thefitnessfocus.com 10 Simple Health Tips

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1 10 Simple Health Tips

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS: #1 - No Starchy Carbs After 5 P.M... 4 #2 - Eat Veggies with Every Meal #3 - Avoid Fat Free or Reduced Fat Food #4 - Trade in Unhealthy Oil #5 - Eat a Healthy Fat Everyday #6 - Avoid Eating the Three White Foods of Death...9 #7 - Drink Half your Bodyweight in Ounces Daly...10 #8 - Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep.11 #9 - Get Moving..12 #10 - Track your Progress....13

3 Tip #1: No Starchy Carbs After 5 P.M. Why: Evening meals tend to be the largest for Americans, which is rather unfortunate since within hours of eating dinner, we all tend to go to bed, greatly slowing our metabolisms and the breakdown of our previous meal. Dinner also tends to be starchy, carb-based foods that do not provide much, if any, nutritional value. How: Plain and simply, do not eat starchy carbs like rice, bread, potatoes and pasta after 5 p.m.. Cut starchy, carbbased foods from your evening meals and instead, pile on the vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. This will automatically provide more nutritional value to your body and less likelihood for bloating and fatigue the next morning. // Page 4

4 Tip #2: Eat Veggies with Every Meal Why: Vegetables contain phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function optimally and look its best. Even if you ate way too many vegetables, it would be nearly impossible to gain weight, because most are very low in calories. Eating vegetables at every meal will also ensure you feel fuller, longer with their usually higher fiber content. How: Eating vegetables with every meal does not mean just salad. Sliced raw vegetables, baby carrots, celery sticks are convenient and will add crunch to your meals. Stir-fried vegetables and microwavable, frozen vegetable mixes are also very easy to add to your main meals, while diced mushrooms, kale, and spinach are easy add-ins to scrambled eggs or omelets at breakfast yummy! // Page 5

5 Tip #3: Avoid Fat Free or Reduced Fat Foods Why: There are so many things wrong with these overly processed foods that I couldn t even dive into it in a short paragraph. Bottom line: they are full of chemicals that are really bad for you and are higher in salt, sugar, saturated fat, and sometimes even calories than their whole fat counterparts, making you gain weight and increasing your risk of heart disease much more than natural, saturated fats would. Reduced, low fat, and fat free foods also prevent people from eating the healthy fat options that are essential to your body. If you must, opt for the full-fat version. Your body will thank you thirty years from now. How: Another really quick fix always opt for full-fat versions, but always use the recommended serving size no more! // Page 6

6 Tip #4: Trade Unhealthy Fats for Healthy Ones Why: Just as there are unhealthy oils with bad fats that contribute to heart disease, cancer and other health issues, there are good fats (the unsaturated kind) found in healthy oils that fight those things by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and raising HDL (good cholesterol), reducing inflammation, and providing cancer-preventive antioxidants. They include two types: polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. Healthy oils also add flavor to your meals without clogging your arteries. How: Be smart when choosing your oil options use liquid, plant-based oils for cooking and baking. Try extra virgin olive oil for dressings and low-heat cooking, coconut oil for low heat cooking and baking, safflower oil and virgin olive oil for sautéing veggies, and canola oil, peanut oil and light olive oil for high-heat cooking. Use coconut oil in moderation though, as it is higher in saturated fat than other options, but loaded with disease-fighting benefits. // Page 7

7 Tip #5: Eat a Healthy Fat Everyday Why: Bad fats cause disease - good fats prevent disease. There are three types of fat: unsaturated (good fat), saturated (bad fat) and trans fat (really, really bad). Eating healthy fats will not make you fat or raise bad cholesterol levels as some people believe. On the contrary, consuming healthy fats is essential for the body to function properly, including such important things as the regulation of hormone production and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. It helps keep our digestive system functioning optimally and also keeps our outward appearance healthy. They also provide nutritional properties the body would not otherwise receive. How: Think of plant-based oils as good for you, and synthetic (trans fat) or saturated fats (solid-at-room temperature fats such as butter, beef, dairy) as bad. Consume at least one serving of extra virgin olive oil, olives, organic coconut oil, avocados, unsalted nuts, unsalted natural nut butters, and/or fats from grassfed/pasture-raised animals daily. Although ultimately, healthy fats should make up at least 25% of your daily caloric intake. // Page 8

8 Tip #6: Avoid Eating the Three White Foods of Death Why: Sounds scary, I know, but not eating these three foods prevents insulin spikes, which will save your ticker and help prevent diabetes. One of the fastest way I have seen people lose and keep weight off is by avoiding flour, sugar, and salt completely. The avoidance of these three things also helps get rid of cellulite, so added bonus if that s on your to-do list. How: Avoid foods with flour, sugar, or salt. // Page 9

9 Tip #7: Drink at Least Half your Bodyweight in Ounces Everyday Why: The human body is primarily made up of water and functions at its best when properly hydrated. Headaches and fatigue are two of the first experienced problems when the body is dehydrated (think of that hungover feeling you might have the morning after splurging on lessthan-healthy, salty foods.) Also, dry skin and constipation are two other unpleasant side effects caused by dehydration. How: Divide your body weight (in pounds) in half. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you will want to drink 80 ounces of water a day. If you are exercising in high temperature conditions, add an extra liter of water to your daily intake. However, there is an exception to this rule - anyone who is under 120lbs will still want to consume at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day for optimal hydration. // Page 10

10 Tip #8: Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep Per Night Why: While 16 hours of wake time seems to be the average, how much sleep you need varies from individual to individual. Regardless of how much sleep you need to feel your best, sleep is imperative to your overall functioning. It helps with your memory and learning, controls your metabolism and weight, elevates your mood and reduces your risk of depression and anxiety, helps with cardiovascular health, strengthens your immunity, and keeps you alert for performing more rigorous or potentially dangerous activities. How: Your body s control system your brain needs sleep to function at normal capacity, which includes helping regulate all of your body s vital functions. Ways to help you sleep the recommended length of time: go to bed at the same time each night, wake up at the same time each morning, don t exercise within three hours of bedtime, don t drink caffeine after 2:00pm, don t eat anything fatty within two hours of bedtime, wear a sleep mask if light wakes you, put on an ambient sound machine to wash out background noise if you live on a busy road, avoid alcohol, nicotine, go to sleep when you re truly tired, keep a consistent nighttime routine, and don t nap no matter how tired you are. // Page 11

11 Tip #9: Get Moving Why: Because it s good for you in so many ways, that s why! It improves heart and lung function, helps prevent heart disease, increases circulation, helps get rid of cellulite, boosts your mood, helps decrease stress levels, promotes weight loss, prevents weight gain, helps prevent certain types of cancers, helps prevent type 2 diabetes, helps prevent osteoporosis, improves sleep, helps prevent falls and cognitive function loss in older adults, and in general, just increases your chance for living a longer, healthier life. How: Get moving! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park in the furthest-from-the-entrance parking spot you can find, walk to the store instead of driving (within reason, of course!), ride your bike to work if you can, and make sure to exercise for at least thirty minutes each day at a moderate level of intensity. // Page 12

12 Tip #10: Track Progress Why: Simply put, seeing your weight and inches lost on paper (or on the computer screen, of course!) keeps you motivated and pushing harder each and every workout. If you don t see any physical changes, you have no real motivating factor to keep you going if you re not keeping track of where you came from and where you re at now. How: Use online progress trackers, like FitDay or Beachbody s free Team Beachbody account you can even your very own blog to track your weight loss. My favorite way: take pictures of yourself before beginning any exercise program or healthier eating diet, and then take pictures every week to really see how your body changes. // Page 13

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