When it comes to getting in shape and maintaining a healthy weight, diet is just as important as exercise. Getting the right nutrition is essential to overall health, and can also improve fitness and appearance.
The following are seven tips on how to eat healthy and stay in shape.
1. Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals is common among dieters. Many people believe that fewer meals means fewer calories, and that missing breakfast, lunch or dinner will increase the rate at which calories are burned. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Skipping meals causes metabolism to slow considerably. To boost metabolism and increase weight loss, eat several small, balanced meals throughout the day.
2. Beware of Processed Foods
In our busy lives, processed foods may seem like a convenient alternative to freshly-prepared meals and snacks. However, these foods are often loaded with fat, calories, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other harmful ingredients that can negatively affect health and fitness. Eat fresh whenever possible, and choose meals with fewer ingredients.
3. Choose Healthy Carbs
To create energy, the body must have carbohydrates. However, starches like potatoes, white bread, and other complex carbs can lead to both weight gain and spikes in blood glucose. Instead, opt for whole grains like oats, quinoa, and barley. These foods provide energy without the increase in blood glucose, and also contain less fat and calories.
4. Avoid Mindless Snacking
Always be aware of what you eat. To avoid mindless eating, keep snacks put away in cupboards and away from work and rest areas. If you do keep snacks in a desk drawer or bedside table, make sure they’re high in nutritional content and low in fat and calories.
5. Avoid Eating Late in the Day
Metabolism slows towards the end of the day, so avoid late-night meals and snacking. Generally speaking, eating within two or three hours of bedtime can lead to weight gain.
6. Make a Meal Plan
Writing out a meal plan and sticking to it can significantly decrease the chances of slipping up with unhealthy foods. Create weekly menus and shopping lists and stick to your plan at all times.
7. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking plenty of water is often an integral part of a successful diet. Replacing sodas, teas, and other sugary beverages with water can eliminate hundreds of calories per day! Water also flushes toxins and impurities from the body and leads to better overall health and appearance.