Lose Weight and Stay Fit Without a Fad Diet
If you are worried about the excess holiday pounds many of us are still carrying around. There are a few easy, natural things you can do to shed them, and none of them requires any unhealthy fad diets.
Enjoy real foods
You might have heard this one already, but it’s really worth repeating: Forget the ready-made snacks and foods that attract you with colorful packaging and marketing spiel. Rule of thumb says that the more that a food is processed, the more it is stripped of natural fiber, difficult to digest and likely to release toxins into your system.
Snack on real foods like raw, unsalted nuts, raw fruits and vegetables or lightly cooked ones, all of which have plenty of fiber, flavor and natural goodness
Avoid fad diets
This means no shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, no small meals microwaved in plastic. No all-protein diets for weeks on end. No pills, and no injections. These type of quick-fix diets appeal to our desire for an immediate result, but they are short-sighted and will often lead to more weight gain once you revert back to your old diet. Remember that your diet should be what you eat normally, not a set of foods for a short period of time where you feel like you are depriving yourself. Adopting healthier eating habits is a much better way to lose weight and keep it off, and to get fit and stay fit.
Start Your Day with Hot Lemon Water
Most of the foods we eat – like pasta, cookies, breads, and meat – create acid in our system. The more acid-creating food we eat, the more body fat is required to cope with it. Contrary to, well, common sense, lemon’s effect on your body is alkaline, meaning that it actually lowers the built-up acid in your system. Drinking a glass of hot lemon water (hot water mixed with a few drops of lemon) when you wake up each morning is a good way to control your weight. The less acid in your system, the less fat your body needs to store.
Forget lunch on the run
Our culture – and particularly families – favor dinner over lunch, as suppertime is typically family-bonding time. But your digestive system is most powered-up when the sun is at its peak point in the sky: noontime. So switch it up; make lunch the most important meal of the day. Swap your sandwich habit for a nutritious mid-day meal, then eat a smaller meal or snack in the evening. The family can get together over moderate sized bowls of soup just as well as it could over chicken and mashed potatoes.
Eat smaller portions
Most of us tend to eat whatever is served up on a plate. But a plateful of food in the average American meal is often two or three times the size of what your stomach can optimally digest. An easy way to judge your ideal serving size for an average meal is to visualize the amount that you can hold in your hands when your palms are placed together. This leaves enough space for your stomach’s digestive juices to work with air and space elements to break down and churn food.
Eat meals according to your metabolism
While we are all told to eat three meals a day, this might not actually be ideal for everyone. You should not skip meals, but instead try to understand your metabolism rate, and plan accordingly. The way to maintain a healthy weight, is to keep your metabolism active. If you have a quicker metabolism, eat smaller meals several times day. If you have a slower metabolism rate, then eat fewer, slightly larger meals. But whatever you do, always maintain regular eating times. Skipping meals altogether slows down your metabolism and interferes with digestion and healthy weight maintenance.
Get to the core of it
Don’t underestimate the power of core strength exercises when it comes to digestion. You might think the objective all those trips to the gym is a toned and fit-looking body. Who doesn’t want a six pack when jogging on the treadmill in her sports bra? In actuality, strengthening your core is as much about balancing your digestion as it is about exercising. Toned muscles in and around your mid-section “massage” your intestines and aid in digestion –helping with the absorption of nutrients and the flushing out of waste products. Adding core strength exercise like Pilates, yoga, dance, or even guided weight-training will also keep in check your digestive system and weight. Try out some of our Pilates, or yoga videos.
Rid Yourself of the 5-A-Day Mindset
While you might think that getting five servings of fruits and vegetables everyday is all you need, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) says you should be having much more than that. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and provide essential nutrients and dietary fiber necessary for healthy digestion and weight maintenance.
Your daily fruit and vegetable needs depend on your calorie needs, which in turn are determined by your age, sex, and physical activity level. MyPyramid.gov is a great resource for healthy eating; enter your age, sex, and activity level, and get a personal eating plan that includes the appropriate amount of calories and recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.