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5 Effortless Tricks To Make Healthy Eating Easy

5 Effortless Tricks To Make Healthy Eating Easy

There’s no question about it: eating healthy 100% of the time can seem like a near impossible goal—especially if you’re not used to eating that way on a regular basis.

But along with consistent exercise, healthy eating is what’s really going to help you reach your goals. It can be the difference between finally achieving the body of your dreams and never quite getting there. Plus, it’ll make you feel better, give you more energy, and help you perform better in your workouts.

And the great thing about it? Healthy eating doesn’t have to be that difficult.

Because when you know what you should be focusing on and how to structure your meals around your busy days, eating healthy can actually be enjoyable—and surprisingly effortless.

Here are five tricks to make healthy eating easy:

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1. Eat a protein-packed breakfast every morning

Protein is what keeps you full, fuels your muscles, and helps you keep a strong and lean physique. Starting your day out with around 30 grams of protein will not only help get you through the morning without feeling hunger pains, it will also help you feel less snacky and get less cravings for sugar and carbs later in the day.

As a bonus, since protein is harder for your body to break down than carbohydrates, a high-protein meal can actually increase your metabolism by up to 30% for as long as 12 hours at a time.

2. Carry healthy snacks with you everywhere

I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get food on a regular basis, I become what can only be described as “hangry.”

This used to be hard on my family and friends, because they would never know when I would get too hungry and “turn on them.” And as a result, I would usually be forced to get something unhealthy to snack on such a muffin or a bagel, both poor choices to fuel your body throughout the day without packing on the pounds.

But preventing “hangry” moments or unhealthy snacking when out and about is easy—as long as you do a little planning ahead of time. Doing so will not only help you avoid unhealthy foods, it will keep you from being hungry constantly and make the people around you very, very happy.

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Here are a few ideas of easy, healthy snacks you can carry with you at all times:

  • Almonds and other nuts (but avoid sugary trail mixes)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Protein powder (just mix with water for a quick and easy protein shake)
  • Apples, oranges, grapes and other fresh fruit
  • Protein bars (just avoid ones with high amounts of sugar or added ingredients)

3. Make veggies a main part of every meal

If you’re not a big fan of vegetables, I’m going to take a wild guess and assume you’ve just never had them cooked right.

Because canned, over-sauced or flavorless veggies aren’t on anyone’s list of favorite foods. But fresh, just ripened, in-season veggies? There are so many good ones to choose from—broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, peppers, and more—you’re bound to find at least a couple you like.

And once you find a few that you love (or at least can tolerate), start making them a main part of every meal. Add them to omelets, toss them in salads, make stir fries with them, and even include them in smoothies. Aim to make them at least two thirds of your plate as often as possible.

Before you know it, you’ll not only find that you might actually start to like vegetables, your body will start to crave them because of how good they make you feel after eating them.

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And when you fill up on veggies, you’re much less likely to gorge yourself with junk food later on.

4. Eat whole foods whenever possible

One of the easiest ways to eat healthier without trying too hard is to simply focus on avoiding processed foods and include as many whole foods as possible in your diet.

So what exactly are whole foods?

Whole foods are foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives or other artificial substances. They typically don’t come in a box, can, or container, contain little to no added ingredients, and unlike their processed counterparts, are packed with complex micronutrients and dietary fiber.

Eating whole foods mean you’ll frequent your local farmer’s market instead of the canned foods isle, choose whole grains over refined ones, and eat fresh local fish over highly processed TV dinners.

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It may take a little getting used to, but once you discover how food is supposed to taste, eating healthy will become much more natural to you.

5. Don’t deny yourself your favorite foods

Do you dream about chocolate chip cookies? Love a good burger once in a while? Crave pumpkin pie on a crisp fall day?

Good. Don’t stop eating those foods. Limit them, yes, but don’t cut them out of your diet altogether.

Why? Because while it may seem counterintuitive, when you cut all of your favorite foods out of your diet completely, not only will it cause to you feel deprived and bitter about eating healthy, more often than not it also leads to a binge eating session of those very same foods when you’re at a moment of willpower weakness.

And the truth is that if you’re working out and keeping active on a regular basis, allowing yourself a few small treats every once in a while will not only make you happier about eating healthy the majority of the time, it will also make it more likely that you’ll stick with healthy eating in the long run.

But just remember, while having your favorite not-so-healthy foods here and there is a perfectly acceptable part of any healthy diet, don’t forget to treat them as they are—special treats.

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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.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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