Fitness

15 Simple Tips to Stay Slim, Good Looking and Healthy

5. Eat a healthy breakfast Breakfast is often skipped due to things like sleeping in or being too busy, but it’s called ‘the most important meal… Elizabeth Lilian - March 19, 2017

5. Eat a healthy breakfast

Breakfast is often skipped due to things like sleeping in or being too busy, but it’s called ‘the most important meal of the day’ for good reason. A healthy breakfast provides energy for the day’s activities, as well as vitamins and nutrients that are essential for good health. Skipping breakfast can lead to eating more throughout the day, and choosing less healthy things in order to get a quick energy boost from added sugars.

Breakfast has been shown to improve concentration and focus, support healthy cholesterol levels and help control weight. For a healthy breakfast, include high-quality protein like eggs, fiber-rich sunflower or chia seeds, oatmeal, or Greek yogurt. Include fruit like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, which are low in sugar, high in fiber and full of antioxidants like anthocyanins which have demonstrated abilities to protect against heart disease and other illnesses.

Alternatively, citrus fruits like grapefruit are very high in vitamin C, and can be paired with eggs or yogurt for a filling, healthy breakfast. Nuts are another great choice. Though they can be high in calories, a handful of almonds, Brazil nuts or walnuts can provide essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and selenium, and a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat.

If you’re busy in the mornings, there’s still no excuse to go without breakfast. Smoothies have become a popular choice for people on the go, as you can include protein powder, whey or oatmeal with fresh vegetables like spinach, carrots, and beetroot to provide a quick, easy, nourishing breakfast.

6. Identify your hunger

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s common to confuse hunger signals with other signals. Often, we eat for other reasons like thirstiness, boredom, stress, depression, and even loneliness. To be able to separate real hunger from false hunger, we must first know how the hunger process works.

When we begin feeling hungry, signals are sent from our body to the brain, which uses those signals to trigger various physical sensations that we interpret as a need for food. These symptoms vary with each individual, but it’s common that a rumbling stomach is actually one of the last symptoms of hunger. And if we go without food for too long, we begin to feel lightheaded, dizzy and irritable. Without noticing hunger signs when they first begin, we allow ourselves to get too hungry. This can cause severe overeating because the body tries to fill up on as much as possible while it has the chance.

It’s common to feel like eating even when you’re not hungry, so begin identifying false hunger signs from true hunger signs by taking the time to stop and consider a few things next time you feel like snacking. If you know you tend to eat when you’re bored or stressed, consider whether your emotions are driving you to eat, instead of real hunger. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, focusing on your body and tuning into any sensations.

It’s also common to confuse thirst for hunger as well, thinking we need to eat when we’re actually just beginning to grow dehydrated. If you still can’t tell whether you’re truly hungry or not, drink a glass of water and wait for around 15 minutes. If feelings of hunger subside, you were likely just thirsty, but if hunger persists, then have a healthy snack or meal, taking the time to enjoy and savor every mouthful.

7. Steer clear of fatty fast food

Fast food like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and even Subway can be so tempting when you’re starving, short of time, or just too tired to cook. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, it’s usually followed by feelings of illness, headache, fatigue and more. This is because most forms of fast food contain too little nutrients and too many empty calories. Enjoying a McChicken burger once in a blue moon might be a nice way to treat yourself, but having it too often can cause weight struggles and other health complications.

Fast food is usually packed full of added sugar, sodium, and trans fats, and when they are eaten too frequently they can have an extremely detrimental effect on health, increasing the risk of illnesses like cardiovascular disease and stroke. The high levels of unhealthy carbohydrates in fast food can also cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which can change the insulin response and put you at risk of diabetes.

Fast food has also been linked to depression. A study published by The Nutrition Society found that those who eat fast foods like hamburgers, pizza, and donuts are more than half as likely to develop depression than those who don’t eat much of it. Furthermore, fast food can cause weight gain and obesity, which also contributes to depression.

To make better choices and avoid junk food as much as you can, carry healthy snacks with you, like a piece of fruit or a muesli bar, so you don’t get too hungry. If you have no other choice but to eat out, try to choose meals with healthier cooking options like baked or grilled, and avoid high-calorie sauces and mayonnaise.

 8. Stress less

Stress is a common term used to describe the mental and physical feelings that occur in the body when we find ourselves growing overwhelmed. Stress can be caused by many different things like worry over health, job status, financial problems and family issues. Stress can be considered to be either good or bad, as it can be useful to our health and safety in dangerous situations.

Generally speaking, there are four different types of stress. Cumulative stress, which can be built up from one small thing to another until it grows overwhelming; chronic stress, which can occur due to constant problems like debt, chronic pain, domestic violence or poverty; catastrophic stress caused by unexpected trauma like car accidents, natural disasters, death of a loved one; and control stress, which can occur when you find yourself losing control over everyday life.

Stress can affect the body and the mind, and when you’re under large amounts all the time you can become irritable, anxious, depressed and unwell. Symptoms of stress can be headaches, insomnia, overeating, not eating enough, or even drug and alcohol abuse. The hormones that are released when we’re stressed can begin to negatively affect cardiovascular and respiratory systems because stress hormones cause the heart to pump faster, raise blood pressure levels, and quicken your breathing. If this happens too often, you increase the risk of hypertension, stroke and even heart attack.

Stress also causes your liver to produce extra glucose, in order to give you a quick boost of energy. This is reabsorbed back into the body if it’s not used, and this extra glucose can raise the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. In order to stop stressing, it’s important to learn how to manage stress correctly. Stress needs an outlet, and some simple ways to do this is exercise, spend time outdoors, practice yoga, keep a journal, meditate, or take a kick-boxing class.

9. Get proper sleep

This may seem obvious, but sleep is imperative to good health. Our bodies rest and recharge while we sleep, enabling us to function at our best the next day. Sleep is an essential physiological process for humans and animals alike, and when we lack sleep we grow irritable, tired and cranky. We become prone to making mistakes, lacking the ability to focus or concentrate on school or work. Sleep can improve memory, lower inflammation, influence creativity, and even help with weight loss.

We spend around one-third of our lives asleep, but what actually happens when we sleep is unknown to the majority of people. During sleep, we go through two different stages, both of which serve a purpose. Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep is the first stage, followed by rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, the stage in which we dream. Our body continues to work even when we’re in the deepest of sleep. The brain starts processing the information it learned throughout the day, solidifying that knowledge into memory, hormone levels are regulated, heart rate and blood pressure slows down, and we go into a state of relaxation and restoration.

Lack of good-quality sleep is caused by many things like stress, depression, anxiety, or sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and narcolepsy. Poor sleep can also contribute to weight gain, as sleep deprivation has been linked to craving junk food rather than healthy food. Lack of sleep also affects the immune system. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours each night are nearly three times more susceptible to getting a cold.

Increasing the quality of sleep can improve health, improve sex life, lower the risk of injury, improve mood and clear the mind. If your sleeping pattern is out of whack, you might need to completely overhaul your sleep habits in order to get a good night’s rest. This includes doing things like sticking to a sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each morning and night (even on the weekends), and creating a soothing pre-bed ritual that gives your body time to slow down and make it easier to drift off to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature, and you have a comfortable mattress, pillows, and bedding.

10. Get regular medical check-ups

No one ever really wants to go to the doctor, especially when they’re not sick. But even when you’re feeling healthy and well, it’s important to undergo regular medical check-ups at least once a year. Regular check-ups can detect health issues before they start by finding symptoms early. This ensures you have the best chance of treatment, whatever the issue.

Medical check-ups should involve checking vital things like blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels and weight, as well as having an eye test and a hearing test. Our eyesight and hearing can gradually deteriorate over time and it can be hard to notice at first, so getting them tested yearly can determine whether there is a problem. Include a trip to the dentist as well, for a good clean of the teeth, mouth, and gums, and to determine whether you have cavities or other dental issues.

For women, it’s also beneficial to include a mammogram, which is a screening for potential breast cancers, and a pap test, which checks for cervical cancers and other issues. For men aged 50 years and up, the risk of prostate cancer largely increases, so any medical check-up should involve a prostate check as well.

Following some simple, healthy ways of living will not only help you feel better, but you’ll look better too. Changing lifestyles and taking on healthy habits can improve the quality of life, and after a while, you’ll wonder how you lived any differently.

11. Water does wonders

Water is the life-giving fluid on this planet and without it, we will all perish. Water keeps our systems working and helps to flush toxins out of our bodies. It helps to keep our skin moist and hydrated.  Like most things in life what you take out you need to put back in.

During our days we sweat, breathe, urinate, and produce stool and through all of these, our bodies lose water.  So if we don’t replenish it the machine we call our bodies it will grind to a halt. Water helps avoid constipation and that bloated feeling and look.  It’s the perfect flush and filtration system.

Water also helps us reduce our calorie intake for the day. Whilst it has no magical nutrients if we replace the juices or carbonated drinks or alcoholic drinks we consume with water we, in turn, are keeping our calories down. Water also helps with energizing our muscles by keeping them hydrated and reducing muscle fatigue.  Try and have a glass of water with every meal and snack. Not only will it reduce how much we eat, but it will help to flush your kidneys as well.

Get into the habit of always carrying a bottle of water with you, whether it is at work, home, the gym or in your car. When you feel nimble or tired just take a few sips of water. You won’t believe how much better you soon feel. Try drinking filtered water or even tap water as buying bottled water is expensive and you will be contributing more plastic waste. Also, eat loads of fresh fruit as they too are filled with water.

12. Kindness

Have you ever notice how mean people just look so unhappy and unhealthy. Well, they are. They may be skinny but they look tired and old. It takes a lot of energy to continually be mean every day.

Look at your own behavior and how you treat others. How you treat them is how they will treat you.  There’s a simple trick called “mirroring” – how this works is find someone that you feel is what you define as healthy and happy and whatever they do you do the same. If they smile, you smile. If they say hello you say hello.  Yes, it sounds weird, but you will soon get the hang of this and start seeing yourself in a different light.

How we feel about ourselves is how we look on the outside. We are all overcritical and so hard on ourselves. We beat ourselves up emotionally because we did not lose a pound but only half a pound, our hair looks dull – but you just washed it. We could list zillion things here; the bottom line is – be kind and gentle on and to yourself.

When we see a young child crying our immediate response is to be kind and gentle with them.  You need to do the same to yourself. Kindness also releases serotonin – that feel-good hormone in our systems when we are kind. When we feel good inside we look good on the outside. Kindness also reduces anxiety and stress, both we covered in previous sections.  Have you ever seen a kind person looking stressed? Kindness also releases the hormone oxytocin which is good for your hearts health.

13. Laughter and play

When we laugh it reduces our stress hormone levels and boosts our immune system which allows us to resist and fight off illness. It also releases large amounts of endorphins into our bloodstream which is our natural way of getting that happy feeling flowing.   When we feel happy we show it and there is nothing sexier than a gorgeous smile and happy eyes.

Laughter also helps to relieve pain. Pain makes us tired and looks unhealthy. Laughter spurs our endorphins which allow us to not feel pain for a while and eases the stress lines on our faces. Remember when you were a kid and you ran around barefoot and played with your friends in the garden. Giggling and rolling around and just being silly.  As we get older we forget how to play like kids and just enjoy life.

When we laugh and play we look healthier. We get to be outside and dose ourselves with Vitamin D. Laughter and play also relaxes our entire bodies. When we are relaxed we look and feel better.

Did you know that when you laugh you actually burning calories?  Another fact to note is that the human brain can’t tell the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. So taking up laughter yoga is a great way to getting healthy.  You will fake laugh yourself right into a real belly aching laugh. If you do this every day, you will look much better. We are not all cut out to play sports or run, but spending time outside playing with the kids or friends, whether it’s just with a ball or a Frisbee. Just go outside and play.

14. Detox those emotions

Earlier we chatted about detoxing your body through various liquids.  We have also looked at cutting out smoking and drinking and upping the exercise.  But there is more we need to do.  We are very quick to look at the outsides of our bodies and judge our appearances. But we seldom look internally at our emotions and those of the people in our space.

Are you happy, sad, angry, resentful, agitated, irritated or stressed?  All these emotions have a direct effect on how we look and feel.  Believe me, an angry person is so not sexy or even healthy looking.

Who do we have in our lives sharing our space? Is it a happy and warm environment or do we walk around on eggshells not wanting to disturb the other person’s emotions?  This is not a healthy way to live and soon the telltale signs start showing; our skin looks pale and blotchy; we start eating to comfort ourselves, our stomach aches, we start consuming more alcohol or if don’t drink alcohol you could be drinking way to many sugary drinks, which give you a temporary good feeling or even start taking drugs or anti-anxiety medication to help us feel better.

When we feel emotionally insecure or emotionally threated it takes its toll on our bodies and we look older than we actually are.  Deal with those emotions and find your peaceful balance; whether it’s through exercise, therapy, laughter or play its time for them to give way to a happy and healthier you. As we detox our bodies so too do we need to detox our minds.  Healthy mind, healthy body.

15.  Having great sex!

We have looked at changing your diet, detoxing, rehydrating, being kind, laughing, playing and then getting rid of  toxic emotions we are now ready for the final part of the journey to being hot, healthy and happy.

It’s about getting sexual and having sex.  When we feel good about ourselves and are looking after ourselves physically the happy hormones in our brains are constantly being released. When we are happy we are more likely to flirt, when we flirt more we start getting more sexual in our auras which permeates into the atmosphere and our pheromones will attract another.

This all leads to sex and great sex is the best thing in the world.  It feels so good and we are so energized by it, but here are some of the great physical benefits of sex:

  • It burns calories and a lot of them. So the more sex you have the more calories your burn.
  • It improves our heart rate and our blood pressure – we can only benefit from this.
  • Sex is exercise and much more fun and pleasurable than running on a treadmill
  • Great stress and pain reliever – we just let go and give way to our bodies own movement and when we relax we de-stress. When we are distressed our pain eases.
  • Sex improves our sleep – well after all that great fun and activity you can only sleep better.

When we are in a happy mood we walk lighter and smile more. When we have had sex we glow with radiance and mischievousness with a youthful glow and a sparkle in your eyes…….in fact, you may even skip which can only benefit your fitness and health.

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