If you’re looking for ways to live a healthier life, you are certainly not alone. Americans are spending upwards of $46 billion in diet products including foods, books, and exercise machines. It’s clear that people do want to get healthy not only to look better but to feel better as well. Doing so also helps you to avoid health risks that often arise from poor diet and lack of exercises.
Starting with Dieting
One of the first areas a person zero’s in on when they think about wellness is starting a new diet. It is human nature to want fast results and instant results from a pill or a ‘proven’ new diet for melting away the pounds.
Stop and think about how many diets you have been on in your life. You probably have lost a great deal when you add up all the pounds you’ve lost in the past 5 years. However, did the weight stay off? For most, the answer is a resounding no. That’s because quick fix diets and diet pills are not the answer to weight loss or overall wellness.
Looking at Food in a New Way
While many people do suffer from being overweight, even people who are not overweight but eat a poor diet are not as healthy as they could be. Food needs to be looked at in a new way. For instance, food is not the enemy, it’s the food choices that become the problem. Eliminating certain items from your diet can greatly improve your overall health and well being.
Eliminate the following:
* Processed foods
* Fast foods \ fatty foods
* Large amounts of red meat
* Lower sodium intake for your kidneys
* Partially hydrogenated oil
The one item on the list above that you may not have heard of is partially hydrogenated oil. Back in the 1970s, foods such as crackers, cereals, chips and many other ready made food were processed with butter. The discovery of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils changed all of that.
It was clear that hydrogenated oils were much cheaper to use than butter and manufacturers quickly switched everything they could to replace butter usage and thus cut costs. Hydrogenated oils start as polyunsaturated, which is a healthy fat but it is then treated chemically through a process called hydrogenation, which makes it into a solid base and this turns into the bad trans fat.
Start Reading Labels!
When you buy products at your grocery store, read the labels to see if you see the word ‘hydrogenated‘ anywhere in the ingredient list. If so, choose another product. By eliminating foods that contain this ‘bad fat’ you can increase your overall health and wellness. In addition, by eliminating this your cholesterol levels can be impacted positively. It can also help with weight loss since you won’t be eating as many processed foods.
Foods to Eat
Let’s face it, everyone has heard, “Eat more fruits and vegetables and lean meats” but the problem is, not everyone enjoys veggies and fruits. This is especially true if you didn’t have a good variety as a child. Veggies and fruits are sometimes an acquired taste. By slowly changing your diet and including fresh vegetables and fruits, you will begin to find you truly enjoy the taste.
Lean meats and fish especially salmon are excellent sources of protein. Whole grains are also a very good source of carbohydrates, which is what fuels your body, while protein is good for energy and your muscles. Low-fat cheese such as cottage cheese is another excellent addition for it’s calcium content.
What Exercises Actually Work?
Like diets and the many products you’ll find on the market, you’ll also find several machines and other devices specifically for various exercises. The truth is, just like with quick diets, there is no magic exercise machine that can give you rock hard abs in a month.
Some of the best exercises you can engage in include:
* Water aerobics
All of these will get the heart pumping and help to bring the body into a fit state. These work well and most do not even cost anything except your time.
When it comes to your overall health and wellness, there are no quick fixes. Trying to lose weight too quickly or exercise too much, will only make you dread the ‘diet’ and the ‘exercise program’ and then being eating poorly again.
By taking small steps every day to improve your health such as eating fast foods and processed foods and learning to incorporate fresher foods will pay off. Especially when you combine it moderate aerobic exercise.