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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 August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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