results from chemical and physical changes. These changes, in turn, depend upon the nature of the food being treated. Changes in certain animal products, including seafood, may be characterized by the development of rancidity and a peculiar burnt flavor frequently associated with many irradiated foods.
Fruits and vegetables also show some flavor loss and development of foreign, musty, and scorched flavors. In addition there is often a gross change in texture (softening) as well as in color. Here again the more intense the irradiation, the more extensive the changes.
Low-moisture, high-carbohydrate foods such as rice and paste products darken in color and develop a gummy texture at high irradiation doses. At the lower doses usually sufficient to destroy all the insects and molds associated with these foods and with cereal and bakery products, only slight changes occur. These include rancidity as well as some musty and other undefined off-flavors.
Why a Government Food Agency Might OK Something That Is Bad for You
Government food agencies are well-intentioned. However, a government food agency might OK something bad for you because their goal is to promote what is probably good for you. Their goal is not to promote what is certainly good for you. For example, they want to know that, say, irradiated food, is good for 900 out of 1000 people. Their view is:
If we had to be certain about every new discovery and every new invention, we would never apply any new discovery and we would never use any new invention.
The Lord says we should pursue “certainty” and not “probability.” Proverbs 22:20-21 says:
(20) Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, (21) That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send to thee?
• Wash and scrub all fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water.
• Peel fruits and vegetables when possible. When peeling citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons leave as much of the white pith as possible.
• Discard outer leaves of leafy vegetables.
• Trim fat from meat and skin from poultry and fish.
How do you know whether to use a food substitute? If it does not pass either or both of the following two tests, do not use it:
By definition, a food substitute is not a natural substance. Anything that can be ingested that is not natural may be harmful to the body. Do not use it.
Anything that has been proven harmful to the body even once may be harmful again. Do not use it.
To help you reduce the risk of poor posture if you sit at a desk all day:
- Take frequent breaks, about every 30 minutes.
- If you cannot get up, stretch your arms and legs as much as possible.
- Use an office chair that provides adequate support for your back.
- Keep desk items (phone, calendar, appointment book) within comfortable reach.
- Women: avoid wearing high heels. They put extra stress on the back.
At times, you might “just know” how to maintain good health.
Be sure to drink enough water. It is possible for the body to need more water even though one is not thirsty.
The foundation of the Modified Food Pyramid is fruits and vegetables. Click here to view and learn about the Modified Food Pyramid. Vegetables are better than fruits. Click here to find out why.
Consult your doctor or other medical professional. Angina is pain produced by a cramp in the heart muscle. If angina occurs, STOP eating meat (beef, poultry, fish, etc.) and dairy products (nonfat dairy products like skim milk are okay). Also, see “Angina” under “Physical Therapy” below.
Be sure that there is sufficient air entering from outside when you are indoors. Outside air has the proper amount of oxygen necessary for good health.
• Trust the Lord.
• Forgive anyone who has hurt you.
• Reduce anxiety reaction.
o Watch less television.
Consult your doctor or other medical professional. Angina is pain produced by a cramp in the heart muscle. If angina occurs, clear your mind of troubling thoughts, gently massage the affected area and get more outside air. Also, see “Angina” under “Nutritional Therapy” above.
If a part of your body experiences numbness, massage it and/or exercise it. Moderate pain indicates healing. Numbness indicates degeneration.
Sudden Muscle Weakness
If you experience sudden muscle weakness, stop what you are doing, relax, and gently stretch the muscle in all directions.
Have a yearly checkup. Read the topic “When To Listen To A Doctor Or Other Medical Professional.” Choose a doctor or medical professional with nutritional training. More of their patients are cured. Their patients are cured more quickly. Fewer of their patients require surgery.
Exercise can be combined with recreation.
Sanitation includes personal hygiene and household cleanliness. Note that sufficient soaking, flushing, and scrubbing with water alone followed by a thorough drying accomplishes a lot. Regular, chlorinated tap water provides an additional advantage because of the germ-killing chlorine in the water. However, chlorinated water should be purified (see “Water Purification” below) before drinking. Soap products are necessary for the thorough removal of grease and oil. Germs will thrive in grease and oil. Finally, antiseptic products kill germs.
- Personal Hygiene
- Dental Hygiene
- Brush your teeth before you go to sleep. This greatly reduces the number of bacteria attacking your teeth all night.
- If you are too tired to brush your teeth at night, a good rinsing out of the mouth will do 50% of the job that brushing will. However, don’t fall into the habit of just rinsing out your mouth unless you want to impair your dental health.
- If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, try to rinse out your mouth.
- Dental Hygiene
Get 8 hours of sleep. If you can’t sleep, just relax. Relaxation accomplishes 80% of what sleep does. If you can’t sleep and you can’t relax, do the least effortful thing that relaxes your body for you. This type of activity accomplishes 60% of what sleep does.
Sunlight is conducive to good health, including good eye health. Sunlight produces vitamin D. Most lenses used in eyewear deprive us of some of the ocular benefits of sunlight. Make sure your eyes get at least 30 minutes of once-reflected sunlight without eyewear each day. If you can’t get out, this can be accomplished by looking out an open window.
There may be uncommon means to maintaining good health.
A vegetarian is supposed to be “a person who eats no animal foods.” Nowadays, there are people who eat mostly plant foods who call themselves vegetarians. They, of course, ARE NOT vegetarians. They are mixed-food (plant and animal) eaters, like most people.
What about people who claim to eat only plant foods? Are they telling the truth? In most cases, they believe that they are telling the truth. The truth of the matter is:
- Some so-called vegetarians eat an animal food called vitamin B-12; so, they are eating a part of an animal. They are NOT vegetarians.
- Some so-called vegetarians eat plant foods grown in soil fertilized with an animal by-product that contains the animal food called vitamin B-12, which is absorbed into the plant foods and becomes part of them; so, these vegetarians are eating a part of an animal. They are NOT vegetarians.
- So-called vegetarians who avoid animal foods including the above animal foods ARE NOT AVOIDING ALL ANIMAL FOODS. These vegetarians still eat an animal food called vitamin B-12. They may get this animal food from seaweed. They are NOT vegetarians. Now, someone might object “yes, but they are not eating part of an animal.” The answer to that is that a vegetarian is “a person who does not eat animal foods.” They are eating an animal food. Just because they eat it while it is sitting in seaweed does not mean it is not found in animals and is, therefore, not an animal food. The only way that this particular group of so-called vegetarians could call themselves vegetarians is if they were to change the definition of vegetarian from “a person who does not eat animal foods” to “a person who does not eat animal foods contained in animals.” However, in that case, they would be admitting that “there is something good in animal foods.” That admission would mean that they ARE NOT vegetarians.
- There are no other types of so-called vegetarians.
We see, therefore, that there are really no vegetarians. As far as people who might claim to be total meat-eaters, they eat plant foods that sit in the animal foods they eat. Therefore, there are only mixed-food eaters. It is just that some of us eat plant foods more, others eat plant foods half the time and animal foods half the time and still others eat animal foods more.
Your drinking water may need to be purified. This can be accomplished by using bottled water and/or a water-filtration system and/or a water-distillation system and/or another method of water purification.