Everyone knows that saying “you are what you eat,” and that’s definitely true regardless of age, gender, or current health. It might be easy just to grab a greasy hamburger or reach for a bag of processed chips if you don’t see the immediate dangers such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease…the list goes on. That’s not the only important factor, however. You can’t just eat healthy but live a sedentary lifestyle because exercise is vital too. Both exercise and healthy eating go hand-in-hand to helping you feel and look your best.
Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight
Looking to achieve a healthy weight? A healthy eating plan is what you’re looking for. Healthy eating emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts are also must-haves. Stay clear from saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and sodium, added sugars, and more. Fruits are a delicious way to get natural sugar. If the fruits of your choice aren’t in season, frozen, canned, or dried works well too. Just steer clear of canned fruits containing added sugars or syrups. Look for fruit packed in water or their own juice. Vegetables are also a healthy option that can taste great and be cooked in many different ways. Try panfrying your favorite vegetables or microwave frozen or canned vegetables if you’re in a rush. To get your daily intake of calcium, low-fat and fat-free yogurts without any added sugar can provide a healthy and tasty snack.
Just like too much of a good thing isn’t beneficial, too much food isn’t helpful for your body either. This is where portion control comes in. Limiting portions helps you lose weight, prevent complications, and gauge calories and carbohydrates. The first important step is to never skip meals: eat three well-balanced meals a day and one snack. The trick is to never go more than five hours without eating otherwise you’ll be tempted to consume more the next meal. Next, start measuring your food. A handy rule of thumb is that 3 ounces of lean meat is equivalent to the size of a deck of cards. 1 cup of breakfast cereal is the size of a fist. Become in tune with reading nutrition labels, which list the serving size if you’re counting calories.
Exercise Your Way to Your Ideal Body Weight
Being slim and strong isn’t just a far-off dream anymore! Exercising might seem like a pain, but if incorporated into your daily routine will only help strengthen you. The first step is to develop a workout plan that focuses on your areas of improvement. The Internet, library books, fitness magazines, and personal trainers are all indispensable resources for you to gain more information on the topic. After you develop your day-to-day plan, be sure to stick with it. Having motivation to achieve your goals is one of the most important factors in both healthful eating and exercising.
There are many ways to increase your physical activity. The first is to make it fun. If you dread going to the gym to run on a treadmill, try going on a hike, walking with your friends, or taking a dancing class that will excite you. Another important tip is to keep track of your progress in a calendar to remind and motivate you on a day-to-day basis. Also, work activity into your day even if this means walking up and down the stairs or taking a 15-minute walk before your lunch. Choose to follow a 3-day-a-week workout habit in either a gym or at home. Rest at least once a day after each session to give muscles time to grow and recover. Mix it up by rotating your exercise schedule and alternating.
Whether you’re looking for sculpted abs or just a light routine to leave you happy and healthy, coupling good eating with physical activity will help you look and feel your best. Keep these tips in mind and remember to stick to your goals!
Recipes for a Day of Healthful Wellness!
Breakfast: Lean Green Smoothie (400 Calories)
Combine 1 ½ cups 1% low-fat milk, 1 chopped frozen banana, 1 cup baby spinach, 2 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, and 1 teaspoon honey. Blend in a blender until smooth and enjoy.
Snacks: Cheese, nuts, and fruits—the possibilities are endless!
Lunch: Chef’s Salad
Combine 2 cups romaine lettuce, 1 large hard-boiled egg, 2 oz lean turkey breast, 2 oz lean ham, 1 oz sliced light Cheddar cheese, 1 oz sliced light American cheese, 6 cherry tomatoes, ½ oz sliced almonds, and 2 Tbsp Hidden Valley Original Ranch Light Dressing
Dinner: Grilled Fish, Veggies, and Salad
Grill 4 oz. fish such as tilapia; serve on the side 1 medium sweet potato, 1-cup spinach, and 10 cherries. Combine 1 ½ cup mixed-green salad, ¼ c grated carrots, and 1 Tbsp Italian salad dressing
By Bonnie Wong