- Work up a sweat.
Vigorous work-outs – when you’re breathing hard and sweating – help your heart pump better, give you more energy and help you look and feel best. Start with a warm-up that stretches your muscles. Include 20 minutes of aerobic activity, such as running, jogging, or dancing. Follow-up with activities that help make you stronger such as push-ups or lifting weights. Then cool-down with more stretching and deep breathing.
- Get fit with friends or family.
Being active is much more fun with friends or family. Encourage others to join you and plan one special physical activity event, like a bike ride or hiking, with a group each week.
- Join in physical activities at school.
Whether you take a physical education class or do other physical activities at school, such as intramural sports, structures activities are a sure way to feel good, look good and stay physically fit.
- Make healthy eating and physical activities fun!
Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like. Be adventurous – try new sports, games and other activities as well as new foods. You’ll grow stronger, play longer, and look and feel better! Set realistic goals – don’t try changing too much at once.
Be Happy! Be Healthy!
- Start your day with breakfast.
Breakfast fills your “empty tank” to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy-to-prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night’s pizza!
- Get Moving!
It’s easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.
- Snack smart.
Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups – a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.
- Balance your food choices – don’t eat too much of any one thing.
You don’t have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
- Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables.
These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.
Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great tasting fruits. Try vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.
- Foods aren’t good or bad.
A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part — or food — is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt while others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don’t forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, you don’t need a third.
Be Healthy! Be Happy!
Photo courtesy of the Food & Drug Administration
Tempted to dive head first into your plate when stress hits the fan?
Try this: Visualize your negative thoughts riding by on a conveyor belt. Label each one “5-K tomorrow” or “First Date Jitters!”, then imagine it chugging off into oblivion. Research subjects at Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education say this method of chunking has helped them avoid emotional eating.
Did you also know that if you eat slowly, you’ll probably eat less? This the finding from a recent report from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. People who lingered over ice cream for 30 minutes produced more of two hormones that signal fullness than those who ate the same amount in 5 minutes.
“Eating slowly lets food interact longer with the intestinal cells that produce these hormones,” says lead study author Alexander Kokkinos, M.D., Ph.D. Put the brakes on speed eating by avoiding dining distractions (like the T.V.) and focusing on food.
So just remember, it’s all a matter of mind over munchies. Put your mind to it, you can do it!
Be Happy, Be Healthy!
Abs are built in the kitchen. How much we weigh, very much depends on what we eat.
Instead of three large meals, break your daily routine into 5-6 smaller ones. Remember the aim is to provide your body with just enough calories for what it needs. Eating a large meal will leave your body flushed with more calories than it actually needs. It’ll also slow down your metabolism, which is why many people go to sleep after a heavy meal.
Don’t skip meals. Starving yourself is the worst possible way to lose weight. Your body will fight back by holding on to the fat that it already has. Do not forget to eat breakfast. An early breakfast is the best way to kick-start your metabolism. Eating breakfast will also ensure that you have enough energy during the day. Statistics show that most people who skip breakfast end up overeating later on in the day.
Quick Food Guide:
Proteins: The human body burns more energy processing proteins than it does processing carbs and fat. That’s why diets high in protein work great for burning your belly fat. You can add lean meat, fish, poultry and nuts such as almonds into your daily routine to truly benefit from these important nutrients and lose weight.
Vegetables & Fruits: Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and nutrients. They make us feel fuller and reduce our food cravings. Try to eat vegetables and fruits that are unprocessed. Canned food can have additives which can cause weight gain unknowingly.
Fats: Stay away from trans-fats present in products like margarine. You can substitute butter for olive oil or fish oil, which are lighter and healthier. You can also go for low-fat versions of dairy products such as skimmed milk and cottage cheese to reduce fat in your diet.
Carbs: Avoid potatoes, pasta, white bread and rice. You can always adopt their unprocessed healthier versions such Brown rice, oats, whole grain pasta, quinoa. This way you can keep can not only reduce fat but also keep it fat at a distance in the future too.
Water: No article on weight loss would be complete without water being mentioned. Water helps to take away the toxins from the body. It increases the metabolic rate of your body which, boosts fat loss from the belly area and other parts as well.
Be Happy, Be Healthy!