By: Suzanne VanDeGrift
Eating healthy is not dieting. It's a lifelong commitment, a way of life. There are a lot of people who say diets don't work. Actually, diets do work, over and over and over again. Many of us loose hundreds of pounds in a lifetime on various diets. We loose and we gain, frequently more than we lost. Just like being on a roller coaster, a lot of ups and downs. Maybe now is the time to get serious about your health and how you can improve it by making some lasting changes in your eating behavior.
I know it's been a while since counting calories has been the thing to do, but the fact remains that you should consume enough calories each day, but not more than you need. Calories do count. If you eat more calories than you burn off, you're going to gain weight. The calories you need to reduce or maintain your weight depends on a number of things. It depends on age, which often effects metabolism; height; weight; sex; and quite importantly, your physical activity.
Broaden your horizons when it comes to your plate. Variety really is the spice of life when it comes to food. Load your plate with fruits and vegetables and don't be afraid to try new ones. If you're not a vegetable person, make a commitment to try at least one unknown veggie a week. Find new ways to prepare the vegetables you normally eat, to add additional variety to your dishes.
Do the same with fruits. There are many, many different fruits available. Try a new one each week. And, prepare your fruits in interesting ways, not just plain. You can grill pitted fruits, such as peaches and plums for a wonderful dessert dish. You can also make delicious fruit shakes that are both healthy and satisfying. Add to your fruit and vegetable rich diet an organic iron supplement derived from yellow dock, burdock, dandelion, mullein, and nettle to keep your blood strong and nourished.
Whole grain products provide the best of the best. The three edible parts of the grain are preserved during processing, the inner germ, the middle endosperm, and the outer bran covering. There is a huge group of whole grain products to choose from that can provide the basis for healthy meals and snacks. They're rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Some of the most popular whole grains are brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, barley, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgar, and millet.The benefits of a diet rich in whole grains are many. They aid in protecting you from heart disease, they've been found to reduce the risk of some cancers, aid in lowering bad cholesterol, the fiber promotes good digestive health, and help reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
To further reduce the risk of developing high cholesterol, add to your daily routine a plant formula that will naturally regulate cholesterol levels with ingredients of guggal gum, calamus, devil's claw, apple fiber, alfalfa, cayenne, and green tea.
Portion control is as important as what you're eating. We've become so accustomed to "big everything", we've lost sight of what a reasonable portion of food actually is. Particularly when you're eating out, make wise decisions. You don't necessarily need to have appetizer, soup/salad, entree, and dessert. Sometimes an appetizer is large enough to serve as your main course, especially if you plan on having dessert. Or, share a healthy entree with your partner and get an extra salad. Then you could even share a dessert. If you're disciplined enough, go ahead and order the whole spread, then box up half and take it home for the next night. Just make sure you're thinking about what you're eating; plan ahead and stick to your plan.
Most of us really enjoy eating. We don't have to give it up to be healthy. Sugar, fried and fatty foods should pretty much be eliminated but occasionally, in extreme moderation can help keep us on track of better eating habits without feeling deprived in social situations, when healthy options may not be available. Being happy is necessary to be healthy. If we constantly feel we're depriving ourselves, eventually it will take its toll. Limit these foods, make them count, but don't try to cut them out of your life forever. You'll be setting yourself up for failure. If you have an over active sweet tooth, include in your diet a natural formula that will help curb your craving for processed sugars. One that contains gymnema sylvestre and stevia leaf.
Don't forget to include activity every day. Once you've started with a healthy approach to eating, you'll be feeling more energized in no time. Develop a plan for daily activity that fits in with your lifestyle. It isn't necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on exercise equipment. Start off with a brisk walk 3 or 4 times a week. Play ball with the kids. Get a yoga or exercise tape from the library. Just get yourself moving. Find a partner to walk and exercise with, you'll be more likely to continue. Take it a step at a time and learn to really enjoy healthy eating.