1.Eat clean wholesome foods and avoid processed foods you wouldn’t find naturally on the planet. Stick mainly to: Fruits, Vegetables and leafy greens, Poultry and other lean protein, whole grains, lean dairy(like greek yogurt), and raw nuts and seeds.
2.Read ingredient lists on everything, the shorter the ingredient list the better! For example if im buying orange juice the ingredient list should only say “orange juice” but many times you will find a whole list of ingredients many of which you cant even pronounce, these things were not meant to be consumed in nature. You really need to be careful and read everything. The best thing is to just avoid packaged, processed foods, and anything with a long shelf life. Stick to fresh produce as much as possible.
3.Invest in a juicer and make your own fruit/veggie juices.(this should count in your intake as a snack or meal) This is a great way to give your body a lot of the vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, etc. without putting a burden on your digestive tract. You will find you have more energy because your body isn’t using as much energy to break down your food as it would with a solid food. Digestion takes A LOT of energy from your body. They are also suprisingly filling and you will end up consuming more fruits and veggies than you normally would from eating them alone. You can find juicing recipes online, don’t be afraid to experiment! Some fruits and veggies wont get you much of a juice output, some of the ones ive found to give the most juice are apples, carrots, celery, cucumber, tomato, pineapple.
4.Make smoothies, they are a nice way to have a healthy treat and like the juice are less of a burden on your digestive system than solids would be. You can find many smoothie recipes on tumblr and elsewhere online.
5.Drink lots of water, and herbal tea(brewed yourself). You can add fresh lemon slices and cucumber slices to your water for a better flavor, to give your more nutrition, and this will also help keep you full longer. A good alternative if your a soda drinker is to buy a sparkling water( I use “lacroix” its a naturally flavored sparkling water) and add a NATURAL sweetener to it, DO NOT USE SPLENDA. Use stevia. I use sun crystals packets which is a combo of natural sugar cane and stevia. I actually find it more sweet than regular sugar.
6.Eat more frequently(about every 3 hours) in smaller snack sized amounts. Remember portion control, dont let your 5 snacks a day turn into 5 meals a day, you will gain weight. Your snacks should be small enough to fit in one of your hands. For example a handful of almonds is a snack, an apple is a snack, a sandwhich is not a snack) *If you dont like the idea of 5 small snacks a day you could do 3 small snacks and 2 meals a day in this order(S,M,S,M,S) Eating smaller amounts throughout the day helps you because you feel like your eating more(you dont have to go very long periods of time without eating something.) It’s less of a burden on your digestive system, and it helps speed up the metabolism by giving you little boosts thoughout the day. Do snack in between these meals.(3 hours is often enough)
7.chew your food thoroughly to help your digestive system break down the food more efficiently. If you chew for a longer period of time it will also help you realize when your full faster than you would if you just scarf down your food, and you will probably end up eating less. Also you get different flavors out of your food if you chew it longer that you normally wouldn’t get if you don’t give yourself time to enjoy each bite.
8.If you have a craving for unhealthy food or feel like snacking at a time you shouldn’t drink some water, or tea, or brush your teeth.
9.Don’t be an emotional eater. Only eat when hungry, if your following the eating every 3 hours thing just follow that. You won’t be hungry if your eating that frequently. NEVER eat when full.
Do not eat if you are only eating out of:
- Or because your feel you need to to make someone else happy.
these are all examples of emotional or social eating and they have nothing to do with your body NEEDING food. Your body only needs food for fuel, for nutrition. Food is not there to fill emotional emptiness.
10. Keep busy!
- Go for a walk/walk your dog
- Paint your nails
- go to the gym
- go to the beach
- take up yoga or pilates
- take a class you’ve always wanted to take(fitness related or otherwise.)
- update your fitness blog
- create a wall of motivation
- track your progress
- clean your room/apartment/home
- do something extra to make someone happy
- make something
- do your homework
- cut up and package some fruits and veggies for an easy to grab snack when on the go.
- read a magazine
- fix something
- do a facial
- go on a bike ride
- go roller blading or skating
- style your hair
Try to stay active and busy and use hands on activities to pass your day. Avoid too much television or computer time.
11. Plan meals ahead of time, and prepare healthy snacks ahead of time to keep in little baggies or containers in the fridge to grab when in a hurry. Slices of fruits, nuts or a homeade trail mix, and veggies with hummus, peanut butter, or a greek yogurt dip are all good choices. Try planning your meals at least a day in advanced, and pack your own healthy lunch to bring to work or school.
12. Get out of the mindset that you ”must” clean your plate. It would be quite a big coincidence if the amount on your plate every time you eat just happened to be the right amount to fill you up. If you feel full you probably ate too much you should eat to the point where you are not hungry any more but never to the point that you are uncomfortably full. It is ok to save half of your meal or even more for later. It’s ok to throw some leftovers away. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable for many people to throw away what they havent finished. Many of us were raised not to “waste” and to clean our plates. But I like to use the analogy of the show hoarders, those people feel uncomfortable getting rid of anything even if it will benefit them in the long run, same with food, if you’ve had enough to eat save the rest for later or get rid of it. DONT BE A FOOD HOARDER!
13. Read labels, pay attention to calories, ingredient lists, sugar, but most importantly pay attention to the nutritional value of foods. Avoid empty calories which are in foods with little nutrients and benefit to your body. Make your calories count! Those little 100 calorie snack packs have a low nutritional value because those 100 calories are 100 calories of nothing good for your body. A homeade salad on the other hand has a much higher nutritional value because it’s packed with nutrients, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, water, plenty of things your body can use, so the calories are not wasted if that makes sense.
14. Try keeping a food journal. If you find it difficult to track calories and macronutrients then at least just write down the time of your meal and what you ate. Just that is enough to tell you the types of foods your eating and help you visualize what your diet consists of. You can see if your eating foods with high nutritional value, if your snacking too much, if your eating too late at night, etc. You can also write down your workouts and how much water your drinking. Whatever you want too keep track of.
15. Aim to work out 5 days a week or more. Less than 3 days is unacceptable.
16.If you have a signifigant amount of weight you want to lose(30lbs or more) I suggest focusing on cardiovascular exercise and sweating it off until you get within about 20lbs of your goal weight. Then you should add in strength training on top of your cardio. Make sure when you do start strength training you allow your muscles time to heal. For example if you work your arms on a monday you wont want to work those muscles on tuesday and probably not wednesday either. Focus on a different muscle group that day such as abs, or legs.
17. Don’t give yourself time to talk yourself out of working out. When you find yourself thinking things like “I don’t feel like doing it today, I’ll do it tommarrow.” or “I’ll do it later, I just want to do this first.” Just go mindlessly to the gym, or outside for a jog. You can do whatever else you want to do after your workout. Your health, fitness, happiness, goals should come first. It’s like the nike slogan says..”Just do it” Don’t make it an option. It’s just like work or school or any other commitment. You may not always want to do it, but you have to because it will benefit you in the long run.
18.Take it easy on your body, your stomach is not a garbage disposal, keep what you eat as wholesome and toxic free as possible, eat slowly and think about how you feel after meals. Think of food as a tool to nourish and heal your body, not as something soley there for the enjoyment of your taste buds, or as a emotional crutch.