Working out is hard enough without having to keep track of eating healthy. Having a well-balanced diet is crucial to forming a healthy lifestyle. But what even is a healthy lifestyle? To me, it is when you have the right balance between working out and eating right. You can not do one or the other and expect to see results. Think of working out and healthy eating like a relationship, it takes two to make it work.
In my last post I focused on a workout to help you get in shape and now I am going to give you a diet to go along with it. When starting a new diet, it is best to first focus on what you should and should not be eating, and then to make meals around those types of foods.
What you should stay away from and cut out of your diet:
- Sugar: Too much sugar can cause some serious health issues like an increase in weight and the risk of getting diabetes. Sticking to natural sugars from fruits is your best option.
- Dairy: There are not many health benefits to consuming dairy. In fact, there are a lot more health disadvantages. Such disadvantages include difficulty digesting, hormone imbalances, acne breakouts, high amounts of cholesterol, increased risk of certain cancers, and high amounts of saturated fat which cause weight gain.
- Greasy and fried foods: If you are trying to lose weight greasy and fried foods are not the way to go. They contain trans fats which lead to weight gain and high cholesterol.
- Red Meat: It has more cholesterol and saturated fat than chicken and fish. Eating red meat is not good for your health because it can cause high blood cholesterol and can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- Refined Grains: Avoid products made of refined grains because most of their nutritional value has been taken out during the refining process. So stay away from white bread and white rice.
Drinks to avoid:
- Sugary drinks
- Soda- These drinks are extremely bad for you. They are very high in sugar and caffeine and can cause your metabolism to slow down (leading to weight gain), as well as diabetes.
- Energy drinks
What you should add to your diet:
- Whole Grain- Products made from whole grain are a healthier option because they keep all the nutritional value that the grain has to offer. Eating more whole grains can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve your body’s digestion, and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Rice- Stick to brown and wild rice
- Fruits and Veggies (lots of them)
- Nuts- Almonds, peanuts, cashews, and pistachios are all great sources of protein.
- Almond milk- Use this as a substitute for regular milk.
- Chicken and fish
Drinks to add:
- WATER- This is extremely important for your body so drink lots of it throughout the day.
- Unsweetened Tea- It is low in sugar and calories, but rich in antioxidants.
- Fruit Smoothies- Make sure your smoothies are being made with actual fruit to get the most health benefits.
Fruits and veggies are the number one key to staying healthy. You should be eating them with every meal. They are full of nutrients and antioxidants that your body needs. Not only that, but they help with lowering risks of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Fruits to eat:
- Apples- peanut butter goes great with sliced apples and is a great source of protein.
Veggies to load up on:
- Celery- Add some peanut butter to it and you have a great healthy snack.
- Potatoes- These are actually very healthy for you, it just depends on how they are cooked. Stay away from potato chips, fries, and baked potatoes with sour cream or butter. Instead, roast your potatoes with olive oil to get all the nutrients it has to offer.
- Sweet Potatoes
There are also a few things to remember with your new diet. For one, always eat breakfast. It is necessary to start your day and to get that metabolism going. Also, eat fruits and vegetables with every meal. Portion size is another thing to consider; even if you are eating healthy you still do not want to overeat. Snacking should be kept to a minimum and it should not be processed junk food. You should drink a good amount of water throughout the day as well. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces. Also, do not forget that if you give it a few weeks, eating healthy will become second nature.
“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.” – William Shakespeare