Everyone wants to look good and feel good about themselves. To achieve this, many Americans are obsessed with dieting and exercise. What really is a “diet?” The word “diet” tends to scare many people away because they think of letting go of foods they love or counting calories to starvation.
Many people struggle with sticking to strict diets or else they don’t know where to even start. Diets are not as hard as many people think and once you understand the basics of a healthy diet it is pretty easy to achieve your goals.
The first step to dieting is to focus on wholesome ingredients. It’s as simple as this, “You know what real food is, so stop eating crap”. When shopping look for organic foods with no added preservatives.
Added preservatives turn directly into fat because your body has no way to break them down and use them for energy. Also, if you can’t pronounce an ingredient in your food item you probably shouldn’t be eating it. Cooking at home is a way to solve this, restaurant adds a lot of salt and preservatives.
When you cook at home, you can control exactly what is going into your food. Look for alternatives!
There are many ways to swap healthy foods for regular indulgences. For example, spread avocado on a sandwich instead of mayonnaise, whole grains instead of white, yogurt with fruit for breakfast instead of a donut.
Another important step to your healthy diet is moderation. Balance in your diet is key. For example, if you plan to eat a larger dinner make sure to cut back at lunchtime.
You know yourself and what your downfalls are so avoid them. If you are one to grab a bag of chips and eat the whole bag in one sitting just pour a small portion in a bowl to avoid eating more than you intended.
“You are not a slave to your taste buds”. Eat slowly, this tells your brain when you are full to avoid overeating. When you eat quickly, your brain doesn’t have time to alert you that you are full and you continue to eat more than you need.
Next, you must make your plate colorful. This means you need to eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants and are low calories.
The average a person needs on a daily basis is five servings of fruits and five servings of vegetables a day. That may seem like a lot, but if you add serving fruits and vegetables to every meal and snacks in between meals, you’ll always reach that daily goal.
If you find trouble eating this, much you can always sneak extra servings of fruits and veggies in smoothies. This is a quick and easy way to get your nutrients without having to eat a meal.
Good and Bad Fats
The last step to your healthy diet is knowing the difference between good and bad fats. Saturated fats are deadly to a healthy diet. Saturated fats are found in dairy and beef products.
Instead of indulging in saturated fats look for good fats. Good fats are things like nuts, vegetable oil and fish oil. Adding protein to your diet will help avoid bad fats.
Natural proteins like chicken, fish, beans, and soy are great to maintain your healthy diet. Do not add protein to your body in the form of a shake.
Many people are drawn to protein shakes to gain more nutrients and speed up your metabolism. However, the only real way to do that is by eating natural proteins. Protein shakes can actually make you gain weight if you do not use them correctly.
Put all of these steps into action and you will be off to a healthier lifestyle. Remember to never give up because it takes time for things to become a habit and remind yourself daily of your goals and motivation when you feel tempted to give up.