How to Get Slim and Trim
Get Slim and Trim
Most people want to look their best and that can mean many different things to people. Getting slim and trim is typically the common goal for most, though. Being slim and trim can help us to enjoy a longer life with more confidence. When starting on the journey to slim down, the key factor is ensuring that you are ready change your lifestyle and habits. Don't think of this process as a diet or quick fix. That will only lead you back to where you started and possibly lead to a sense of failure. Let go of any doubts and don't let excuses prevent you from achieving your success. Busy schedules, lingering injuries and lack of motivation can work against you and deter you from taking proper care of yourself. Your health is important, and you deserve to feel good and to be at your optimal health.
To get slim and trim the healthy way, and no matter what your body type, you have to understand that it is going to take effort to achieve this goal. You must set goals. Goals allow us to track results, and if we don’t track results, it’s impossible to monitor our progress or lack thereof. Setting goals and keeping track of your restults will, without a doubt, set you up for success. This will show you where you are lacking and where you a succeeding, so you can modify what is and what isn't working.
It is beneficial to set specific times for meals and snacks and to stay consistent with the times you set. Eat higher-fat meals early morning, have a mid-morning snack, a mid-sized lunch at noon, have another mid-afternoon snack, and a light dinner in the evening. Think of this as an upside triangle, eating more in the beginning of your day and tapering off toward the end. Avoid eating at least 3 hours before you go to sleep and 1 hour before you workout. This allows your body to pull from the stored fat during a resting or aerobic phase to replenish your muscles, instead of pulling from food that has just been consumed.
Drink lots of water throughout the day, espeically if you are working out. Hydration is a must and water will aid in flushing your body of any impurities, resulting in feelilng better and staying motivated. Hunger-pains are usually a sign of dehydration, which most people solve by eating. Next time you feel hungry, try drinking a full 8oz glass of water. Drinking a glass of water before each meal will give you the sensation of feeling full, and it will help to reduce the amount of food you consume.
Avoid drinks with large amounts of sodium, such as sodas or sugary beverages. If you crave something other than water, try sparkling water or squeeze a lemon, lime, or orange in your water for added flavor. More importantly, avoid binging on alcoholic beverages. Maltodextrins, a complex sugar, are found in beer, which increases blood sugar and insulin levels, encouraging fat storage. While white wine is better, red wine is best. Red wine has resveratrol contained in the grape skins, which is proven to have anti-cancer properties and works to prevent heart disease. Have no more than two glasses, though. Anything beyond that becomes harmful to your health.
Your body goes through a process when breaking down the food you eat. Choose to eat more foods that are still whole and intact because it takes your body longer to digest. This will allow enough time for your body to pull nutrients that it needs and will also delay sugar and starch absorption. Consider not having meat for the main course of every meal, or cook more fish since it's a little easier for your stomach to digest. Cook with more vegetables and grains. Fruits, nuts, yogurt, string cheese and vegetables served with humus are a few delicious snack ideas. Stay away from using creamy dressings on salads. Instead squeeze fresh lemon or lime on your fresh greens. Apple cider vinegar, olive oil, a small drop of Dijon Mustard and salt and pepper is another great dressing alternative and is super simple.
When replacing high-fat meals with healthy alternatives, be creative by designing your own recipes. Modify your favorite dishes to incorporate healthy food choices and cut back on portion sizes. Cutting back on the portions will have a huge impact on how much weight you lose. Remember that the size of your fist indicates the size you should eat of each component on your plate: 3-6oz lean protein, ½ cup whole grains and ½ cup vegetables.
It is highly advised to start reading labels and to ask your physician for information on healthy food choices. It is important to understand what is in the food you buy and to stay away from Trans fats. Understanding the difference between partially or fully hydrogenated oils is essential to our health. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated can be used interchangeably. If the product claims fully hydrogenated oil is used, then it will be trans-fat free (even though it increases the amount of saturated fat), but partially hydrogenated oil will contain Trans fatty acids, or Trans fats. Saturated fats used to get the bad rap, but trans fats do twice the damage. Both are known to raise total cholesterol levels, but trans fats also deplete good cholestrol (HDL), which works to protect against heart disease.
More than anything, release your mind of any doubt, fear or guilt when beginning an exercise regime. Our mentality plays a crucial role in this lifestyle change and being patient with yourself will give you long-term results. Listen to your body. Pain is a good indicator that you are working outside your comfort zone, and this is needed to build strength and endurance. However, it can also indicate your limit. Bones can become week if not properly stressed. Without excercise, bones will lose calcium. However, don't overextend yourself because it can lead to injury. Seek guidance of your healthcare professional on your activity level if you suffer from an illness or injury. Yoga or swimmng are wonderful activities that are easier on your body.
Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training 2-3 days a week. Add more as you can and only incrementing to reduce the onslaught of burnout. If shedding pounds is the goal, do cardio first. If it is a toned body you want, do weight training before cardio. Give your body at least 1 or 2 days of rest. Exercise also improves digestion by aiding the natural peristaltic process (regularity). Best of all, it improves not only the physique but enhances grace, balance, and posture.
Keep a positive outlook, stay focused on a goal, and more importantly, do not give up. Temptation will be there. Work to fight against it. If you succumb to it, don’t worry. Splurges are allowed, every once in a while. Get back to eating healthy and exercise as quickly as possible and be happy with what you have accomplished and for beginning a healthly way of life.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Melissa Stutes