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Diet Tips & More for a Healthy and Trim Body

Diet Tips & More for a Healthy and Trim Body
Healthy Eating

    Last week The Secret to a Healthy Body talked about the physical things you should do to have a healthy body. This week, this article discusses the diet tips and more for keeping healthy and trim.

    1. Timing. Try to eat every 3-4 hours so that you never get so hungry that you’re tempted to overeat at mealtime. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and post-dinner snack. Don’t skip breakfast or any meal for that matter. You’ll make yourself too hungry and you’ll overeat at the next meal. If you try to starve yourself you’re body will go into starvation mode where your metabolism will slow down drastically, keeping you from losing weight and actually making you more likely to hold onto calories the next time you do eat.

    2. Portions. Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. An easy guideline for each meal is to have the plate be roughly be 1/4 carbs, 1/4 lean protein, and 1/2 fruits or vegetables at each meal. No second helpings, but if you are really hungry then take more vegetables.

    3. Eat slowly. This one is one of the hardest and easiest things to do. It’s hard because the pace of our eating reflects the pace of everything around us, which is fast, fast, fast! So you must make a conscious effort at each meal to do this. Once you do this for a while you will establish a habit and from then on it will be easy. Perhaps before each meal you might want to close your eyes for 15 seconds, take a deep breathe to slow down, and then say to yourself something like “Take it slow. Taste this food. Enjoy it slowly. Release thoughts of work and other worries for now.” Then, when you do eat, take small bites and really taste and enjoy the food. This will give your body time to send your brain the “All Full” signal. If you only do one of these tips, do this one.

    4. Snacks. For snacks have fruit, low calorie popcorn, or nuts (1 handful). Prepare these ahead of time so they are easy to grab. Keep junk food out of the house and you’ll be less likely to eat it.

    5. Long Life Cocktail. This idea comes from the book “Fat Flush” by Louise Gittleman, a well respected dietitian. The recipe is 7 ounces water, 1 ounce pure cranberry juice, and 1 Tablespoon of ground flax seed. Have this once or twice a day for increasing your fiber, digestive regularity, and all the benefits which come from flax seeds. Those benefits are: lower cholesterol, antioxidant power, fiber, inhibiting the onset of estrogen-stimulated breast cancer, healing of inflamed intestines from Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. The pure cranberry juice will help to cleanse your liver and kidneys.

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    6. Dairy and Wheat products. If you find that these foods make you bloated, you might want to cut back on them. How to tell? Cut them from your diet for a week and see if you notice a difference. Just as good substitute: sprouted grain breads such as “Alvarado Street” or “Ezekial 4:9”. And there are many non-dairy substitutes such as rice milk which taste much better than you might imagine.

    7. Sugar. For the most part, refined sugar is not good for you. Try to cut back or eliminate altogether. Blackstrap molasses or honey are better choices. Stevia root is a natural calorie free sweetener you might want to try. You can find it in healthstores. A good one is “Stevia Plus.” When having a sugar craving, have fruit instead.

    8. Fiber. Try to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Fiber fills you up. It blocks the absorption of sugar and fat helping with weight loss and weight management. Having enough fiber in your diet will keep constipation away and will help lower your chances of cancer, such as colon cancer.

    9. “100% Whole Grains.”
    Look for this exact phrase on cereals, crackers, bread, etc., but also check the nutrition labels. Anything else is not going to have as much fiber. Check the fiber count to be sure. Use whole grain pastas and breads. They will fill you up and they are healthier for you.

    10. Vegetables. Learn to love them! Find a great book on how to cook vegetables that taste delicious. (Suggestion: “Vegetable Love” by Barbara Kafka) Have salad often. Be sure to measure out your salad dressing to keep from adding too many calories.

    11. Chicken or Vegetable Broth and Soup. Use a cup of soup or broth as a snack. Have a cup before meals to feel full. And you can use broth to sautee vegetables instead of oil.

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    12. Oil. Only use olive oil or canola oil if you need it for cooking. Better yet, use flax oil on foods sauteed in broth to add flavor and health benefits. Don’t use flax oil for cooking and you must keep it refrigerated. Heat makes flax oil and flax seeds loose their healthful properties.

    13. Cheese. Keep this to a minimum in your diet. The harder the cheese the better and keep in mind that a little can go a long way to add some flavor.

    14. Hunger. If you are trying to lose weight, it’s ok to feel a little hungry, such as if you stay up late at night. If you’re feeling very hungry have some fruit and/or nuts. Or you could try a Long Life Cocktail or a Green Drink such as Green Vibrance. These drinks will fill you up and take the edge off your hunger so you can either go to sleep or make it until the next meal. The beneficial thing about Green Vibrance is that it contains the same kind of active cultures found in yogurt. These live cultures rid your body of yeast and help foster the healthy bacteria in your intestines for better digestive health.

    15. Eliminate Toxins. Stay clear of all forms of tobacco. If you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t stop trying. If you keep trying you will eventually succeed! Keep alcohol to a minimum. Wash all fruits and vegetables with soap, water and a sponge. Try to buy organic if you can especially for produce where it really matters:

    Fruit

    1. Peaches
    2. Apples
    3. Strawberries
    4. Nectarines
    5. Pears
    6. Cherries
    7. Red Raspberries
    8. Imported Grapes

    Vegetables

    1. Spinach
    2. Bell Peppers
    3. Celery
    4. Potatoes
    5. Hot Peppers

    16. Chewing Gum. This is a good distraction between meals.

    17. Calories. This totally free diet website has everything you need to know about how many calories you should eat, metabolic calculators, diet calculators,weight loss guides and more!

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    18. Eating Out. Think about what you will have before you go into the restaurant. Ask for extra vegetables instead of fries. Have salad or clear broth soup to fill up. Stay away from bread and butter.

    19. Cheats
    . Allow yourself one cheat meal per week and do so in moderation.

    20. Read labels. Stay away from anything with hydrogenated oils (trans fats). Beware that products are allowed to say “0 Trans Fats per serving” if they are below a certain percentage. But if the ingredients say “hydgrogenated” then know that you are getting trans fats. Stay away from too much saturated fats. And look for items that are high in fiber.

    21. Green Tea. Scientific studies have shown many benefits from green tea consumption such as lower cancer rates and lowered cholesterol. Some studies show it can help with weight management. It certainly can’t hurt. If caffeine bothers you then try naturally decaffeinated or you can decaffeinate it yourself by brewing the tea bag twice. Drink the second cup and it will have very little caffeine, but most of the taste. A key point: don’t drink with cow’s milk “as proteins called caseins in milk decrease the amount of compounds in tea known as catechins” which aid in protecting against heart disease. Try rice milk instead if you want to add milk.

    22. Get Enough Sleep. If you are very tired during the day, your body is going to crave more food to get energy. So, rest up!

    What are your best dietary health tips? Please share in the comments.

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    K. Stone is author of Life Learning Today, a blog about daily life improvements. A few of her most popular articles are Building a Smarter, Stronger Brain – Part 1, How to Write a Book in 60 Days or Less, Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?, and Set Yourself Up for Diet Success.

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    K. Stone

    The founder of Life Learning Today, a blog that's dedicated to life improvement tips.

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

    Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

    This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

    The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.

    The Keys to Learning Anything Easily

    Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

    Curiosity

    Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

    People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

    Patience

    Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

    When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

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    Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

    A Feeling for Connectedness

    This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

    A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

    The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

    How to Self-Taught Effectively

    With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

    1. Research

    Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

    Learning the Basics

    Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

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    Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

    What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

    Hitting the Books

    Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

    Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

    Long-Term Reference

    While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

    My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

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    2. Practice

    Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

    A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

    Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

    Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

    3. Network

    One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

    These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

    Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

    Here find out How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

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    4. Schedule

    For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

    Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

    Final Thoughts

    In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

    If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

    At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

    More About Self-Learning

    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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