When people ask me do you want the good news or the bad news first, I always say “bad news first.” I mean it can only get better from there right? So, following the do unto others as you want done unto you mantra, I’m going to give you the bad news first. The bad news is this is not a dieting article; I will not be handing out dieting secrets because as years and years of infomercials have proven, there are none. The good news is that I’m going to share with you three ideas that I use in my daily routine that help me stay healthy.
1) Be mindful of when you are consuming calories
One simple idea is to think about when you put food into your body. When do most people pull out the unhealthy snacks? At the worst possible time….after dinner. A bag of popcorn with a movie; a bowl of ice cream while watching our favorite late night talk show; or maybe even some pizza after the game.
The problem with these snacks isn’t necessarily the snacks themselves but the fact that they’re being eaten right before our bodies go into their most inactive state for anywhere from six to 12 hours; you’re not going to burn off those extra calories by dreaming of exercising.
I would recommend trying to stay away from food late at night but if you want a snack reach for some Greek yogurt and a handful of nuts, not peanuts, those are a legume. This combination of slow digesting protein and healthy fats will keep you satiated longer and it will be more efficiently digested by your body throughout the night.
2) Be careful what type of calories you are consuming
I always like to look at our ancestors from long ago when it comes to food consumption, the “caveman.” Have you ever seen a picture of an overweight, slovenly caveman? No, because besides meeting their quota for daily exercise they had fantastic diets: lean meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts.
Now I’m not asking you to eat like a caveman, if you’re interested I can point you in the right direction, but I believe people often overlook the food that they’re eating. We all know McDonald’s isn’t the healthiest food out there, but do we realize that just because it’s sold in a supermarket doesn’t make it any healthier? Cans of soup, frozen meals, food that comes in a box, cereals, the list goes on and on with foods that just aren’t good for you. Eat foods closer to their natural state and less from their boxed state and you will look and feel better.
3) Be wary of beverages
This last piece of advice will probably be the most contested but I believe people greatly overlook the harm of beverages. For thousands of years humans have been drinking water and for the most part only water and so are bodies have gotten really good at using water. Water contains no calories, for all you calorie counters, and is essential to our bodies functioning properly.
The problem with most other beverages is that while containing water they also contain a variety of nutrients that our bodies just aren’t used to getting in beverage form. When we get reliant on sodas and juices we nearly forget about water, which is why most people don’t take in nearly enough water throughout a typical day. Water is the best of both worlds, it’s great for you and you can have as much of it as you want so ditch the sugar-laden drinks and focus on taking in more water.
This is a guest post by Phil Limauge. Phil is a certified Crossfit instructor who teaches his students how to train hard and live healthy on a daily basis.