Note: this post has been updated in December 2021.
Avoid poor food choices
While there is a ton of emphasis on exercising to stay fit, you should not overlook you're eating habits either. Healthy eating is about one of the most important things you can do if you want to stay healthy and avoid illnesses. In fact, if you were to talk to an expert, they would tell you that a combination of exercise and eating correctly are the two best things you can do for your body. You may want to look at my article What Is Good Nutrition?
There’s a common example of this, which you may have already heard: You would never think about putting the wrong type of gas into your car. You know that you won’t get too far before you run into a slew of problems.
Only put in foods that will fuel your body
This exact way of thinking is what you need to apply to your own body. Only put in foods that will fuel your body and provide you with strength and energy to live life to the fullest. The key is healthy eating.
Most people do know what the right kinds of foods are. They also admit they should lose weight and get more exercise if they are overweight. It just seems so hard to put these actions into place for some reason. It is so much easier to avoid going to an exercise class or to grab fast food instead of cooking your own meals at home.
But you need to think of the consequences and the long-term effects this will have on your body, and on your life. Do you want to risk developing diabetes or having a heart attack at an early age?
Comparison of food choices
What is healthier: having a couple of doughnuts for breakfast or sitting down to a bowl of oatmeal and fresh fruit? This one seems obvious.
Which of these is a better option?
A salad with fat-free dressing or natural peanut butter on a slice of whole grain bread?
Before making your choice, you need to keep in mind what you are planning on eating for the rest of the day.
Your body requires good fats, so the natural peanut butter is not that bad of a choice. It also contains protein, which will give you energy. The bread is a carbohydrate, which will help to fill you up. This is an excellent choice if you are going to be active for the rest of the day.
On the other hand, if you are planning a higher fat dinner and are sitting in the office for the afternoon, the salad may be a better choice for you.
By thinking and planning, there is no reason you cannot have a few foods you might consider a treat, such as peanut butter. If you balance out your meals to include healthy fats, lean proteins and lots of fruits and veggies, you will be on the right track to eating a healthy diet.
Now let’s talk about exercise. It is important to exercise for many reasons. First, it helps to keep your joints and limbs moving. As you age, or if you sit all day, you will notice your joints become stiff. Over time, your range of motion will steadily decline, and you will have trouble doing simple, everyday tasks. Of course, exercising helps your body burn off calories and keeps your weight within a healthy range.
If you do eat a higher fat meal, plan to exercise a little more the next day to counteract the calories and to avoid gaining a pound or two. Remember too that the more active you are, the more calories you can eat. If you sit all day, you won’t require as many calories.
Make healthy food choices
As you can see it is not that complicated to make healthy food choices. Stick to natural foods as much as possible, avoid fast foods and pre-packaged ones. Instead, choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lean cuts of protein. Make a point of reading the ingredient list and of not buying any foods that have labels with items you cannot read.
It’s never too late to improve your lifestyle. Begin today by making a commitment to eat healthy and to increase your activity level.
The solution and take action now
Science confirms that a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods can help you live to the fullest and still get adequate protein. In fact, a growing number of physicians advocate a completely plant-based diet for many of their patients who suffer from diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Check out these great sources Plant-Based Nutrition, 2E (Idiot’s Guides),
The Forks over Knifes, a simple plan that focuses on hearty comfort foods and does not involve portion control or worrying about obtaining single nutrients like protein and calcium.
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