Nowadays, we are condition with the image of so called “perfect body”. Society tells us what kind of body image we should strive for. We see images of “perfect bodies” all around us, on television, in movies, in newspaper and magazine ads and online. In today’s modern world there is a large emphasis on looks and appearance, but staying healthy is also important for your mental and emotional health. While everyone is different, there are many things you can do to ensure you are feeling and looking your best . These include improving your lifestyle and cutting out any unhealthy habits, keeping active and not over-indulging on rich foods. Strive for your own perfect body!
To start this journey, you need to determine your ideal body weight based on your gender, age, height, body frame and body type. There are a number of formulas to calculate it.
You can also calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) using your body weight and height to determine whether you are underweight, overweight or have an ideal weight. The normal BMI range is 18.5 to 24.9.
So, lets start.
Drink Warm Lemon Water in the Morning
It helps with weight loss, because lemons are high in pectin fibre, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.
Lemon water aids digestion. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials. It encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that required for digestion. Efficient digestion reduces heartburn and constipation.
Is a diuretic. Lemons increase the rate of urination in the body, which helps purify it. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
Keeps you zen. Vitamin C is one of the first things depleted when you subject your mind and body to stress (Stress is one of the weight gain reasons of current society). As mentioned previously, lemons are chock full of vitamin C.
Lemon water have some other health benefits, but today I would like to focus on these ones.
The way I prepare my water : Large glass of hot water and juice of half medium size lemon. Stir and drink it as hot as possible. It improves digestion, flushes out toxins, balances the pH levels and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Some researches have found that those who skip breakfast and eat fewer times a day tend to be heavier than people who have a healthy breakfast and eat 4 or 5 times a day.
Studies also show that a high-protein breakfast could help you to slimming down or maintain your healthy weight, as it keeps you feeling full and help you with appetite control. And it definitely help me to reduce snacking throughout the day.
Try some protein-rich breakfast recipes, such as:
- a high-protein smoothie
12 oz. water
1 cup spinach
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
- boiled eggs
- cottage cheese and fruits. Some fruits are very high in sugar ( cherries, grapes, dates and bananas, for example) so use it sparingly.
- Greek yogurt ( not a Greek Style yogurt)
- fortified cereal ( try to use with mo added sugar ones) with milk ( I use unsweetened almond milk)
- On cold autumn/winter days , I love my homemade porridge. Made of wholemeal ,gluten free oats, almond milk, dash of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon. Very comforting, full of fibre and slow release carbs.
You should also add fibre-rich foods like oatmeal and sandwiches on whole-grain bread. Replacing your morning cup of coffee with green tea will make a big difference, as it contains powerful antioxidants and promotes fat burning.
Also, preparing your food at home using organic and whole food ingredients will make a difference.
3. Identify Your Hunger
Often people confuse thirst for hunger and end up eating a snack when the body is actually demanding water. The hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls hunger and thirst, sends the same signal for both.
4. Avoid Fatty Fast Food and Fizzy drinks
Substitute fries with a fruit, yogurt or salad.
- Go for baked or grilled versions of foods.
- Choose plain, air-popped popcorn over high-calorie, oil-popped popcorn.
- Instead of products made from refined grains, choose products like whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereals and brown rice. Check food labels for whole-grain ingredients like whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat, buckwheat, whole-grain barley, millet and quinoa. I also choose gluten free option.
- Avoid high-calorie sauces and mayonnaise on your salads and sandwiches. Or make your own salsa, mustard or a low-calorie dressings.
- Say no to any fizzy drinks and go for green tea, herbal teas, glass of water with lemon.
- Do not drink with your meal. Drink water with lemon or just water 15-20 min prior your meal.
- Wait 20 min after your meal to eat any fruit or drink anything. It will help digest your meal better.
5. Stress Less
Stress is one of the most common factors contributing to weight gain because it increases the rate at which your body stores fat and reduces your ability to burn fat.
The release of cortisol during stress increases appetite, causing people to reach for comfort foods. Also, stress makes you crave sugar because sweet and high-fat foods stimulate the brain to release chemicals that increase pleasure.
Instead of fighting stress with emotional eating, try relaxation exercises like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, go for a brisk walk. Include more foods rich in vitamins B and C, magnesium and calcium in your diet. A deficiency of these nutrients can cause an increase in your cortisol levels and food cravings.
Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce stress and aggression, increase metabolism and facilitate weight loss. So, eat more oatmeal, almonds, avocados, oranges, berries, whole-grains, spinach, skim milk and yogurt to beat stress in a healthy way.
6. Be active
Lack of physical activity is the most obvious yet neglected cause of unhealthy weight gain. People fall into the illusion of losing weight and staying slim with different weight loss diets, while disregarding the most basic rule—you must exercise to burn calories.
You do not need an intense workout. In fact, you can enjoy a physical activity of your choice like brisk walking, running, jogging, swimming, dancing, aerobics or cycling. Even gardening can be great exercise as it helps you burn more than 300 calories per hour.
Regular, moderate exercise will also improve your mood and reduce stress. Once you figure out the activity of your choice and fit it in your daily routine, you will enjoy your exercise. Lately, I have stopped my membership and started to do morning jog outside followed by skipping. I love it.. fresh air adds the feel good factor to it.
Also, try some simple yet effective ways to increase your physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking your car a mile or so away from your destination so you can walk that distance. Little changes make a huge difference down the line.
7. Get Proper Sleep
A research suggests that lack of sleep increases the risk of weight gain and obesity. Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism and affects your hormones, thus increasing your hunger and decreasing your satiety or sense of being full after a meal.
Also, you are likely to be tempted to indulge in late-night snacking to make up for the calories that you expend as you burn the midnight oil.
Do not go to bed on empty stomach. If I feel peckish I would usually go for Kefir ( cultured curd milk) or low fat cottage cheese. Also, having a glass of warm milk with dash of cinnamon could help you to fall asleep quicker.
8. Regular Medical Check-Ups.
Keep track of your weight and if you experience sudden or unexplained weight gain, consult your doctor to rule out the possibility of an underlying condition like diabetes, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, menopause, depression and Cushing’s syndrome.
Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism, for example, slows down your metabolism and causes weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Certain medications like antidepressants, antipsychotics, high blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, corticosteroids and oral contraceptives can also lead to weight gain as a side effect.
Do not stop your medications on your own though as it can have serious consequences. Discuss your problem with your doctor first.
9. Some random rules I use to stay in shape.
- Do not mix protein and carbs. For example, eat pasta with vegetable or meat with salad.
- Do not drink during meal. Drink 15 min before and 20 min later.
- Have a contrast shower ( hot water for 1 min coldest water for 30 seconds, 3 times)
- Reduce amount of carbs during the week, 1 cheat day a week ( reasonable one:)). And try to eat your carbs in the morning.
- Drink 2 litres of water every day. Excluding teas and coffee.
- I drink 1 cup ceremonial Organic Japanese Matcha tea a day
- Take Omega 3&6 vitamins.
- Sleep at least 8 hours at night.
- I keep my window slightly open. Fresh air promotes great sleep.
So, these are my rules to stay in shape and healthy. I would like to hear if you have some healthy tips and rules, that helps you to stay in shape and feel good.
Just a little note: