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5 Insanely Simple Diet Hacks That Will Transform Your Life

5 Insanely Simple Diet Hacks That Will Transform Your Life

Frustrating, isn’t it? You want to eat better, you really do.

The problem is, each week you read about a new superfood that will cure all your ailments, and a new diet that will deliver weight loss and glowing health. Then you read that last week’s “scientific claims” are bogus. You wonder if you should give up, and continue to eat junk since it’s impossible to figure out what is actually good for you.

But you’re sick of feeling so tired and sluggish. Sick of struggling to get out of bed each morning. Sick of envying the healthy, energetic people you know.

You’re also fed up with trying to decode fact from  fiction when it comes to nutrition.

Well here’s a secret. Evidence shows that adding a couple of key foods to your diet can give you a big boost.

Add these five simple powerhouse foods to your diet, and you’ll soon be on the road to more energy and less lethargy.

1. Sip antioxidants to stay young.

Antioxidants are nature’s way of protecting our bodies from aging and cellular mutation from invaders, as in cancer. Pack in as many antioxidants from our diet as you can.

A study comparing the antioxidant capacity of 283 drinks found that hibiscus tea trumped all others. You can find Hibiscus tea in many inexpensive herbal tea mixes. Two cups of hibiscus tea per day were shown to lower blood pressure as much as a 25mg dose of captopril taken twice per day. Hibiscus appears to produce nitric oxide which helps the blood vessels to dilate and relax.

Don’t like hibiscus tea? Matcha green tea, red wine, green tea, coffee, and black tea also contained high levels of antioxidants.

To-Do: Replace sugary sodas by unsweetened teas, coffee, and red wine (in moderation) and grape juice to protect your cells.

 2. Eat legumes to live longer.

Legumes (aka beans) are one of nature’s perfect foods: low in fat, no cholesterol, and high in fiber and protein. People across the globe who add legumes (aka beans) to their diet live longer. This study found that bean consumption in Sweden, Japan, Greece and Australia decreased the likelihood of death by 8% for consuming only two tablespoons of beans.

Navy beans, pinto beans, and soybeans have been proven to drop cholesterol. Beans  help you to feel full for longer, encouraging consuming less overall calories. Choose a type of bean that you like — black beans, garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), white beans, or kidney beans.

To-do: Buy a couple cans of your favorite organic beans, and add them to salads, stir-frys, and pasta. Don’t worry — he gas-passing factor usually passes after two weeks.

3. Eat nuts for a slender waist.

Do you shy away from nuts because they’re high in fat? Despite their high fat content, nuts will help you to lose rather than gain weight. People who eat nuts tend to be slimmer  and don’t gain weight proportional to the fat and calories in nuts. Studies show that people lose weight, especially in the abdomen, when they add nuts to their diet.  (Check out this comprehensive review of the evidence. Eating nuts can protect you from heart disease and diabetes, and even help you to live longer.

In the Harvard Nurses Study, nut consumers had fewer deaths from cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease.  A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School has shown that a diet high in walnuts suppresses tumor growth and the growth of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis) in a mouse model of human colorectal cancer. Mice fed a walnut-heavy diet had significant tumor shrinkage relative to mice fed a corn-based diet.

To-Do: Keep a variety of unsalted nuts close at hand for snacks and  sprinkle them on salads with abandon.

4. Gorge on greens for happy blood vessels.

Greens are a secret to keeping your blood vessels happy. Greens like collards, kale, spinach and arugula help the blood vessels to produce nitric oxide, which keeps the tiny linings of our blood vessels soft and pliable. Imagine a natural chill pill for your blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels reduces your risk of heart attacks and lowers your blood pressure.

When you eat fish, meat and eggs these same vessels get stiff and rigid. Their endotoxins cause systemic inflammation immediately after eating them. Arugula, swiss chard, beet greens, basil, cilantro and kale are the best sources of nitric oxide.

As an added bonus, greens release cancer-fighting chemicals when chewed in the mouth.

To-do: Buy a big back of pre-washed greens and eat a handful or two with your lunch and dinner.  Chew well.

Raw and ground turmeric on wooden surface

    5. Spice your palate and slash inflammation.

    This bright yellow powder is one of nature’s strongest anti-inflammatory, even works better than some drugs. Turmeric suppresses inflammation, is an antioxidant, and has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and the growth of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis).  Daily use of turmeric in the Indian diet in curries has been linked to lower rates of Alzheimer’s and cancer.

    To-do : Sprinkle a bit of turmeric with black pepper on your plate.

    Boost Your Energy

    You want to say goodbye to feeling lethargic and heavy?

    Then boost your energy with these simple diet tweaks. They’re a painless way to increase your vitality and improve your health.

    It’s easy to buy a bag of nuts, some cans of beans and bunches of greens.

    It’s easy to sip red wine and green tea.

    It’s easy to smile when you know you’re helping your body.

    Making these changes will help you live longer, healthier and happier.

    And who doesn’t want a long, healthy, happy life?

    Featured photo credit: Dollarphotoclub via media.lifehack.org

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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