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How To Start Eating Healthy Today And Turn Your Life Around

How To Start Eating Healthy Today And Turn Your Life Around

It’s never easy to change our unhealthy habits. Our bodies have gotten used to one regime, and any sudden change results in stress. Luckily, these changes do not need to be sudden. You can always take baby steps and gradually adopt new patterns. One bad habit a lot of us share is an addiction to fast food. Sure, we don’t feel hungry after eating it, but the nutrition provided by such a meal is almost meaningless. Even though this may not be regarded as a serious addiction, we can see how this diet can take its toll.

If you stick to a diet high in fast food, you will find yourself at the doorstep of obesity at some point. You need to fight this habit before it’s too late. The later you start, the harder it will get. So, here are some good suggestions on how to leave behind your old eating habits and embrace a healthier diet.

The negative side effects of eating high fat, sugary, and overly salty foods

We can’t see what’s going on beneath our skin, but rest assured that what we put into our bodies has a huge impact. Of course, as long as you don’t push your body or tap into your energy reserves, you can’t really feel the backlash of an unhealthy diet. But, eventually you’ll start to feel certain side effects, like mood swings, headaches, a lack of motivation, and even depression.

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Perhaps knowing what happens underneath the surface will be a powerful motivator for you to start fighting your bad eating habits. When you ingest high amounts of carbohydrates, these carbs are broken down into glucose that is later released into the bloodstream. This leads to blood sugar level spikes, triggering an insulin response. These alterations of normal insulin responses can cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. This is just one instance of what occurs inside your body when you opt for unhealthy dietary choices.

So-called “healthy” options can be harmful too

    Truth be told, we are all aware that fast food should be avoided, however, even foods that seem healthy can be harmful. We grow up being told how fish, fruits, and vegetables are good for our body, yet this is not always the case. There are at least 16 different meals and drinks that we eat or drink on a daily basis while thinking they are healthy, yet they can lead to cancer. Here they are:

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    • Canned Tomatoes (dangerous due to their high acidity)
    • Soda (empty source of calories and filled with sugar)
    • Farmed Salmon (high level of PCB’s, cancer-causing dioxins, and mercury)
    • Processed Meat (various chemicals and preservatives, including sodium nitrate, are used to make them look delicious, yet they are really carcinogens)
    • Microwave Popcorn
    • Potato Chips
    • Hydrogenated oils (contains more than enough Omega-6 fatty acid)
    • Highly processed white flours
    • Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s
    • Alcohol
    • Red Meat
    • Non-Organic Fruit

    It can be hard to keep track of all of these unhealthy substances, but a skilled nutritionist can prescribe the correct diet to you. It’s important to know about these harmful foods and to avoid them where possible.

    Incorporate all the different colors of fruits and vegetables into your diet

    Let’s focus on what you can eat, or better yet, what you should eat to look and feel young and healthy. Here are five foods that feel like a breath of fresh air to your body.

    • Tomatoes (but not canned ones) contain an abundance of lycopene, which gives our skin a healthy hue. People with a higher concentration of lycopene also have smooth skin and reinforced UV ray protection. You can also find lycopene in carrots, guava, watermelons, and grapefruits.
    • Strawberries are basically a vitamin C injection that can ward off your wrinkles. They promote collagen production — a very important protein used for wound healing. Eating strawberries can help with age-related skin problems, like dryness.
    • Watermelon can offer so much more than lycopene. It also gives you an anti-inflammatory effect. This means that you are less likely to suffer from premature aging.
    • Tuna can help with wound healing as well, since EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can preserve collagen and keep your skin firm. Furthermore, your body will be replenished with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which helps in skin cancer prevention by warding off inflammatory compounds that support tumor growth.
    • Blueberries can serve as Vitamin C and E boosters, which help brighten skin.

    These foods may not make up your everyday diet, of course, but if you are looking for a quick snack, these foods are safe options.

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    Reduce junk food to a single meal or snack a day over several weeks

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      If your new diet is to be fully efficient, you need to make constant efforts to reduce your intake of junk food. As mentioned, you do not need to resort to drastic measures. You can gradually reduce the amount of junk food you eat on a weekly basis and then bring the number to a single meal of junk food in a month. I know it sounds ambitious at first, but keep working at it and you will get there. The important thing to remember is not to starve yourself. When you are too hungry, you are weak and more likely to give into this urge. To keep these incidents to a minimum, always have a healthy snack nearby, and you’ll be less likely to go out and buy a hot dog or a hamburger.

      Banish all unhealthy foods and snacks from your kitchen

      First of all, junk food usually contains an unhealthy ingredient called trans fat, which is hard to avoid. The acceptable dose of trans fat for one day is 2 grams, but fast food with 0.5 grams of trans fat is allowed to be labeled as “trans fat free,” thus we can easily fool ourselves.

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      We’ve already talked about what foods should be avoided, but it would also be wise not to keep these foods in your house. Here is a full list of things that should never find their way in your kitchen or pantry — if they are accessible to you, you are more likely to make bad dietary choices.

      Don’t treat little moments of weakness like massive failures

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        The important thing to remember is that you should set your own pace and regime. A slow pace means you’ll be less likely to become disappointed or depressed. When we are sad, there is a high chance that we’ll turn to greasy fast food to lift our spirits, and we all know how that goes. So, set your own boundaries and be realistic. The more room you give yourself, the better. With every small achievement, your confidence will rise and you’ll feel more motivated to continue. Also, don’t delude yourself — this will be hard. You’ll have moments of weakness, but don’t allow them to break you. Just move past these incidents and do your best to make sure to learn from your mistakes. Good luck!

        Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anabadili/ via flickr.com

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        Aleksandar Ilic

        Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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        Last Updated on August 6, 2018

        10 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

        10 Benefits of Deadlifts You Probably Never Knew

        The Deadlift. It is the quintessential weightlifting exercise. According to David Robson, a bodybuilder, personal trainer and contributor to Bodybuilding.com,

        “In my experience as an athlete, and based on the results witnessed by many of my personal training clients, the deadlift, if performed correctly, will build unparalleled mass while strengthening all the major muscles groups.

        Yes, many will argue that the squat is the King of Exercises, and will contribute to more strength and size gains than any other exercise.

        While it is true that the squat does rank as one of the best size builders (and on this basis alone should be included in everyone’s program), the deadlift, in my opinion, builds the upper and lower body like no other movement.”

        The deadlift is done by simply grasping your free-weight bar (with as many weights as you can feasibly – not comfortably – lift) and lifting up until your standing up with the bar hanging in front of you, arms extended.

        1. Increased Fat Burning

        Alwyn Cosgrove, a personal trainer and fitness author, recently wrote about a study where: “Overweight subjects were assigned to three groups: diet-only, diet plus aerobics, diet plus aerobics plus weights. The diet group lost 14.6 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. The aerobic group lost only one more pound (15.6 pounds) than the diet group (training was three times a week starting at 30 minutes and progressing to 50 minutes over the 12 weeks).

        The weight training group lost 21.1 pounds of fat (44% and 35% more than diet and aerobic only groups respectively). Basically, the addition of aerobic training didn’t result in any real world significant fat loss over dieting alone.”

        Lifting weights and resistance training will burn more fat than just dieting or dieting with cardio exercise alone.

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        2. Better Posture

        Deadlifting increases your core strength and adds to core stability, according to Robson. Deadlifting targets all of the muscles responsible for your posture and enables you to keep your back straighter during regular daily activities.

        3. More Muscles Worked

        The Deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise, including the squat. The lift engages all of the major muscle groups, according to exercise physiologist Kevin Farley. If you need to do one exercise, this is the one to do. The Deadlift works your lower and upper body, including your back muscles.

        4. Increased Real Life Lift

        When you do other lifting exercises, like a bench press, for example, you’re not doing anything you might really do in real life. When are you ever going to have the need to lay on your back and push something in the air — unless you’re giving your two-year-old “flying lessons.” The Deadlift develops the muscles you need to actually carry something, like a bucket of water, those heavy grocery bags or your neighbor’s dining room table.

        5. It’s Safe

        The Deadlift is one of the safest weightlifting exercises you can perform. You aren’t going to get pinned under the weight or have to worry about it pulling you over backwards. If you get into trouble, you can simply drop it…making for a loud bang, no doubt, but no damage. You also don’t have to have a spotter to perform this exercise.

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        6. Improved Grip Strength

        According to Outlaw Fitness:

        “Deadlifts are renowned for their ability to build massive amounts of grip strength, and for good reason. Your fingers are literally the only things connecting you to the weight of the bar. Your forearms have to work incredibly hard as you progress in weight to keep the bar from falling out of your hands. Subsequently your grip strength grows by leaps and bounds.”

        7. Increases Hormones

        Now don’t worry, these aren’t the hormones that will make you more emotional! Instead, by doing at least 8 to 10 repetitions of Deadlifts with significant weight, you can increase the amount of testosterone and growth hormone produced by your body.

        Testosterone increases muscle growth and improves muscle repair while growth hormone, which is produced by your pituitary gland, promotes tissue healing, bone strength, muscle growth and fat loss.

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        8. Cheap and Easy

        A lot of exercises require a lot of equipment, special shoes or whatever. Not the Deadlift. Just a bar with some weight. Pick it up. Simple. You can usually find freeweights and a bar at a thrift store – or being given away by a friend – making it even cheaper.

        9. Increased Cardio

        Believe it or not, doing 10 repetitions of Deadlifts will increase your cardiovascular ability. You might want to make sure you have somewhere to sit down when you’re done!

        10. Prevents Injury

        The Deadlift can help prevent injuries by increasing the strength of your muscles around critical tendons and ligaments. Supporting joints with strong muscles is crucial to preventing injury, especially in the hamstrings and lower back, according to Outlaw Fitness.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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