Much like a well-built house, a healthy lifestyle requires a strong foundation; what you consume is just as important as how often you exercise. It is easy to allow the hustle and bustle of everyday life to justify eating an easier meal, or even worse, forgetting to eat altogether. Creating good habits starts with the individual; putting these five, easy habits into action can be the starting point of a long life and healthier eating.
Forget Three Meals a Day — Eating six, small meals a day allows your metabolism to keep rocking and rolling in your body; just when your body finishes metabolizing the last meal, you are starting over again, which keeps it going. With a constant metabolism and steady blood sugar levels, your body will be set to build muscle, instead of growing fat, and you will have more energy throughout the day.
Eat Real Food — It’s easy to grab for the boxed potatoes or canned soup, yet each of these processed foods includes ingredients that would allow the food to last until the next winter, or at least longer than the fresh foods. Items like fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are fair game and will keep your body in tip top shape. If you think the food could survive a nuclear blast, it’s probably best to steer clear.
Fill Up On Protein — It’s beneficial to consume at least six ounces of lean protein at each meal. Protein works with your body to create the muscle you work so hard for at the gym or on the field, while lean protein also encourages the release of hormones that fight fat. Stick to lean or low fat versions of your favorite proteins, or soy versions.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate — Drinking water cannot be emphasized enough; people don’t realize how important hydration is. Your body needs the fuel that water provides, just as much as it needs protein. Drinking soda and other sugary drinks counteracts all your hard work in the gym, as they are just empty carbs that will give you a crash.
Carbs In Moderation — Think about how and when you want to eat carbs, especially starchy carbs. Eating starchy carbs in the afternoon or before a workout is not ideal, as they need time to be worked off, or should be used to restore energy. This means that you can decide to go forth and consume rice, grains, and pasta, but do so wisely.
Eating right isn’t always easy for people to do, but creating healthy habits and sticking with them will point you in the right direction. Practice makes perfect, and, with time, these will be your go-to habits without even thinking about it. With a regular exercise regimen, you are well on your way to the healthy lifestyle that both you and your body deserve.