Sometimes we get caught up fighting the battle of the bulge, chasing unrealistic ideals, when the real battle we should be fighting is the battle of out health. With Diabetes and Heart Disease becoming a common affair in the younger generation, and Anorexia and Bulimia another extreme; I have decided to put down the sword and stop the war I have with my body…. I have decided to embrace the changes that motherhood has brought (albeit kicking and screaming)… and I have decided that from this day forward, there will be no more fighting to conform to the standards of others, that this is not about vanity, but rather a pursuit of a healthy, fit body, and strong mind.
Here are the 10 most common tips and guidelines to help us all put a Spring into a healthy lifestyle:
1. DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST
The saying ” breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is true! It is vital to kick start your metabolism after the night- time fast, so it should be a balanced breakfast. I used to skip breakfast before, but I have since started making it a habit. It gives me the energy needed to get through my workout, and prevents the binging that inevitably happens when we skip a meal!
2. DRINK 2 LITRES OF WATER A DAY
The benefits of water is endless. It’s natures thirst quencher, flushes out toxins, and does wonders for your skin and hair. We really should not be drinking anything else ( except an Appletiser now and again! ).
3. DON’T SKIP MEALS
Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and leads to excess fat storage. So all those times we’ve tried to starve ourselves thin, really did more harm than good!!! We need to feed our body to keep your metabolism running optimally and should aim to eat 4-6 SMALL meals throughout the day….and yes, every fruit, snack bar and handful of nuts; counts as a meal!
4. IMPORTANCE OF PROTEIN
Proteins are the building blocks of life! It is a major part of the skin, hair, muscles and organs…thus, the body needs protein to repair and maintain itself. Protein also helps regulate appetite and cravings by enhancing the feeling of fullness for longer after a meal or snack. The body works harder to break down protein than it does carbs, hence the right amount of lean protein revs up the metabolism. Finding the correct balance here is key….(My key is missing in action! lol)
5. PILE ON THE VEGGIES
Every meal should contain a serving of vegetables. They are packed with nutrients and fibre, and help keep blood sugar levels under control.
Supermarket aisles (and by supermarket, I mean Woolies) are riddled with temptation! Make a list of the things you need and ignore the rest. Hard, I know…but soon your body adjusts and no longer gives in to temptation.
This is an important eat-clean strategy and probably where a lot of us fail. Without the correct preparation, we often resort to unhealthy substitutes! Cooking meals and portioning off foods in advance will ensure that you will always have a meal ready when you’re supposed to eat and keeps blood sugar levels stable.
8. FRUIT CURBS THE SUGAR BINGE
I have found that eating my 2 portions of fruit a day wards off the late afternoon sugar craving I’m prone to have…and I’m sure has less calories than the biscuits I like to dunk in my coffee!
The age old debate of a High Protein diet vs Low Carb diet may still be on going (perhaps I could unravel a bit more of this in another post?), but I personally find it near impossible to cut carbs out of my diet completely ( I am Indian and grew up on rice and potatoes!). Reducing intake and keeping things wholegrain and low GI are the obvious and healthier options.
10. FIT IN EXERCISE!
Get moving!!!! Regular physical activity reduces heart disease, lowers the risk of stroke, reduces diabetes risk, lowers blood pressure; and lets not forget that it’s the best anti depressant around! Our bodies are designed to keep moving, which has countless benefits on body and mind!
And if that wasn’t enough tips already…here’s one final piece of information to get us motivated…
Hope you find these tips helpful! Writing them down has definitely helped me see where I am going wrong!!
Thanks for reading,
(All images sourced )