Whether you are trying to lose weight or live an active healthy lifestyle nutrition diet, and exercise are vital to your health. We have become as a whole in the western culture, a couch potato, slow-moving, overweight, and flaccid society. Of course, there will always be that a smaller percentage of people who get it right and remain fit and healthy. But those that do, make a conscious effort at it with diet and exercise. Well done if you are in that category!
Part of the problem is that because we as humans have it ingrained in us to constantly change things, we are the only creatures that invent food. No other animal or insect does this and they don’t have the diseases humans do unless we have poisoned their environment. We have so much in the way of processed food that has little nutrient value, that we pack on the pounds and become slower moving.
In the wild, animals that eat raw vegetables, grasses, fruit, and berries are very healthy. The carnivorous animals consume healthy herbivorous animals and remain virtually disease-free. Our farms, on the other hand, have to produce massive amounts of cattle and chickens, so we give them hormones and phosphates and the like and we consume them. By the way, some experts now think that younger girls develop much earlier than they used to because of the hormones in meat and dairy products. Fortunately, however, we can eat raw organic fruit and vegetables and we have to do that daily.
Another culprit is our need to change our environment again. We have more machines that do things for us now and that’s not all. This is both good and bad. The good is a higher production speed for the products we need, bad because we are physically slowing down. Less than ten years ago, we could go out on a Sunday morning and see someone pushing their lawnmower. (And I mean pushing). Nowadays you see more ride-on mowers or power mowers that drag you along with them. Our ancestors were much more active and ate nutrient-rich food. And they could eat a lot of it without getting fat because of the amount of energy they spent on heavy physical labor.
Is everything lost for us in this day and age? Not! We are perfectly capable of reversing this trend, but it requires a) your dedication and b) following it. This can be done regardless of your weight and activity level.
Make your first step to becoming healthy and fit. Once you’ve made that decision firmly, you’re on your way. Now take the time to evaluate your lifestyle and look at it. Be honest with yourself about your eating habits and activity level.
Changing your diet to eating healthy, whole foods is a good way to start. It not only helps you lose weight and feel better, but it also improves your quality of life. You get more energy and life just feels better when you are healthy.
There are many popular diets. The zone, the blood type diet, Atkins, the South Beach diet, Weight Watchers, and the list goes on and on. They’ve all had their share of success, so it’s sometimes hard to know what to do. All I can say is, do your homework. You’ll find the right one that works for you and you’re more likely to stick with it.
If you want to do it alone, you can be as successful as you know some basic rules.
1) Portion control. Cutting into smaller portions can help enormously. A great way to eat less food at once is to drink a glass of water before you eat and then drink more water with your meal. Water takes up a lot of space in your stomach, making you feel full faster and water doesn’t give you extra calories. Awesome!
2) Water, water, water. Drink a lot of clean, pure water. Your body needs it and more than you think. Most North Americans are in a state of semi-extermination. Water rinses away toxins, sets your bowels in motion. (Did you know that the amount of pain you feel from an injury or minor aches and pains is directly proportional to how dehydrated you are? An interesting bit)
3) Eat as much raw fruit and vegetables as possible, especially dark green. Cooked vegetables lose some of their nutrients, so eating a salad every day is good for you. Most of your vitamins and minerals come from fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables. And try to stay organic to avoid pesticides and chemicals.
4) Fiber. You have to keep the bowels moving and the combination of water and fiber will do the trick. The best fibers come from fruit and whole grains. But consider this: you would have to eat 10 bran muffins to get the same amount of fiber as in half a cup of raspberries.
5) Protein. The best source of protein comes from meat such as beef, chicken, or turkey. But limit the amount you eat at once. You don’t need a piece of meat of 10 or 12 oz at once. You can get protein from dairy and cheese but only consume small amounts because they digest too slowly. The nut is a source of protein, but they contain a lot of fat, so consume small amounts.
6) Sugar, candy, soft drinks, junk food, and some processed foods are your enemy. Nothing gives you weight gain and that slow feeling like this group. I’m not saying you should never take part in it, but only do this once in a while. After all, we need our cheat days. Just make small portions.
7) Find an exercise regimen that you like and will stick to. Pretty much any exercise program will help you lose weight if you stick with it. You will see on TV all the equipment people want to sell you but after watching for a bit you usually know what appeals to you or not. You may just want to pop in a video and exercise with that.
8) I can’t say enough about sticking with your program. It takes time and you can experience losses in the beginning when it seems it is not going fast enough, but if you stick with it, you will get your reward and you will reach your goal weight and have the energy to burn.
9) And finally, because some of the food is deficient in nutrients from growing in poor overused soil it might be a good idea to get some good vitamin supplements to assist in getting our daily requirements in. Getting it in food is the best but that is hard to do these days so find a qualified nutritionist to help you in selecting what’s the best diet for you.
Good luck and good health!
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