For years, various diets (dietary plans) have come and gone and come back again. For this digital "always ready" information society we are all part of in 2010, the perfect diet involves some going back to basics.
Rule # 1 - Don't deprive yourself! Everything is okay in moderation. For example: you're eating vegan or vegetarian but you've invited to a special function, say, a "class reunion." Unless it's absolutely against your morals or religion, don't be left out! Feel free to eat whatever everyone else is! You'll feel more comfortable, you won't be labeled a "weirdo" and no one will look at you strangely. Having said that, keep in mind that there will be a lot of choices at the table, and it's up to YOU to make the healthiest ones possible! You can fast later in the month or drink juices and eat natural foods for a few days to make up for the "setback."
Rule # 2 - Hydrate! That means, drink plenty of water. Keep a water jar in the ref. Canned tomato juice and pineapple juice are good for ya, especially if you don't have a juicer. Just stay away as much as possible from fattening diabetes-causing sodas and sugary drinks.
MILK is okay: if you don't really drink milk often (maybe you have some in your cereal once or twice a week) get REGULAR WHOLE MILK. Not skim. Not 2%. My weight loss I partially attribute to switching to whole milk.
COFFEE is CRUCIAL! If you drink the stuff, know that coffee raises levels of "good" HDL cholesterol and improves the ratio of HDL to LDL ("bad" cholesterol), reducing the risk of heart disease. Researchers found that drinking 4 or more cups of joe per day lower a person's risk of being hospitalized for heart rhythm problems (arrhythmis) by 18 per cent!
Coffee plays a key role in my weight-watching program. A cup at lunchtime with 81mg Aspirin.
Rule # 3 - Lower salt intake and don't obsess! Don't get carried away by a notion that "such and such" isn't good for you! Reduce the amount of salt used in cooking (find other flavor enhancers, like herbs) and try not to add extra salt to your dinner plate. I use finely ground sea-salt mixed with an equal portion of the supermarket iodized variety.
Rule # 4 - Set new standards and a new timetable. If once a week you go out with friends and end up at a fast food joint, go ahead, eat that hamburger. It will not kill you! Just make sure you limit yourself when you're eating foods on the "restricted" list! See Rule #1! Your biggest meal should be breakfast. I get up in the morning around 0500, drink a galss of grapefruit or cranberry juice, go through my exercise routine, take the dog out (that's my early morning walk) and then start making breakfast at 6. I don't eat from 4 hours before bedtime on! My cut-off time is 7pm. If I feel hungry, I pour a big glass of water. I usually fall asleep anywhere between 10:30 and Midnight (depending on what I'm doing- if I'm watching TV, I'll doze off before the show's over!)
Rule # 5 - Bring on the fruits and vegetables!
Rule # 6 - Vitamins are important! Your doctor should be able to tell you if you have deficiencies of any particular vitamin or mineral. Follow any recommendations you receive. A multi-vitamin with phyosterols will probably be just fine for the average person. EAT foods rich in vitamins C and D, and Omega3.
Rule # 7 - Supplements too! Anyone concerned about cholesterol should be adding Omega3's (Smart Balance Products), Phytr and NIACIN, the B-vitamin that helps keep levels where they should be. Now, you can't eat at McDonald's and KFC everyday and think Niancin will help. No no no! But if you take 500mg of Niacin with each of your three main meals, you'll be good to go another 100-thousand miles!
Rule # 8 - Body / Tummy Health! Your stomach should not hang out or bulge out or spill out over your pants. Following the dietary guidelines I'm giving you should help: you're also going to need to walk at least 30 minutes a day, and if you can find time to excersise, that's even better. DITCH THE SODA! Especially DIET soda! Every fatty I see is lugging and chugging a 2 or 3 litre bottle of diet soda. It's just plain NO GOOD FOR YOU!
If you can squeeze in biking with your walking, that's great. If you're already into yoga or you have tapes or DVDs you work out with, or one of the stair machines, that's even better. the key is to psyche yourself up and keep at it! If activity gets cumbersome, that's when you need to map it out: maybe do 3 days a week on the stair machine, 4 days a week biking and / or walking. Mix it up and substitute one activity for another if you wish.
Rule # 9 - Raise your spirits! Whether it's online or in-person, it's easy to find like-minded people trying to stay healthy... get socially and emotionally connected to friends, family and community!
Rule # 10 - Sleep! Haven't heard that one before, have you? Make a good night's sleep a priority. If you grind your teeth or snore, a mouthguard will likely help. f you get quality sleep you'll have improved energy and mental clarity that will enable you to keep your goals or "whiteboard" in focus.
What about fasting?
Hey, fasting is cool! I do it myself, and you can too, whether it's just for a day or a few days. Leave the long drawn-out "cleansings" to experts, and check with your doctor before making severe dietary alterations. Good Luck, and I hope you'll become a big fat loser soon!
TIPS & TECHNIQUES :::
When a Salad Stops Being a Salad - ....and really just becomes a melange of fats and extra totally unnecessary calories on your plate. Cobb and Chef's salads immediately come to mind.
Why walking a little can go a long way— What if there was something simple you could do every day that would burn calories, be good for your heart, and help you stay young. You'd do it, right?
30 Minutes a day... to a Healthy Heart