Health and wellness starts with a holistic lifestyle that includes fresh vegetables, a balanced diet, and physical exercise. The benefits of a healthy diet extend far beyond every meal. Working out regularly, incorporating healthy fruit and vegetables, and eliminating processed foods results in a trimmer waist line, fewer visits to the doctor, and a reduced need for blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
A healthy lifestyle begins at breakfast. Ideally, the first meal of the day should include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. All of these elements are important for feeling satisfied, promoting digestion, and storing energy. Fruit salads, avocados, papayas, and pineapples are excellent foods for stimulating digestion. To make breakfast healthier, pair starches and unsweetened-cereal with fresh fruits or yoghurt, and opt for bagels, breads, and English muffins made from whole wheat. Eggs are the best source of protein at breakfast. Egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and hard boiled eggs are all healthy, satisfying foods with exceptional protein content. In a hurry, fruit smoothies made with added protein powder are an excellent alternative to sit-down breakfasts. While vitamins and supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet, adding an age-targeted multi-vitamin is important for ensuring all nutritional needs are met.
For lunches and afternoon snacks, healthy foods are as convenient as their conventional counterparts. Fresh fruits, such as apples, bananas, and oranges, are self-contained snacks that are perfect for grabbing on the way out the door. Healthy brown-bag lunches can easily be prepared ahead of time with foods like multi-grain sandwiches, brown rice salad, and home-made soup. When ordering out, salads are a tempting choice for dieting diners. However, it’s best to order these with dressing on the side so the caloric intake can be moderated.
Traditionally, the largest meal is dinner. For dieters, it can be difficult to make light dinners after eating highly-caloric fast-food and packaged snacks during the day. A healthy diet doesn’t have to eliminate meat or sacrifice flavour. Build meals around central proteins, such as salmon, white-fish, prawns, skinless chicken breasts, and lean tenderloin cuts. Flavour can be added with spice rubs, powdered Dijon mustard, garlic, caper and olive tapenade, and dry cheeses like Parmesan or blue cheese. Pre-cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, and spinach can be added to standard pasta sauce to thicken the texture, add vitamins, and pump-up the flavour. To make a light pasta primavera, add assorted vegetables to chopped tomatoes instead of pasta sauce.
Nutritional supplements can boost a poor diet and help fill in the gaps where/when needed. Nutritional supplements such as protein powders are mixed with water or milk and make a convenient mid-meal snack. Bodybuilders often follow strict diets that included supplements to help boost their diet intake and help them gain or lose weight.
Working out regularly is the key to maximizing the results of any diet plan. While working out at a gym can be extremely motivational, it may not be the right choice for everyone starting a new healthy lifestyle. Walking is the single best activity anyone can do. A daily walk at lunch or after dinner burns calories, tones muscles, and increases blood flow. Low impact exercises, such as yoga, Pilates, and Spinning are excellent for losing body weight and developing muscles. Yoga and Pilates can often be done with little or no fitness equipment. These activities are also offered in group sessions at local gyms and health clubs. Combining weightlifting, stretching, cardio exercise, and gym equipment workouts will maximize results for better overall fitness.
Creating a healthy lifestyle is within everyone’s reach. The most important point to remember is wellness doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t try to do everything at once. The most successful lifestyle changes are gradually implemented by changing one or two things every week. Adding a daily walk and switching to whole wheat sandwich bread can be the first steps to a healthier body and lifestyle.