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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 13, 2020

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    More on Building Habits

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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