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In today's society, there has been a common trend to be a part of a fitness and healthy living movement. However, in many cases this consists of extreme dieting and many hours spent at the gym.
This commitment does not last long because it is not realistic and something that many people cannot accommodate when they have school/job, family and a social life.
Even though this fitness and healthy living movement trend does not work for you, this does not mean that you are not able to adopt a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine.
In reality living a balanced healthy lifestyle is a lot easier than you may imagine. And after a few weeks living a healthy lifestyle will become a good habit.
Here is a simple guide that may change your life in a healthier way. Just follow these 11 simple rules:
1. Having the Right Kinds of Foods in Your Home
When you go into your kitchen and you have the choice of a chocolate bar or a banana, you are more likely to go for that chocolate bar. This is why it is important to have the right kinds of foods in your kitchen, so you are not tempted by making an unhealthy choice. Therefore if you have the following foods in your kitchen you will automatically make healthier choices with your diet.
- Vegetables – provides a source of nutrients and important vitamins into your diet. It is especially important to have a lot of green vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach.
- Fruits – are a great source of vitamins and minerals and lower the risk of certain diseases. It is important to get a variety of different colors when eating fruit.
- Meat – is important as it builds and strengthens bones, muscles, skin and blood. It is important to avoid red meats as they can have the opposite effect on your health.
- Seafood – is recommended to have once or twice a week as it high in protein and has large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Whole grains – are important to have in your diet as it helps reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
- Dairy – is essential as it contains vitamin D and/or calcium and helps maintain healthy and strong bones.
2. Cook Your Own Meals Instead of Eating Out
Cooking your own meals at home instead of eating out is a great way to make sure you are eating healthy meals. This is because you are more likely to use fresh ingredients that a full of vitamins and minerals. Instead of eating out and consuming sugary and salty processed foods.
It will also allow you to add those green vegetables and fruits in your meals where you would not get when eating out. In addition, when making meals at home you can still enjoy the meals that you eat at restaurants. For example, when you're making fries bake them instead of frying them.
On top of all the healthy benefits, there is an economic value as well. By eating and making meals at home, you tend to save a lot of money which could be used to go on vacation.
Example of a healthy recipe is the BBQ Turkey Burger:
- 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices sweet onion, grilled
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 4 (1.6-oz) sesame seed buns, toasted
- In a medium bowl, gently mix together turkey, garlic, paprika, and cumin.
- Form turkey into 4 (4-inch) patties; season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill to medium-high; cook, turning once, until burgers are just cooked through (about 7 minutes per side). Serve with desired toppings and buns.
3. Create a Grocery List & Stick With It
When trying to lose some weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle many people can become sidetracked as soon as they walk through a grocery store; this why it is so important to make a grocery list before it is time to head to the grocery store.
This will allow you to know ahead of time what you need to buy which will help you avoid buying junk food when you do go grocery shopping. In addition, the grocery list technique will only work if you stick to the list. A good trick is to avoid the aisles that have junk and processed food. All of the fresh produce that you want will be outside those aisles.
4. Planning & Preparing Meals Ahead of Time
The number one reason why many people turn to eating out and fast food joints is because there seems to not be enough time in a day. However, there are two simple things that you can do that will allow you to have the time for making healthy meals at home.
The first thing is planning your meals. The biggest problem that makes eating at home so hard is trying to come up with new meals for 7 days of the week. However, this does not have to be a nightmare if you plan the meals ahead of time for the entire week. This process would maybe just take you 30 minutes or less.
The second thing that will help you save time throughout the week is prepping the meals. All you need to do is pick one day and take the time to chop all the vegetables and fruit that you need for the week. This will save a lot of time when you are making dinner when you come home from work. In addition, you can put together snacks as it will also save you time in the mornings when you are running late.
5. Eat More Meals That Are Smaller Rather Than One Big Meal
Eating more smaller meals throughout the day is a lot healthier compared to eating the traditional three large meals per a day. Many research studies show that eating more small meals throughout the day allows you to have more energy. This is because the body is able to turn the food that you eat into glucose more often as thins and increases energy. Therefore, it will allow you to be more productive at work or at school and have more energy to do the things you love when you get home.
In addition eating smaller meals more often will also help you lose weight. This is because it will increase your metabolic rate which means you will burn off calories much faster. In addition, you are less tempted to eat junk food because you tend to feel more satisfied and full throughout the day.
6. Remember Portion Control
Portion control is a great technique to use to make sure you have a healthy diet and it is also a great way to help you with losing weight. This is because it will in many cases help stop binge eating. This is because it trains your mind that smaller is better than bigger which will also train your stomach to shrink. Therefore, you will be full often and eat less.
Furthermore, portion control can help you stay fit and help you move towards your ideal body. This is because you are consuming the appropriate amount which allows your body to maintain or get to its optimal weight.
A good tip for portion control is to use smaller plates as it gives the illusion that you are eating more; however, make sure you do not go for seconds.
7. Do Not Skip Breakfast
Many people skip breakfast because they assume that this will help them lose weight faster. However, skipping a meal like breakfast can do the opposite. This is because skipping breakfast will decrease the metabolism rate which will make it more difficult and take longer for you to burn off calories.
In addition, to breakfast speeding up your metabolism, it also gives you the energy that you need at the start of the day to keeping you energized when you get to school or work.
8. Don't Eat Before You Go To Sleep
Drinking a glass of skim milk or a piece of fruit before you go off to sleep is perfectly fine; however, eating larger meals like a sandwich or a bag of potato chips is something that you do not want to do.
This is because the foods that we tend to reach for at night are high in calories and they will just sit in your body when you go to sleep, which can lead to weight gain.
It also will reduce your metabolism rate as it will take longer for you to burn off calories and to get to your ideal and recommended weight.
Furthermore, eating right before you go to bed can cause heartburn. Also if you eat sugary and salty snacks before bed it will make it hard for you to get a good night's rest.
It is important to note that it is recommended to avoid eating and drinking especially anything that has caffeine 2 -3 hours before you want to go to sleep.
9. Avoid Sugary Drinks by Substitution
Drinking sugary drinks like pop, juice, alcohol and sweetened coffees and teas is one of the main reasons why so many people have a hard time losing weight. This is because they are full of sugar and have many calories. For instance, a small Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Frappuccino has 430 calories.
This is why it is so important to cut done on sweet beverages and substitute it for a cool refreshing glass of water. Water is important to have in your diet as it clears out toxins. Gives you better skin, helps with weight loss and improves your digestive system. In addition to this all water has zero calories!
If you do not enjoy water because there is no taste this does not have to stop you. This is because you can enjoy the taste of infused water; by adding lemon, lime, and all kinds of fruits. And adding things like lemon and mint have properties that can help speed up your metabolism.
10. You Do Not Need to Sacrifice Your Sweet Tooth
If you have a sweet tooth not to worry! This is because even if you are trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle does not mean you cannot have that slice of chocolate cake. It is perfectly fine to treat yourself for something sweet once in a while. As long as you do not have it every day; it is fine to enjoy a dessert once a week.
You can also still continue to make healthy choices by substituting milk chocolate for dark chocolate. And Ice cream for frozen yogurt.
Here is an example of a healthy dessert that you can make at home:
Fudgy Cream Cheese Brownies
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie stick margarine, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- Cooking spray
- 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup "measures-like-sugar" calorie-free sweetener
- 3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Beat sugar and margarine with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg white, and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour and cocoa, beating well. Pour into an 8-inch square pan coated with cooking spray.
- Beat cream cheese and sweetener with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add milk; beat well. Pour cream cheese mixture over chocolate mixture; swirl together using the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.
- Tip: Don't use reduced-calorie or fat-free tub margarine in this recipe because those products contain water, which will make the brownies gummy.
11. Do Not Forget Exercise
A good healthy diet needs to be paired with exercise, in order to get the results that you are looking for you do not need to do anything that is complicated. Even a 45 minute walk will do the trick. Moreover, the more you exercise the more you will want to do it, as it will become a good habit.
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