So as an ordinary woman, how do I maintain a healthy weight and a lean physique? I thought I'd share my "Top 10 Health, Fitness and Wellness Tips." Some of these you've heard before, but all of these work for me.
Start with a nutritious and filling 300-calorie breakfast. This kick starts your metabolism and fuels you until mid-morning. Research shows that people who skip breakfast can gain up to 8-10 lbs per year from omitting this one simple step. Often times, people who do this overeat later in the day or consume too few calories, causing their bodies to go into starvation mode (thereby depositing more, rather then less fat).
Workout first thing in the morning. This can be as simple as a 30-minute power walk to/from work or while walking the dog. It is a great routine to adopt and it can be done before the rest of the family even wakes up. Put your workout clothes on first thing in the morning and just get moving. That way, there is no time to "think up excuses" as your day progresses.
Strength-train for 20 minutes 3x per week. It's easy and inexpensive to pick up some light weights at your local store. Take them home and work your biceps, triceps, back, shoulders, legs, etc. while watching your favorite TV program. You only need to do about 2 sets of 5-6 well-chosen exercises to work all of the major muscle groups in your body. See the "ABS Diet Get Fit Stay Fit Plan" by David Zinczenko for some great exercises (a total of 245 exercises). You'll start looking lean before you know it.
Eat 3-4 mini-meals per day with 2 snacks in between. Your body likes to be fuelled throughout the day to keep your energy-level high and to keep you focused to handle the demands of the day. Also, you want to avoid that "starvation mode". A mini-meal is 300-500 calories, while a snack is 100-200 calories.
Drink plenty of water and eat high water content foods, such as fruit. You don't have to necessarily consume the recommended 8 8-oz glasses of water per day. Provided you eat plenty of water-packed foods, you can still get the recommended amount of water and feel full in the process. As you all know of course, often times when you feel hungry, your body wants water. As well, dehydration reduces mental functioning. So, drink water first, especially when it is not time for a snack or a mini-meal.
Eat fruit, veggies and high-fiber foods. They are delicious, nutritious and filling. That piece of fruit can have as little as 80 calories (e.g., apple) and that veggie (e.g., cucumber) can have as little as 40 calories. That gives you a whole lot of food to consume to keep you fuelled and happy. Besides, when you are eating right and exercising, you don't want to feel as though you are starving yourself.
Have that sweet indulgence, but just a little . A small piece of chocolate (50 calories or so), and some of those new thin Cadbury chocolate bars (100 calories each) will keep that sugar-craving at bay. Besides, the flavonoids of dark chocolate are actually good for you! With all that healthy-living and physical fitness, you deserve a treat whenever you like.
Buy organic produce, dairy and meat. It is more expensive, at least for now. However, it won't be too long in the future before prices come down as people become more and more informed about the toxic substances that are in our food chain. It is worth the added cost. Do some research and you'll see why. Not to mention, the produce as an example is simply much better. I had hot water with lemon made with an organic lemon this past week. Not only was it much more aromatic but it tasted delicious compared to the waxy non-organic lemons I used to buy at my local supermarket.
Go for those foods that are rich in antioxidants. I am a big fan of blueberries and other berries. But why should you care about eating foods rich in antioxidants? Because, according to Wikipedia .com: "an antioxidant is a molecule capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells". And ... in plain English, free radical damage can lead to Cancer. Did you know that "burning fat" causes the production of free radicals? So as you workout and slim down, you need those antioxidants. You can get them in supplements as well (but that's for another post).
Take time just for you. That is, de -stress. For the sake of your heart, circulatory system and overall well-being, de -stress. My favorite de - stressors are reading, exercising, and meditation. Did you know that meditation (simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath rather than the distractions around you) can relieve stress almost immediately. Besides reducing stress, the benefits of meditation are numerous. It can: increase creativity and intelligence, improve memory and learning ability, increase energy, increase inner calm, reduce insomnia, increase happiness and self-esteem, reduce anxiety and depression, and promote a younger biological age, to name a few. These benefits have been documented in scientific studies spanning 25 years or more. Check it out.
So that's "My Top 10 Health, Fitness and Wellness Tips" for Women, Men and Children alike. Until tomorrow, "Healthy. Fit. Living Fully." is where it's at.