Healthy Living 101
The diet world is EXHAUSTING! If you could burn calories by just looking into all the newest fads, there'd be no need for diets! One diet tells you to scarf down a pound of bacon but you can't touch carbs and the next diet tells you that some carbs are your friends. Some people do the raw food diet, we have the paleolithic or "caveman" diet, there's a blood type diet, I wouldn't even be surprised if there was an eye color diet at this point. There are lists of good foods, bad foods, forbidden foods and sell your soul to the devil foods!
With so many diets and so many ways to go wrong, it's no surprise that people are confused about food. Unless you have the self-control to gorge yourself on prunes and all-bran for the rest of your life, here are a few tricks that can help you keep your weight down.
1. Calories matter! With the millions of tips flying around the internet, it's easy to forget the most basic weight loss essential; calories. It's like the old phrase "which weighs more? 50 lbs. or feathers or 50 lbs. of bricks?" It might be more difficult to overeat when you make healthy choices, but it's still possible. Eating 3,000 calories of lean protein and vegetables will have the same effect on your weight as 3,000 calories of McDonald's. Your overall health is dependent on WHAT you eat, your weight depends on HOW MUCH (i.e. calories).
2. Work out - This may seem pretty obvious, but some people really think they can lose weight by diet alone. Yes, you can cut your calories and not exercise, but exercising has many positive effects on your body. It speeds up your metabolism and your muscles help burn fat. More importantly it can help remind you that you're putting effort into yourself as you make food choices throughout the day. Weight loss is a two-part formula; diet and exercise. Why would you want to half your chances at success?
3. Avoid sugar and processed foods - Humans aren't meant to eat the amount of sugar that Americans eat. Our distant ancestors rarely had fruits available to them and that was the only source of sugar in their diets. Nowadays EVERYTHING has sugar in it. Avoiding processed foods can help cut out unnecessary sugars and preservatives. White breads, rices and pastas also have no place in your diet.They contain little fiber and they will cause a spike in your blood sugar.
4. Vegetables - This is pretty simple, vegetables are great, everything about them. You can add them for flavor or make a whole meal around them. You even feel great after you eat vegetables. Try adding vegetables into your favorite recipes or adding a small salad and cutting back on the meal.
5. Know your Fats - Good fats and bad fats, oh boy, here we go. Polyunsaturated fats help lower both blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and Monounsaturated fats can reduce heart disease and are a good source of antioxidants. It's important to keep in mind that all fats, good or bad, are calorie-dense, so use caution and good old common sense.
6. Protein, protein, protein - Protein helps build muscle. Muscle is good. End of story.
7. Be Smart - The most important thing about being healthy is being conscious of your choices. Remember back to Elementary School and trick-or-treating. Did you ever eat candy until you felt like you couldn't move? Or even more recently, think of the last time you felt that awful kind of full. Your body is trying to tell you something! If you feel like you're getting away with cheating, you're only cheating yourself. You're the one waking up in your body the next day, not anyone else. If you are making a choice at a restaurant, try to think of how you will feel after your meal instead of letting your taste buds decide.
Your body will take care of you if you take care of it. It takes some time and attention, but feeling good is your prize, which you deserve and owe to yourself.