Develop a Healthier Attitude Toward FOOD!
I know that most people who work out and take care of themselves also watch what the eat. Diet is one of the most important factors in anyone’s healthy lifestyle.
That’s why these bits of information and suggestions are worth remembering. Some of this information you might already know; some might be new to you. Either way, I hope this helps direct and keep you on the road to good health.
Adopt a healthy attitude towards food. Take a hard look at your eating habits. Do you eat more when you feel stressed? Do you withhold food from yourself in order to feel like you’re in control?
Carefully evaluate whether you have an unhealthy emotional attachment to food. If you do, here are a few steps to consider.
Consult a medical professional. Eating disorders are classified as mental illnesses, and you can’t always just talk yourself into stopping destructive behaviors.
Find a healthier replacement. If you find that you tend to gorge on unhealthy foods when you’re stressed, find a substitute activity. For instance, go for a walk, take a long bath, or call a trusted friend for a chat. Whatever you choose, it should be something that helps you de-stress so that you no longer feel the need to binge.
See food as sustenance. A lot of Western culture is inundated with messages that food is for entertainment, or for alleviating boredom. Break yourself of this habit by consciously evaluating food in terms of what it can do to keep your body healthy.
Calculate your total daily calorie needs. Determine how many calories your body needs to function each day. This number can vary widely, depending upon your metabolism and how physically active you are.
If you’re the kind of person who puts on 10 pounds just smelling a slice of pizza, then your daily caloric intake should stay around 2,000 calories (for men; and 1500 calories for women).
If you’re the kind of person who can eat without putting on a pound, or you’re physically active, you may want to increase your daily caloric intake by 1000 to 2000 calories (a little less for women).
Also consider that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you need to function. Otherwise, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue for energy.
Drink More Water Every Day
Staying hydrated can improve your overall sense of healthiness, as well as helping you feel full. Drink water during and after meals to aid digestion and try to consume between 2 and 3 liters per day
If you feel like snacking, try drinking a full glass of water first. Some people confuse thirst for hunger, and eat a 400- to 500-calorie snack when a glass of water would have helped them feel satiated.
Avoid diet soft drinks and other products containing artificial sweeteners (such as light yogurt). The artificial sweeteners are much worse for you than real sugar.
Eat 5 Times Per Day
Ideally, you should eat three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), with two snacks in-between. Doing this allows you to eat slightly less at your meals, giving your body a more manageable amount of food to digest, and keeps your blood sugar steadier throughout the day because you’re not going 6 hours at a stretch without eating.
Don’t skip breakfast. Many people do because they don’t feel they need to eat breakfast, or they just don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning. Research shows that people who skip breakfast are usually fatter than those who eat a well-balanced breakfast. This is because eating breakfast gets your metabolism started for the day, and keeps it active throughout the morning.
A small breakfast is better than no breakfast. If you don’t feel up to a full meal, at least drink some water and eat a piece of fruit, a granola bar, or a piece of toast. Get more nutritious bang for your buck by eating a breakfast smoothie.
Eat slowly. Have you ever gorged on a huge meal and felt fine immediately after, but suddenly felt like exploding 15 minutes later? This happens because it takes some time for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Stop the problem by consuming your food more slowly.
Next: Practice Moderation