We indulged in the Turkey, the three-course rich meals and the eggnogs last Yuletide season; the chocolates and sweets we enjoyed last Valentine’s Day have been perfect with several rounds of wine, but now the heat is turning up again, it is time to smarten up on our food choices and habits to achieve a great body by this summer (if not in two weeks).
Certainly, this advice, which we have gathered from health experts and nutritionists is not solely for losing weight but it’s also for eating in the right way and being conscious of every food or drink that we choose to sustain our body needs, as opposed to what we desire. At best, we are guaranteed optimum health, a longer life, an ageless skin, and a beautiful body. Whoever said that “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” is definitely not joking.
But first, we highly recommend you to consult your doctor if you are not yet aware of your health history, as certain foods noted here may not be suited for you. You may be lactose intolerant, thus you cannot drink milk or eat dairy cheese and yogurt, though it is rich in calcium and protein; you may be suffering from gastro-intestinal problems, so you have to lessen your intake from acidic foods like tomato, lemon, pineapple, orange, and white floury pastries and breads, which can further irritate your stomach.
Otherwise, let’s get started!
1. Heads up! A positive attitude is your single, best tool. Constantly remind yourself that you are beautiful just as you are unique, that you’re worth the effort, and that you will let nothing stand in your way. Eating right is something wonderful for your body and your health that will give you great satisfaction for the rest of your life. With practice, a strong sense of self-worth and motivation will become second nature.
2. Set reasonable goals. If you plan to lose 10 pounds in a month, then you have to back it up with a daily diet menu based on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fat, calories and preservatives.
3. Enlist the support of the family and friends. Ask them to please not tempt you with fattening goodies.
4. Take one day at a time. When you measure your success by how far you have to go, you are bound to become discouraged. Simply get through each day. You will be surprised at how quickly those days will add up!
5. Be a healthy food buff! When doing your grocery, avoid the shelves containing potato chips, soda juices, fattening cheeses, candies, chocolates, canned fruits and vegetables. These are high in simple sugar, sodium and preservative; things you do not need in your body at all!
6. Educate yourself with your food’s nutritional values. This will help you understand your body’s response to the food you eat and what to eat in order to have a balanced diet. Opt for vegetables and fruits. These are high in nutrition so you will less likely find yourself getting prone to diseases.
7. Fiber up! Eating fibrous foods like strawberries, kiwis, asparagus, broccoli, whole grain breads, cereals and pasta will keep your stomach hunger-free, plus it will boost your metabolism and aid in burning more calories.
8. Spread your meals. It is better to eat 5 light meals than 3 full meals a day. This will boost your metabolism, especially if you eat fruits like apples, bananas or pears for your 2nd and 4th meals. As for the rest, eat most during breakfast, preferably high-fiber foods as they will pave the way to faster digestion throughout the day; your favorite healthy foods like potatoes, corn, lean meat and tuna for lunch; and low fat foods for dinner, like tomatoes, mushrooms, and green leafy vegetables. And by the way, do not munch anymore food within 4 hours before your bedtime so you burn your last meal properly and even stored calories in your sleep. Hence, no midnight snacks!
9. Hydrate yourself well. It is commonly recommended to drink at least 2 liters or 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to speed up your metabolism, but try drinking more. Drink 1 liter of water first thing after you wake up, then wait 30 minutes for the water to reactivate your system before eating breakfast, and then you will find yourself drinking more and cleansing your body throughout the day, but make sure it is low in sodium as the salt will just store excess water in your body.
10. Cut down on fat. Avoid fatty cuts of meats, fried foods, chicken skins, and become an avid reader of food labels. If the product contains more than 30% fat, it is better left on the grocery shelf.
11. Allow yourself a small treat of chocolate once in a while, specifically the dark ones for it suppresses the appetite and it is rich in flavanoids, thus helps in the digestion and blood flow.
12. Cut down on stimulants like alcohol, caffeinated tea, coffee, soda, packed fruit juices, sugar, salt and strong spices for these bring forth the degeneration of body organisms, which results to stomach gas build-up and premature ageing, aside from that it dulls the mind and sensitivity.
13. Indulge on fresh fruits. They will satisfy your sugar cravings and induce fiber, vitamins and minerals in your body. Stock up your kitchen with ripe fruits available in the market, as the sight full of this will provoke you to eat them instead of cookies and cakes before they perish.
14. Eat loads of vegetables. Raw food works best in digesting nutrient values with the enzymes still intact and without a high calorie load as when deep frying or baking with cream and flour. Otherwise, steam it with some herbs and spices, and avoid sprinkling it with soy or oyster sauce that are rich in sodium and preservatives.
15. Spice it! Enhance your food with an alternating variety of fresh or dried herbs and spices. With an abundance of healthy food and flavorful herbs and spices, I’m sure you will not run out of ideas in creating your own healthy dish.
16. Be creative. Mix up these wonderful ingredients and create your recipe so you get more motivated in pursuing this healthy choice. An attractive presentation will also guarantee a smile on your face and in your spirit.
17. Slow down. Start by drinking water 30 minutes before your meal. Keep your stomach clear during this time. When you’re ready, chew each bite slowly at least 30 seconds and wait a few seconds before taking another bite. Drink water again 30 minutes after you’ve emptied your plate. This will help your digestion, heighten your taste buds, create awareness, and keep you trimmed.
18. Diet alone does not guarantee fat loss and a healthy lifestyle. It may help you lose weight, but it only burns your muscles, not your fat. Exercise! It burns fat, sustains equilibrium and a positive outlook, attracts sensible circle of friends, and guarantees self-contentment.
If you appreciate this advice, you will also appreciate our follow-up article, which will further assure your health and beauty goals.