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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 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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