“Diet” is a word that is only second to that of exercise when it comes to hatred by many people. But, here, we aren’t talking about a diet to lose weight. We aren’t talking about a diet that you will go on to lose weight and then come off of later. What you need to accomplish through a diet is to train your body to eat healthily. You need a diet that is actually a way of eating, not a temporary thing but a permanent thing. Although that sounds even worse, dieting is something that is simple to do healthily even if you can’t live without certain foods. You can do it even when you are in too much of a rush and don’t have time. And, you can do it with lots of favors that you AND your children will enjoy. Don’t think about a diet that’s taxing, troublesome, limiting or boring. Think of your diet as being free, open, full of taste and adventure, with all of the comfort that you want and need, too.
The foods that you need play a significant role on your health. Foods are the fuel that your body requires to do a good job at the tasks that you ask it. In our machine look at the way that food works, the food that you consume is the fuel that your machine needs.
If you don’t give it quality food, it won’t perform the right way. Have you ever gone to put gas into your car and gotten to a really bad gas station where the fuel wasn’t high quality or even up to standard? It slows your car down. You don’t get the gas mileage that you are used to and you may even need to perform more maintenance on your car than you usually need to do. In the way of your body, healthy food is just as important. If you consume the wrong foods all of the time, your body will not be able to perform as well as if you gave it the highest quality foods.
• Without nutrition, your body can become ill faster and with greater intensity.
• Your body does not heal as quickly from injury.
• Your blood pressure rises, your heart rate increases to unhealthy levels.
• You are more prone to limitations physically as well as mentally.
All sorts of problems arise from not eating a healthy diet of food. But, what is healthy and why is it healthy?
• Vegetables are one of the highest nutrient rich foods out there. They provide antioxidants to a high level that helps to heal your body, improve your physical fitness from the inside to the out, and they are very low in calories meaning you can eat more.
• Fruits are sweet so they can solve the sweet tooth. They also provide you with antioxidants and all types of nutrients that give your body the fuel it needs.
• Whole grains are also an important product of a healthy diet. Unlike “white” foods, whole grains give you so much more health. They don’t cause you to gain weight like others. Choosing simple differences from bread to pasta to potatoes allows you to get the tastes that you love but without the added calories, fats, and sugars that can cause you health issues.
• Water intake is also important. Those that do not get enough fluids end up having a body that retains water rather than having less. The body goes into dehydration mode, causing you to keep in all that you can. Consuming enough water means that you’ll system is hydrated, you’re eating less and that you aren’t getting as many calories from other liquids.
• Meats are important parts of the diet, too. You need protein but you shouldn’t want to get it from fatty meats. Improving your diet to just lean meats will allow you to cut down on the intake of cholesterol which will ultimately clog your heart minimizing blood flow to the rest of your body.
If you don’t do anything else, improving these five areas is all you need to do. The good news is that you don’t often need a lot of work to make them happen. Your doctor may have additional or different recommendations for your health, too. He or she may recommend a diet that is different for your specific health issues. In addition, you may want to find out if there are any possible problems with the foods that you eat to your overall health specifically for your health problems.
Dieting To Lose Weight
Finally, if you need to lose weight, you need to minimize the amount of calories that you are taking in by monitoring how many you are consuming. The average person should consume about 1800 to 2000 calories per day. If you are dieting and need to lose weight, you need to reduce this amount to at 1500 to 1600 calories per day. Go with the reductions that your doctor recommends here so that you have enough fuel for the day but are not allowing your body to store the extra fuel as fat throughout your body.
Where Are You Now?
When it comes to improving your diet fitness, you need to take into consideration the location that you are right now. What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? How many calories are you consuming per day?
To help you to see the clear picture of what’s happening to your health in the foods that you eat, take note of how a normal day or week goes for you. Here are some steps to follow to find out how healthy your diet actually is and how healthy it isn’t!
1. Spend one or two days recording the foods that you eat in an average day on a piece of paper. All foods and drinks should be noted!
2. Figure out how many calories you are consuming in an average day.
3. Look at your list of foods and see how many of them are high in transaturated fats, sugars and calories in general.
4. How many servings of vegetables and fruits are you getting? How many servings of protein has been lean protein? Did you get in any whole grains? How much soda did you drink (which puts pounds on your waist each time?)
5. How often did you eat without actually being hungry but being instead bored, anxious, stressed or otherwise emotionally impared?
When you look at these facts you may clearly see where the problems lie. Being honest with yourself is important, though. For most people this is as simple as tracking what they eat over the period of a few days to a week. Seeing just how much in calories as well as in unhealthiness can really cause them to see what reality really is rather than to assume they are doing okay.
I Can’t Give It Up!
If you are one of the many that feel that they can’t give up the foods that they love no matter what, there are several key things for you to address. Don’t worry, they aren’t all bad! First, find out why it is that you can’t give them up. For example, are you connected with that big slice of apple pie because it was your favorite growing up, you may have an emotional attachment to the foods. If you love your mashed potatoes loaded with gravy, sour cream and butter just because you love the taste, that’s a different story.
Identifying why you have to have a specific food is important so that you can actually see the benefits of eating those foods. If you need apple pie to feel safe, you need to address this emotional problem. If you just love the taste, you can find ways to get much of the same taste without a lot of the calories. Next, determine if there is a better way for you to get the foods that you like. For example, will sweetened sweet potatoes that are mashed still give you the same texture and creaminess that you are craving?
By making small changes to the recipe you can get all of the flavor and texture that you want without causing yourself to become a victim of high fats and sugars that really do a number on your entire system. Indeed you may want that slice of apple pie. But, use it in a different way. For example, instead of eating it every few days make it the reward that you get for a week of good eating. Limiting how often you get the treats means that you don’t have to give them up but that you don’t consume nearly as much of it, and therefore you can improve your health overall.
One limit to this is when the food itself is detrimental to your health condition. If you are a diabetic, you simply should not eat foods that are overall sweet because they can cause your blood sugar level to rise so fast that you can cause serious damage to your brain and your heart through the consumption of just some foods. You should know what types of foods you can not eat. If you don’t know you should talk to your doctor about this. There are certain times in life that foods become prime suspects to leading to health risks. Food isn’t worth the risk of your life, is it?
How Can You Improve?
Okay, here is comes. The awful, limiting diet that’s going to make your taste buds go permanently bland is up next, right? NO! You don’t have to be limited by what you can eat because most food that is available that is in its natural state is just fine for you! In fact, if you give it a try you may find that you like these foods better than you do the high fat, high cholesterol foods that you currently are eating. Foods are a main part of why people are unhealthy and therefore it is a mandatory part of improving your health to improve your diet. If you can not commit to making changes here, your diet fitness can threaten your life through disease and even early death.
Yet, much of the damage that is done through eating the wrong foods can be reversed over time by eating a healthy diet. That’s exactly what you need to strive for here. We’ve already talked about what foods you need to eat for a healthy diet, now you need to consider how you will make changes that you can actually live with. Here are several key areas to make changes and exactly how you should make them. Don’t fret about the foods you love, remember moderation is the key factor in real diet fitness health.
Improving your heart’s health is essential. For this, eat lean cuts of meat. Paying attention to the amount of saturated fats in the food you eat is also key to improving your health and well being.
In addition, there are various foods that can help you to improve your hearts health. For example, replacing the vegetable oil in your diet with olive oil, in moderation can improve your health. Garlic is a great antioxidant for your heart too. Reducing the amount of sodium that you take in is also a key factor in improving health. Instead of using a lot of salt, try other flavor additions to your dishes.
1. Consume more fish. You should try to consume at least 2 to 3 servings of fish per week. Or take a supplement of fish oil.
2. Eat unrefined whole grains as they add fiber to your diet which reduced your cholesterol and keeps you feeling full.
Improving Health Risks
Another very powerful tool that you have when it comes to diet fitness is that of improving your health through the foods that you eat. Your weapon is that of antioxidants! Antioxidants are powerful nutrients that are in fruits and vegetables. A good way to know if they are in the foods that you are eating is to look at the color of the food. The darker, richer and brighter the color is, the more antioxidants are in it.
Antioxidants can help to transform your health. They can help to repair damage to cells throughout your body and thereby make you look and feel younger. They can help to unclog your heart’s arteries from cholesterol. And, they help to remove toxins from your body which means a reduction in risks of cancer. Using antioxidants for your overall health is a key factor in improving your health! While you can get many of them through supplements, you should instead consider getting them from whole foods as they are richer as well as tastier that way!
Eat Whole Foods
One of the best things that you can do for your health is to eat whole foods rather than foods that are pre-made. Yes, you are in a hurry and who has time to chop up vegetables? Well, there are reasons why an investment in a bit more time here can literally save your life.
Many foods that are pre-made contain high amounts of preservatives, or products that are placed in foods to keep them fresh and looking good. Some of these preservatives can clog up your heart, can lead to increased health risks for cancer and they put the pounds on.
The trick you should follow, then, is to visit your grocery store and walk around the outside aisles only as much as possible. No boxed dinners, no frozen entrees. The produce section is your friend filled with riches. Meats, milks, eggs and other fresh products usually line the walls of the building. Avoid the aisles and you’ll improve your health overall.
Overall Diet Fitness Plan
Does this sound like a lot of work? Don’t worry; we’ll make it simpler for you. Here are the tips that you need to get your diet fitness plan off the ground and allowing you to improve your health considerably!
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Visit your favorite recipe sites on the web and look for vegetable recipes that aren’t rich with sauces, butter or creams. Add one new recipe to your diet each week.
2. Start looking for leaner cuts of meat. Remember, meats that are high in saturated fat are clogging your heart. One good switch is with ground meats. Don’t reach for beef, but replace at least part of it with ground turkey or pork. You won’t notice the taste difference. Eat more fish, chicken and pork over beef.
3. Reduce portion sizes. No food in one sitting should be a larger quantity than the size of your palm. To help you to not feel hungry, eat a bit slower.
4. Visit the website of the American Heart Association to get heart healthy recipes. Try to look for ways to improve your current recipes through replacing butters, salts, unhealthy foods with foods that are better for you. Look at your grains. Replace white rice and pasta with whole grain. Replace white bread with whole grain bread.
5. Remove soda from your diet. This single movement alone will improve your health considerably. It adds weight to your body and it causes all types of health risks later in life.
6. Look at labels. Learn to read labels so that they tell you what’s in the foods you eat. Reduce the amount of fat, cholesterol, and sugars in the foods that you eat.
If you need to lose weight, then you need to consider a calorie reduction. Dropping just a small amount of weight means that you need to eat less and do more physically. There is no fad diet that is more comprehensively safer and effective than just that: eat less and get more exercise every day. Eating healthy isn’t an option if you wish to increase your lifespan and increase your health. While you may love food, learning to make healthier recipes shouldn’t be something you put on the back burner because you are too busy, don’t like those foods (you probably don’t know what they taste like anyway!) or you think its too much work.
Food is a requirement to living and a healthy diet is an essential part of living a long life. Don’t make sacrifices here for speed, convenience or habit. Remember; while making changes at first is a challenge, you will get into the habit and will eventually love the differences you have made, guaranteed!