This really is a lifestyle change, not just a temporary diet. I have worked really hard to change my thinking when it comes to health, and that is the hardest part of remaining healthy. For the first part of the blog series, I have compiled a “no” list. These are things I suggest you cut out of your life so you can change for the better. It would be a great idea to print this out and keep it with you until it becomes a part of your daily thought process.
1. Do NOT drink sodas.
The reason why sodas are bad is because they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k or sucralose. In a study published in the journal Circulation in 2008, 9 people were followed for 9 years, and it was shown that drinking artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a 34% greater risk of developing the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors for disease that often occur together and raise your risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Another study found a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome and a drastically increased risk of diabetes in soda drinkers…
- It is defined as having at least three of the following:
- Abdominal obesity (belly fat)
- High fasting glucose
- High triglycerides
- Low HDL cholesterol
- Elevated blood pressure
2. Do NOT skip breakfast.
You are actually causing weight gain by not eating a good breakfast and slowing your metabolism down. This just makes it more difficult for you to lose weight. Skipping on a big breakfast also puts you in starvation mode, and this does not make it easy for you to make smart meal choices. Therefore, when you get to lunch, you’re most likely going to eat more.
3. Do NOT eat processed foods.
The best advice for someone buying food is the more you can eat without any added ingredients, the better. Know what is being added to your food. The meat most people ingest has been treated, or manipulated in some form before it reaches its destination, the body. Fast food affects your body because it is generally high in fat, sodium, and sugar content. These three qualities in excessive quantities are bad for your body, especially your waistline and your heart. Fast food and processed foods are closely linked to heart disease, the obesity pandemic, and the dramatically increased presence of type two diabetes in the United States.
4. Do NOT get discouraged when working out.
DO NOT feel as if you have to do so many reps or walk or run for a specified amount of time. DO what you feel comfortable with! I always work out just past the point that I want to quit, and then the next day, I do a little bit more, and then the next day, a little bit more. If you start out hard your first day, you will be so sore on your second that you won’t want to do anything. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the gym or financials/time is an issue GO OUTSIDE. YouTube a free workout or buy an app for one! There are so many options available at our fingertips!
5. Do NOT eat any meats that aren’t organic.
The reason is for this is very simple and makes tons of sense. In order to stimulate growth and prevent the spread of disease, non-organic cattle and livestock are given antibiotics and growth hormones. When you ingest their meat, you are ingesting all of the antibiotics and growth hormones they were given. Ingesting these growth hormones causes you to grow as well, so every time you think you’re eating healthy by eating a grilled chicken wrap from McDonald’s, you’re actually harming your body by introducing these hormones and antibiotics.
6. Do NOT finish your entire plate.
I’m not suggesting that you starve yourself, but it is really simple when you’re at a restaurant (or when you’re eating your home-cooked meals) to ask the server to box half of your meal before you get it. When you consider the portion sizes at most American restaurants, they are often double or even triple the suggested portion. When you’re eating at home and preparing your own plate, remember your portions… MORE proteins than carbs. When I eat, I try to put more natural things on my plate (veggies or organic meats), and I eat less processed foods (rice, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.).
7. Do NOT deprive yourself!
I am not trying to starve you. I am going to help you replace your bad wants with healthy snacks, meals and desserts. Remember everything is okay in moderation! I also think that it’s ok to have “vacation meals.” These are meals that are considered your eat out meal or something you don’t normally include in your daily diet. This way you don’t feel bad for having that “vacation meal” aka “cheat meal.”
8. Do NOT eat white pasta or rice!
Carbohydrates are a good source of cheap, dense energy that can be rapidly used by the body. In terms of white rice and flour, most of the fiber and proteins have been stripped away. While there is a little of this left behind, for the most part, they’re just a source of glucose. IF you choose to eat pasta use whole grain, change your rice to quinoa or eat during the day BEFORE a work out.
10. Do NOT skip workouts.
Think of your workouts like you think about your brushing your teeth. It is a part of your daily routine; you wouldn’t leave your house without brushing. Do not complete your day without doing some form of exercise. Pushups, tiptoes, sit-ups, squats, a quick yoga flow… all of these things can be done at work on a break or at home in front of your TV.