There are always so many guidelines and myths about eating healthy, what a healthy diet can do for your skin, abs, eyesight and overall life in general. Some of what you hear is in fact true, while others remain to be proven. One of the common misconceptions that stands out the most when it comes to eating healthy is you have to eat foods that taste like cardboard and grass. On the contrary, there are some very testy variables should you choose to travel that route.
Instead of eating less, you should in fact eat three complete meals a day and a least two snacks. So much food throughout the day can’t be healthy can it? Yes it can. Try to avoid the donuts and cream and sugar filled coffee and replace it with cereal (hot or cold) and a serving of fruit. For lunch, forego the pizza and try an open faced sandwich (something high in protein like tuna, egg or chicken salad, etc.) and a side salad with light dressing or vinegar. For your snacks, let’s face it, you could do without the chips. Instead grab a small handful of almonds, peanuts or celery and peanut butter or even find a sweet indulgence in half a cookie. Yes – half. For dinner fire up the grill and sate your palate with a plate of grilled salmon and veggies with a small side of rice pilaf. Not bad for a days worth of food is it? When you eat healthy, it doesn’t have to be miserable. You just need to make smart decisions about what you put into your mouth and try to limit your calories to an ideal total of 1,500- 2,000 calories daily.
What if you are an athlete and need more food to function?
When you make the choice to eat healthy and you are an athlete or any person who exercises on a regular basis, you will need to supply your body with the vital nutrients it uses and fluid it secretes (sweat) during your period of activity. In addition to your healthy diet, it is recommended that everyone, whether active or not, take a vitamin supplement to ensure they get the proper amount of vitamins and minerals needed to maintain proper body function. In answer to the question, athletes typically do have more to replace and need to take in a larger amount of calories, but do not over do it; consult your physician or nutrition specialist and eat responsibly.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you are an athlete or more active than the average person you can freely eat whatever you want whenever you want. You will still need to eat healthy and make sound decisions in your diet to maintain your current weight and energy level. If you overeat or over-indulge in foods that are high in fat and sugar, in time your body will begin to hit a low and become sluggish. Soon thereafter you may begin to notice weight gain. In order to avoid this, be sure to continue to eat healthy and maintain a balanced diet in conjunction with your continued exercise routine.
You try to eat healthy but during your menstrual cycle you tend to binge. What can you do?
First you need to put down the comfort foods and the chocolate and try consuming more vitamin D and calcium. Two foods that have a surprisingly high source of one or the other are eggs and broccoli. We’re not saying eat these power foods together, but try consuming them in higher quantities and it’ll be sure to keep you full and reduce your massive case of PMS. Broccoli has one of the highest forms of easily absorbable calcium, and eggs are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin D. When your focus is to eat healthy, there are a lot of foods that boast superpowers beyond your comprehension and Women’s Health Magazine gave us an insider’s look at those foods:
1. Chickpeas and Red Peppers= more energy
2. Avocados and Spinach= better vision
3. Olive Oil and Tomatoes= smoother skin
4. Yogurt and Ground Flaxseed= better digestion
5. Oatmeal and Apples= a healthier heart
6. Chicken and Sweet Potatoes= a stronger immune system
7. Balsamic Vinegar and Pasta= a slimmer midsection
8. Green Tea and Lemon Juice= cancer protection
Gear up on the proper foods and stock your fridge and shelves. You’ll be happy you did.
You do very well at eating healthy but you’re still hungry all the time and sore after workouts. What can you do?
Well as hard as it is to eat healthy and maintain a decent diet, it’s even harder to get the right mix of food needed for your body to function at its optimal level. No worries, its protein to the rescue. During a workout muscles stretch, rip and tear and during your recovery time, when you’re not working out, they repair themselves. The soreness you feel after a workout is your body and your muscles, repairing themselves.
To curb hunger, indulge in a bit more protein daily. Be sure to consult your physician to ensure you’re taking in the proper amount of protein each day in accordance with your exercise level. It’s not easy to eat healthy, but once you incorporate the proper foods into you daily diet, it should be easy sailing. Don’t be afraid to sate your occasional sweet tooth with chocolates or cakes, just remember when you aim to eat healthy, the rule of thumb is everything in moderation.