Lisa’s Top Ten Healthy Lifestyle Tips
With the springing forward of the clocks all of our minds are on summer and how close it is. To avoid the bikini panic, or to at least attempt a bit of damage limitation in preparation for it, here is my top 10 healthier lifestyle tips. Add these to your lifestyle now, and come Summer you’ll be ready for anything.
- Eat breakfast…daily. By not eating breakfast you’re doing more harm than good. Your body will think it is being starved and will store that stubborn fat. Your head is foggy and your energy has gone AWOL until the 10am hunger madness kicks in, where nothing will do until you have that third coffee and hot buttered scone! What more do I need to say to get you to munch in the morning – how about the sooner you eat the sooner you feel; better, clearer, more energetic and the sooner your metabolism is operating at 100%.
- Reduce caffeine. Caffeine is NOT addictive. Your body merely builds up a tolerance to it. Caffeine is fine in small doses, however it is dehydrating on your body and skin, it can cause sleep problems in some people and it also adds stress to your body – all of which we don’t like; our skin looks tired, cellulite looks much worse and we’re irritable due to the stress it puts our bodies under. If like me you like your java, try to reduce your intake or switch to de-caf or herbal teas instead, after the initial shock you’ll be running on a natural high.
- Increase water intake – H2..oh baby, your skin is gorgeous! Our bodies are over 50% water (women 50%, men 60% and kids a whopping 77%), many of us are dehydrated without even realising it. This can affect our digestion, our skin, our mood, our concentration and yes, it can make the appearance of the dreaded orange peel look much worse. It’s simple, sip the clear stuff for clear skin.
- Think fibre – fruits, veg, nuts, whole-grains, pulses at every meal! Bowel cancer is becoming more and more prevalent as many of us are ignoring our bowel health. Many of us consume less than the recommended daily fibre intake and it is showing in our bellies and our health. Fibre is needed for the processing of food in our digestive system. It also helps to keep us fuller for longer and slows the absorption of food down so that the sugar lows many of us experience almost disappear. Try and remember that your ‘5 a day’ is only a minimum requirement, not an unattainable goal – other countries advocate 7 to 8 pieces fruit/veg daily.
- Low fat does not equal low calorie, which does not equal weight loss. When you’re thinking of weight loss the number one tip I can give you when reading the nutritional info on any food is not to look at the fat content but to read the ingredients list, if you don’t know what any of the ingredients are, chances are you don’t want to and your body doesn’t want to know either.
- Move your body daily. Do tai chi, yoga, spinning, walking, whatever floats your boat but just move. Not only to burn calories but to get the blood pumping, to avoid stiffness, to keep muscles supple, to feel better.
- Sleep. And sleep well. Nightly. Our bodies crave high carb sugary foods when sleep deprived. Our concentration is impaired and our mood irritable. On top of this it is proven that we feel more hungry and less satisfied after we eat thanks to hormones which need sleep to regulate. Don’t underestimate the power of a good 40 winks.
- Stop counting calories. Count nutritious foods, count unprocessed, count home-made, count your 5 a day. If you eat well your body will naturally reach an ideal weight without effort.
- Pasta is not the devil and steak is not your enemy where health is concerned. The problem with these foods is this – I bet every reader who has lasagne or steak has it with chips? Carbonara with garlic bread ring a bell? Steak is packed full of vitamins and protein and makes a great meal served with a salad. Pasta is a nutritious food, especially the wholegrain variety which has up to 5 times the fibre content of regular pasta, team this with a home-made tomato based sauce with heaps of veggies and some lean fish or chicken and you’ve got yourself a healthy meal.
- Eat fat to lose fat. This is a top secret but now you know. Avocados, olive oil, salmon, kippers, tuna, all those foods high in heart healthy ‘good’ fats actually rev up your metabolism and help your body to burn fat. They can also clear up acne, eczema, dry skin, dry hair and poor memory and concentration.
Lisa’s Tip of the Week: www.livestrong.com/myplate/ is an online tool which allows you to track your nutritional and physical activity for free, showing you total fat, protein, carbs, fibre, sugar against your generic goal according to sex/age.
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