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12 Eating Habits of the Highly Successful and Fit

12 Eating Habits of the Highly Successful and Fit

Staying fit and healthy today is a difficult task, especially when you are busy all the time. Professionals, especially working parents, rarely have the time to experiment and find the diet that suits them best. If you are strapped for time, take a look at these 12 hacks that will keep you fit and healthy, boosting your metabolism and your cognitive abilities in the process.

Remember: these are not your run-of-the-mill tips and tricks. They combine Ayurvedic best practices and data gleaned from years of researching so-called “Blue Zones,” areas in the world where people have the highest life expectancy, such as Sardinia, Japan, and Costa Rica. So, if you want to know how to stay healthy and live to be a centenarian, read on!

1. Limit your sugar intake.

Cut down on sugar starting tomorrow! If you are accustomed to refined white sugar and really can’t go without it, try replacing it with stevia. Don’t give up on desserts. That is not the point. The point is to get your body weaned off sweeteners that result in diabetes and a myriad of other health issues. Start by taking your coffee or tea without sugar, and avoid sugar-rich drinks.

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2. Get your food from plants.

Stock up on apples, carrots, peaches, bananas—basically, all fruit and vegetables you can get your hands on. Aim to have plants make up 80 to 90 % of your daily diet. This can be tricky, but if you substitute all your unhealthy snacks with a piece of carrot or a stick of fruit, you’ll be halfway there. Top that with a rich salad instead of a steak during lunchtime, and you’re there!

3. Eat fish once a day.

Sardines and anchovies should be on your to-eat list every day. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, but low in mercury and other poisonous chemicals. The best way to introduce them into your diet is through salads; next time you’re making a tuna salad, don’t. Make it a sardine, anchovies, or cod salad instead.

4. Limit meat to twice a week.

Fit people avoid meat, and you should follow suit. Limit your meat to 10–15 ounces a month, so a piece of chicken breast twice a week will be quite enough. Evolutionary, humans ate meat when they were lucky to catch some game, which was not all that frequent. Also, make chicken, pork, or lamb your meat of choice. All the better if the meat is free-range, which means that you’ll avoid ingesting additives and chemicals associated with mass-produced meats.

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5. Cut down on eggs and dairy.

The human body is bad at processing cow milk, and a lot of people are actually slightly lactose intolerant without even knowing it. Also, cow milk is full of sugar and fats. You can get your daily dose of calcium from certain vegetables, such as kale, broccoli, and spinach, so substitute milk with them. Goat and sheep products, on the other hand, are beneficial to your health, so try to work them into your diet. Limit eggs to three to four a week. If you need them in baked dishes, substitute them with mashed potatoes, bananas, or applesauce.

6. Sit down and eat.

Eating on the go is bad for your digestion. Snacking is OK, but gobbling up a full meal from a container while on the go is definitely not healthy. Sit down and concentrate on your food. Turn off the TV, put away your smartphone and just enjoy the food. You will end up eating less, but feeling fuller and more satisfied with your meal.

7. Schedule your main meals at the same time every day.

Small, healthy snacks throughout the day will keep you energized and on the ready, and you should indulge in them readily. However, when the time comes for a proper, hardy meal, make sure to take it at a roughly the same time every day. This will help you control cravings and train your metabolism to kick into the fifth gear at the right time.

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8. Drink water at the right time.

If you want to limit how much you eat in a single sitting, make sure to drink two glasses of water around 10 minutes before your meal. Also, sip water between bites to soften the food and make it easier on your stomach to process it. However, once you’re done with your meal, refrain from drinking anything for 20 minutes. Give your stomach time to break down the food before flooding it with water that will weaken those digestive juices.

9. Stop before you’re full.

Always leave the table wanting a bite more! Eat until you’re about 85–90 % full, and then put your utensils down and don’t buckle! This is important because it will do wonders for your digestion. Also, it will make you more appreciative of food in general. A good rule of thumb is to stop after a particularly satisfying mouthful. Pack up the leftovers and put them in the fridge; there is no point in wasting food.

10. Make red wine your alcohol of choice.

One would think that alcohol is a no-no for people trying to stay fit and healthy. It turns out that you would be wrong. One to three glasses of red wine per day will help your body absorb those plant-based antioxidants that you are ingesting on a daily basis and reduce stress. Also, red wine is good for your blood and metabolism in general, so we can confidently recommend you treat yourself to a glass a day!

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11. Eat nuts on a daily basis.

Nuts reduce the levels of the so-called “bad cholesterol” by nearly 20%! Studies show that people who eat two handfuls of nuts a day have a significantly lower mortality rate than people who avoid eating nuts. Also, nuts are proven to boost your cognitive abilities, keeping you mentally sharp and intellectually fit. An easy way to incorporate nuts into your daily diet is to add them to your breakfast cereal mix or to snack on them during the day.

12. Remember, coffee is great for mental health.

If your goal is to stay both physically and mentally fit, make sure you’re drinking two cups of coffee a day. Coffee is linked to lower instances of Parkinson’s disease and dementia. If you do not like coffee, substitute it with a strong blend of tea that is rich in caffeine.

Featured photo credit: http://morguefile.com/archive via morguefile.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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