In today’s world it can be difficult to find the means of getting healthy food into our body, with so much processed food everywhere we go, it is hard to choose wisely, and a lot of the time it can be difficult to find healthy nutritious food.
One of the major side effects of not eating healthy is gaining weight, it soon turns into a downward spiral effect that leads to ill-health, and if it is not tackled head-on, then it can have detrimental consequences to your life.
Getting your health back on track by learning how to eat healthy and lose weight may not be as difficult as you might think, changing some of your existing habits like choosing more nutritious food and incorporating some exercise into your life will go a long way to reaching your goals.
Where To Start
What we eat determines who we are, for a lot of people today their life revolves around food. This is because processed food is so addictive due to the additives such as flavourings that have been added to get you hooked.
This might seem crazy, and it is, but it’s a reality. Food manufacturers are not in the business of looking out for your health, they are interested in maximizing their profits and what better way to do this than make the product addictive.
The main issue with over-eating is the excess weight that you gain, which can soon lead to health issues. Processed food has many effects on the body, unfortunately none of them are any good. The negative aspect to this type of food is the lack of nutrients and the high amount of calories that it contains.
In order to get your health back on track you need to start by making some changes to your eating habits. This combined with some regular activity will have you see some changes for the better in a relatively short time.
What’s The Best Food
The best food to eat is food that contains the most nutrients per calorie. Rich in nutrients and low in calories is food that will feed the cells in your body and have you feeling satisfied without over eating.
What are foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories, well, we are talking about the following.
Better known as plant-based the above foods are rich in fiber, nutrients, minerals, phytochemical and antioxidants, which makes them the best nutritious disease fighting produce on the planet.
Another wonderful fact about plant-based food is that it has a low GI (glycemic index). A low GI food means that it won’t raise your blood sugar two high in a short time after eating, this results in several benefits compared with high GI foods.
Fruit has so many surprising benefits, take berries for example, they are low GI, sweet, but are not high in sugar and are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. All fruits contain wonderful phytochemicals and antioxidants and should be a part of your daily diet.
Vegetables are the main source of a stable diet, they have all the disease fighting properties in abundance. Containing nutrients, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants they should be the base of your diet.
Green leafy vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, such as Kale, Broccoli, Bokchoy, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussels sprouts are the most nutrient dense on the planet, so why would’not you want to make those part of your diet.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain a high amount of fat, but we need fat in our diet and nuts and seeds are important for absorption of phytochemicals. In other words when you eat green vegetables it is important to have some nuts and seeds with that meal, as the fat from nuts and seeds will help the phytochemicals from the veg to be absorbed.
Also, nuts and seeds are high in omega-3, essential fatty acids that are important for brain function and much more. Many studies have shown that people that have included nuts and seeds in their diet have extended their lifespan.
Further studies have shown that adding nuts and seeds to your daily diet results in weight loss, even though they are a source of fat they do not put fat on your body.
Legumes, such as beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins, soybeans, and peanuts are some common legumes. They are a great source of fiber, protein, carbohydrate and minerals, also, they contain resistance starch which is an excellent tool for losing weight.
Resistance starch means not all the calories are absorbed as we don’t have the enzymes to break it down. Some of the resistance starch is degraded by bacteria and turned into short chain fatty acid, predominately butryate which helps build up your colon to protect against disease.
Legumes such as beans build up the good bacteria in your gut, this has many advantages, one of those being, it slows the absorption of glucose from other foods. This means it keeps the GI of other foods low, even if the other food has a high GI rating.
Eating beans regularly will act as a good pro-biotic, this is why you should make them part of your daily diet, just for this reason alone you will see major benefits.
Foods To Avoid
You might be disappointed to see that there is no meat on the list, meat is actually high in fat, protein and has very few health benefits, if any. It actually leads to the cause of many diseases, and great health benefits have been seen in those who have decided to cut back or avoid it altogether.
Many studies have shown that meat leads to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Meat is hard for the digestive system to break down, in other words it has to work overtime to deal with just one meal and can take hours to digest. As well as causing other problems this uses a lot of energy and takes it’s toll over time.
An example of high GI foods would be refined carbohydrates, such as most processed food. Sugar, Sweets, baked goods such as cakes, biscuits, and buns, also, fries, burgers and any fast food basically should be avoided.
Those foods are highly addictive because of the way they have been processed, they are also carcinogenic, which leaves them detrimental to your health.
The best time to eat of course is when you are genuinely hungry, this is when you will most enjoy your food, but sometimes we can intend to over indulge. This is not good for our health, I remember when I was young I would be encouraged to finish what was on my plate, even If I was already full.
This type of behaviour leads to obesity and poor health, we should stop eating before we feel full. The best way to ensure this happens is to chew your food well, take your time with every mouthful and enjoy the flavour rather than rushing it down.
This way we are allowing time for our stomach to let our brain know that we have enough, do you sometimes notice when you finish a meal you find you could have done with a bit more, but wait for a few minutes and you soon realize that you actually have enough, or maybe too much.
Our stomach can only comfortably hold 1 liter of food, we can fit more in there as it will expand, but do we really want to do this, no because this is how we become bloated, lethargic, over weight and out of sorts.
If we continue to overeat we soon fall into ill health and it can be difficult to change your eating habits. This is where a plant based nutrient rich diet comes in, high nutrient per calorie will ensure you feel satisfied without over-eating.
Time To Eat
How many meals a day should we have? Probably 3 should be sufficient. Let’s break it down, ideally we should aim to eat inside 12 hours of the day. Let’s say we have our breakfast at 7am, we should be aiming to have our last meal of the day by 7pm.
It is best not to eat late in the evening, or leave at least two or three hours before you go to bed, this way you will rest better as you won’t be digesting food while you sleep.
The longer we have between meals the less our bodies has to work at breaking down food. This is known as the catabolic phase and the catabolic phase.
The catabolic phase is where food is digested after eating, after this process has occurred your body begins to repair and heal itself, this is the catabolic phase. The longer we are in the catabolic phase the longer we live. Therefore, it is important to have at least 12 hours at night where the body is repairing itself.
During the day if we have a meal between breakfast and the last meal in the evening, this should be sufficient, that’s why it is important that all your meals contain proper nutrient rich food. Snacking during the day on processed food overloads your system with junk that your body struggles to deal with, it also gives you cravings for more of the same unhealthy food.
Time For Exercise
What better way to start your day than with some exercise, the best type of exercise is the one that you enjoy doing. Let’s face it if you don’t enjoy it then you won’t make it part of your regular routine.
I enjoy running so this is something I do almost daily, exercise not only keeps you fit and trim, it is excellent for keeping your mind in tip-top shape.
Many studies have found that people who are successful in business or any aspect of life usually have a daily exercise routine. This is by no coincidence, exercise stimulates the mind to achieve more.
The more we achieve in this life the more we are able to achieve. It is much easier to get by in life when you have a fit, vibrant body, when you are not struggling with health issues or other difficulties.
Problems in our lives can quickly multiply, this is especially true when our health starts to decline, it is very difficult to concentrate on anything else while our health is deteriorating.
The majority of people have become to reliant on medication and doctors to sort out any health issues they have, the reality is, medication is too often not the answer. Medication might relieve some symptoms, but rarely does it cure the condition.
We as individuals need to take responsibility for our own health, we need to make sure we are getting the proper nutrition to keep our health in the green.