Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

How to Stay Healthy in the United States

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 @ 11:36 AM

how not to gain weight module smallerHave you recently moved to the United States?

Are you worried that you might gain weight while you are living in the US?

A lot of international students and professionals who move here are worried about this.

In today's article I am going to give you 4 tips that you can use to stay healthy while you are living in the United States.





Tip #1) Shop on the outside aisles of the grocery store

grocery storeAmerican grocery stores are set up so that the fresh food including vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy are all on the periphery (outside) of the grocery store.

If you want to stay healthy, stay out of the middle aisles.

In the middle aisles you will find junk food like chips and soda and packaged and canned food with lots of preservatives.






Tip # 2) Ask for a doggie bag

 doggie bagsPortion sizes in the US are huge!

You know that you don't need that much food, so why not ask the waitress to wrap up half of your plate before it even hits your table so that you aren't tempted to overeat.

Here are some phrases that you can use:


  • "Could you wrap that up for me please?"
  • "Can I take that home in a doggie bag?"
  • "Would you mind wrapping that up?"
  • "Could I have a doggie bag?"
  • "Can I get half of my meal to go?"




Tip #3) Avoid preservatives

food labelIn the American diet, there are tons of preservatives.

Preservatives are additives that are put into food to make it last longer.

If you take a look at a package label and you see a long list of additives that you don't recognize, the food is probably packed with preservatives.

Try to pick out food that is natural and it will be easier for you to stay healthy.






Tip #4) Walk, don't drive

city walkingOne of the reasons that so many people in the US are overweight is that people drive everywhere.

If you live in an area where it's possible to walk to work or school, try to get into the habit of doing that instead of driving.

Even if you don't have time to play a sport or go to the gym, put walking into your daily schedule and you will stay healthy!





This topic is one of our modules for the Speakative conversation program! Would you like to practice your English with a native speaker by discussing this topic?


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 Photo credit: Nicholas Eckhart, craigCloutier

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