I am very health conscious and I like to treat my body the way it should. That said, all of the tips following are what I follow and what I feel is right for me. I am in no way a dietitian I am just someone that cares about what I eat and about eating in a balanced way.
Here are some tips I have for loosing weight and most importantly keeping this weight off.
1. Stop drinking soda and juice
Soda is good, soda is addictive and soda is extremely sugary. Juices are even more evil because they look innocent…. In my mind when I was drinking juice I was eating fruit! But no. Juices have no fiber and are filled with calories and sugar.
Water really is your best friend, on top of having no sugar what’s so ever it is the only fluid your body actually needs. Coffee and Tea are also good alternatives. I know that many of us do not like drinking either of those without sugar so a good alternative to sugar is honey or even lemon juice (although it is less sweet than honey).
2. Keeping clear of processed foods or “diet” and “light” foods
Processed foods are filled with salt. Salt, although necessary like every other nutrient, is detrimental to our circulation system if taken in too grand quantities. When we buy frozen pizza, microwavable dishes or any other processed foods we are taking a lot more salt in than we would if we were to cook it ourselves.
As for light or sugar-free condiments they use saccharose or synthesis fat (like the kind found in margarine) that is also detrimental because not natural.
I know it takes time to cook for ourselves and that we do not always have the time to do so. But it is only a means of changing our schedule around. On the weekends, when we typically have more time, we can prepare meals and freeze them for usage during the rest of the week. It is not always fun to cook, especially at the beginning, but it is important for our body and its functioning.
3. Planning your meals before going grocery shopping and having a list
The grocery store is filled with temptations: cookies, candy, creamy stuff…. And when we go there hungry or without knowing what to eat for the week we buy what we crave, and what we crave is rarely broccoli…
What I like to do is to keep a journal of recipes that I like (either found on the web, on magazines, from friends and family) and refer to those to make a weekly plan.
Monday- Chili con carne
Tuesday- Basil grilled chicken with green beans
Wednesday- Tournedos with red wine sauce and pasta
Thursday- Grilled salmon with vegetable julienne
Friday- Vegetable Quiche with salad
Saturday- Grilled peppers with bacon and eggs
Sunday- Homemade pizza with salad
I find that it is easier to buy healthy foods when we incorporate them in a receipe. Also, this technique saves time because we know what we are going to eat and it is easier to organize it according to your schedule. If you know that on Tuesday you finish work at 9pm you will not cook boeuf bourgignon…
Also, and this is more for an ecological reason, I limit my meat or fish intake to the first 4 days of the week. This allows me to eat fresh protein without having to go back to the supermarket.
If you do not know that I am talking about when I say ecological impact and are interested here is a nice article summing it all up: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-ecological-impact-of-eating-factory-farmed-meat-and-what-we-can-do-about-it
We all know the impact of exercising on our global health and system. But on top of keeping us fit, exercising is also a way to release pressure, to feel a sense of accomplishment, to boost self esteem and to de-connect from daily craziness.
Exercising does not have to be intense every day 1 hour workout. You can start slow by deciding to walk to school or work when the weather allows it, ride a bike, walk your dog every week… Taking classes is for me an ideal way to exercise. It’s fun, you are motivated by the group and you feel the results.
Going with a friend or a spouse is a good way to start. You can both motivate each other to keep going!
5. Do not restrain yourself
Being healthy and staying healthy should not be a burden. It should come naturally. We are all raised in different cultures and health has a different place in everyone’s household. However, it is important to realize that healthy decisions will keep us in better shape for the future and will allow us to better live our lives with less illnesses and less stress.
That said, changes cannot be made over night. I suggest starting slow. Maybe starting by reducing soda intake. And once that is done, start exercise once a week. Moving on to gradually cutting other unnecessary nutrients and bad habits from our system.
Now we are all humans and all have needs and wants. I crave chocolate and cookies as much as the next girl and I do not think that refusing all of those cravings is healthy. Now following cravings does not mean that we eat the whole bag of potato chips or the entire chocolate tablet… It means that if we want a cookie from time to time we have the cookie. If for some reason we are not feeling good that day and want to eat at McDonald’s for lunch and at Wendy’s for dinner then we can!
It’s all about balance. Taking in the right nutrients in the right amount and being smart about our choices.
If you have any other tips or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments =]