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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 May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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