With the summer fast approaching, we are all wondering how we can get ourselves into shape so that we look great in our bathing suits. There are billboards, magazine covers and advertisements everywhere we look, all reminding us that it is the time of year for diet and exercise. But there is no reason to drive yourself crazy. Think of it this way: you have plenty of time to adjust your habits so that you not only look better on the beach, but you also feel better. Being healthier means you’ll have more energy to do things like kayaking down a river, hiking through a forest, or shooting some hoops in the park – and anything else that you like to do when the weather is nice. Below are seven tips for healthier eating that won’t break your spirit.
TIP #1 – Go nuts! One of the best snacks out there for someone craving that mid-afternoon salty flavor are nuts. Nuts are packed with protein and healthy fats. You only need a few to satisfy your craving, and they will boost your energy so that you can power through the afternoon.
TIP #2 – Drink more water. Water is healthy for your body for a variety of reasons. Drinking at least eight glasses every day will keep your skin hydrated, your waist whittled, and your stomach feeling full. Your hair will look great, too, and you will find yourself eating less.
TIP #3 – Taste the rainbow! You probably already know that you should be eating more vegetables and fruit but maybe you don’t even know where to start. One fun way to try lots of new flavors and make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients is to look for all the colors you can find. Purple fruits and vegetables like plums and eggplants have entirely different vitamins than those in green vegetables like kale and broccoli.
TIP #4 – Choose the chicken or fish. People in this country eat way too much meat. Red meat has been linked to all kinds of diseases from heart disease to obesity. It has been shown to reduce lifespan and pack extra calories. And if your burger is from a factory-farmed cow, it’s also pumped up with hormones and antibiotics. Choose chicken or fish instead for a healthier, lower calorie, high protein option.
TIP #5 – Better yet, choose the beans. Even healthier than chicken or fish are beans. They come in all kinds of assortments, are frequently found on menus (especially in Mexican and other South American restaurants) and don’t have any of the added hormones or antibiotics found in chicken or the pollutants found in fish. They are delicious eaten plain or cooked with other ingredients.
TIP #6 –Do a juice lunch for three days. If you are looking to see quick results from your diet choices, then consider spending three days a week having a juice or fruit/vegetable smoothie for lunch instead of your standard meal.
TIP #7 – Enjoy eggs for breakfast. Eggs make for a great breakfast and are super healthy. If you don’t have time to sit down for a full meal at your own table, bring some hard boiled eggs with some salt and pepper packets to work and have your healthy breakfast there!
Brian Forester is a health and wellness writer in the Chicago area. It is his goal to help people learn more about healthy natural foods and incorporate them into their diets. Companies like Now Foods offer healthy options to improve wellness for everyone with natural options like supplements for weight management