Fitness is often associated with someone who is at the gym working out diligently every day. No, exercise is very important, but ironically there is also another level of fitness, mental fitness, that is important in making you a “fit” person physically. You can see this after your metabolism starts to slow down after your early adult years. That extra doughnut added a little to your “love handles”, those fries caused you to get that double chin. Don’t underestimate the power of your mind in keeping you fit for life. It starts with choices.
And despite what you may have heard along your journey to weight loss, all foods aren’t the enemy! The absolute worst way to try and achieve weight loss is by starvation. While you may end up with some visible results, they are usually short-term. Furthermore, depriving your body of the nourishment it needs is extremely unhealthy.
As you start on your weight loss journey, you’ll want to avoid unhealthy foods and detrimental eating habits.
Take a look at 5 ways that eating can actually help you achieve the results you’re seeking:
1. Manage your portions. By far, portion control is one of the most important factors in a healthy diet. When you overfill your plate at a meal, you tend to get hungry quicker. Try this. Spend one week eating a smaller portion during one of your daily meals. Then spend another week applying portion control to all your meals. What differences do you notice?
* In most cases, you’ll find yourself feeling sluggish during the first week. But, by the second week, it will start to get easier.
* Try to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Eating more often reduces your cravings.
2. Focus on impact. Imagine that you’re at the front of the line in a takeout restaurant. Do you go for a side of rice or a side of quinoa? Consider what each choice does to your body.
* Learn about the glycemic index table. Which foods spike blood sugar? Instead of looking at carbs as the enemy, focus on the impact each food item has on your body’s performance.
* Another factor to consider is blood pressure. Some foods, especially those with a high salt content, might negatively impact your blood pressure.
* If you focus on your overall health, it will be easy to make positive food choices.
3. Avoid skipping meals. When you skip meals, you send a mixed message to the brain. Immediately, your brain senses that you’re starving the body. How does it respond to that? By holding on to as much fat as it can. The result is that it becomes very difficult for you to lose weight.
* When your body gets a consistent supply of food, it’s in an optimal place. Then, it feels comfortable releasing some of the stored fat.
4. Weigh the options. Who says you have to sacrifice everything to stay in shape? Just think it through and weigh your options.
* Let’s say you have a chocolate craving. Take a moment to consider what you’re achieving by eating the chocolate. Are you upset about something? Is eating the chocolate just a temporary fix? You know that the satisfaction will quickly wear away, so is it worth it?
* How about considering a chocolate alternative? Find other foods that can satisfy your chocolate craving without doing harm to your body. Craving satisfied, sacrifice avoided!
5. Embrace a rewards system. The easiest way to maintain a fit body is by rewarding yourself. Trying to totally deprive yourself of the foods you crave makes it harder to lose weight.
* Try to stay on track with healthy food choices the majority of the time.
* Implement a rewards system that allows you to have a treat when you’ve stayed on track with your diet for the week.
* Ensure your indulgence is something you absolutely want! And only reward yourself when you’ve earned it by practicing healthy eating habits.
With these five practices, you can easily make some positive lifestyle changes and enjoy greater fitness and health. What’s more important than taking care of yourself? Nothing! Try these tips, starting today. You’ll be glad you did!