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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 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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