Brushing too long or hard actually invites oral problems by scratching gums and even tooth enamel, say dental experts.
• Optimum brushing time is just 2 minutes.
• Pressure is harder to gauge. However, an easy trick is to switch your grip: Handle the toothbrush like you would a pencil or a pen.
• For more effective oral care, add a strand of floss rather than expend extra time or effort.
Downsize your diet
Save the cost and effort spent on health food and diet meals:
• Use a salad plate and a tall, slim glass to trick yourself into being satisfied with smaller portions.
• Discard the pie crust and the bottom layer of a cake for a saving of 100 calories. Eat the ice cream, ditch the cone.
• Replace cola (130 calories) with fizzy flavoured water.
• Get wine or light beer, not cocktails, to trim 140 calories.
• Thicken soup with a beaten egg, and not cream or cornflour.
• Lose a slice (70 calories). Fix yourself an open sandwich.
• Replace half the keema with dal and skip malai for a creamy (yet healthy and cheap) dish.
Catch them really young
Initiate healthy habits from infancy, says Sunita Maheswari, senior consultant paediatric cardiologist and head of department, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore.
• If a five-year-old is growing at a healthy rate, switch to low-fat (not necessarily skimmed) milk.
• Avoid sugar and honey in the first year of life so babies don’t develop a sweet tooth.
• Once they’re weaned, be wary of excess ghee or oil.
• When they start on solids, use low-fat cooking methods: boil, bake, steam, saute, stir-fry or microwave.
• Don’t let kids become couch potatoes. Limit TV to 1 hour a day; let them play for half an hour instead.