Plan Now To Get Lean For SummerSaturday, December 29, 2012
Sound Advice from Beth Shaw, founder of YogaFit® Torrance, CA… Start now with these easy-to-follow guidelines and you’ll go into the summer lean and stay that way!
Each day you make important decisions on what to put into your body. Your diet choices either benefit or harm your health. When your daily choices become a lifelong pattern, the benefits or consequences can be significant.
The challenge is to combine foods that are delicious with meals that are nutritionally balanced to sustain your active lifestyle.
There are many ways for you to alter your current diet to increase your health and take inches off your waistline. Below are some simple tips from the American Dietetic Association to get you started on creating a pure and wholesome diet.
- Emphasize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in meals and snacks.
- Choose proteins such as peanut butter, fish, beans, free-range eggs, and nuts.
- Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fats, sodium, and sugar.
- Vary your veggies. Eat more orange and dark green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and dark leafy greens. Include pinto beans, kidney beans, split peas, and lentils.
- Get your calcium-rich foods. Have broccoli, salmon, or the equivalent in yogurt or cheese (a half-ounce of cheese equals one cup of milk). If you choose not to consume milk, choose soy, almond, or rice milk, or eat calciumfortified foods and beverages.
- Eat at least half of your daily grains as whole foods, such as whole-grain cereals, rice, and pasta.
- Go lean with protein. Bake it, broil it, or grill it. Don’t fry it.
- Focus on fresh, frozen or dried fruits.
- Avoid canned or packaged foods.
In addition to healthy eating, consider consuming five small meals a day; protein, carbs, healthy fat… all in the right size portions.
Further Develop Good Habit; Eliminate a Bad Habit
Every day offers you an opportunity to make healthy choices; good health is simply a result of making positive choices on a regular basis. The good news is you get to choose – exercise over being sedentary, water over soda, fresh over fried, and supplements over sugar, get enough sleep. Experts say it takes 21 days to form a good habit. Here are some habits worth starting today.
Exercise at least 20 minutes a day, six days a week.
You need to consume fresh water daily, and particularly when engaging in physical activity. As you sweat during your workout, you need to replace your fluids to keep your body in a state of balance and avoid dehydration.
The symptoms of dehydration are easy to detect as long as you stay aware. The first and most obvious sign is thirst, but you should be consuming fluids regularly even before you feel thirsty. Your body doesn’t send the thirst signal until after you’ve entered the first stage of dehydration. So if you’re feeling thirsty, grab your water bottle. If you ignore your thirst, you might progress into the later stages of dehydration (weakness, exhaustion, and delirium).
In general, most of us need to be more conscious when we shop for our foods. We should all understand the catch phrases and labels on foods so that we can make educated choices while shopping. Again, reiterate that you should avoid packaged or canned foods whenever possible. Listed here are the most common phrases you’ll see stamped on some of your favorite foods items – and what they really mean.
- Light – one-third fewer calories or half the amount of fat than the usual food.
- Low calorie – fewer than 40 calories per serving.
- Calorie free – fewer than five calories per serving.
- Fat free – less than one-fourth gram of fat per serving.
- Sugar free – less than one-fourth gram of sugar per serving.Reduced – 25 percent less of the specified nutrient than the usual product.
- Good source of – provides at least 10 percent of the daily value of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving.
- High in – provides more than 20 percent of the daily value of a specified nutrient per serving.
- Low sodium – less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.
- Low cholesterol – less than 20 milligrams of cholesterol and two grams or less of saturated fat per serving.
- Organic – grown free from antibiotics or pesticides.
Get Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals
Poor nutrition is a common cause of a weakened immune response, and a weakened immune system leaves the body vulnerable to virtually every type of illness and disease, especially during seasonal shifts when coughs and colds are rampant. Fatigue, lethargy, repeated infections, slow wound healing, allergies, thrush, colds, and flu are all signs that the body’s immune system is functioning below par. Getting enough rest; eating healthy foods; avoiding excess alcohol, caffeine, and stimulants; exercising; and practicing meditation and introspection are crucial in helping you maintain your optimal health.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables should pay off for your immune system. Fruits and vegetables contain hundreds of phytochemicals that provide many preventative health benefits. They are also excellent sources of carotenoids, which boost the activity of white blood cells called lymphocytes. Beta-carotene (from carrots and elsewhere) can also be converted to vitamin A in your body, an important nutrient for the immune system. Organic fruits and vegetables are always a wise choice.
Natural sources of immune-boosting antioxidants include kiwi fruit, which contains more vitamin C than oranges; Chinese cabbage, an excellent source of vitamin A; and avocado, known as nature’s own super food because it provides the optimal ratio of fat, carbohydrate, protein, and vitamin E. Foods rich in vitamin B6, which boosts the production of antibodies to fight infection, are also good choices. These include bananas, carrots, lentils, tuna, salmon, whole-grain flour, and sunflower seeds. Many people also need to increase their intake of dietary zinc by eating more seafood, eggs, turkey, pumpkin seeds, and crabmeat.
Here are some practical tips for boosting your immune system:
- Take Echinacea when your immune system is weak.
- Consume plenty of vitamin C.
- Eat foods with natural sources of vitamin E.
- Consume folate.
- Choose foods containing flavonoids.
- Consume zinc, iron, and vitamins B6 and B12.
- Eat your omega 3s. A proper balance of the right kind of fat in your diet can boost your immune system. A very high-fat diet can compromise immune function, but a very low-fat diet doesn’t provide adequate amounts of essential fatty acids. Beware: Rapid weight loss of greater than two pounds per week (an amount often recommended by diet programs) can have negative effects on your immune system. If you’re an athlete, you especially want to take care in any weight-reduction plan. Consuming adequate calories is beneficial for your recovery plan. Consuming adequate calories is beneficial for your recovery and energy levels. Diets too low in energy might cause inadequate intake of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. Poorly planned and low-calorie diets can also be low in protein and a low-protein diet can compromise your immune system. To summarize:
- Eat Healthy
- Develop a Good Habit; Eliminate a Bad Habit
- Drink Water
- Read Labels
- Get Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals
And, enjoy your leanness and the summer!
Beth Shaw, E-RYT, BS, CMT, is the president and founder of YogaFit Training Systems Inc. The leader in mind-body education, YogaFit has trained more than 100,000 fitness instructors on six continents. Shaw is an internationally known fitness expert and the author of Beth Shaw’s YogaFit (Human Kinetics, 2009, $17.95) and the publisher of Angles magazine, which is distributed to yoga fitness enthusiasts and instructors. Shaw and her company have been showcased in numerous fitness magazines as well as Oprah’s O magazine, Time, More, Entrepreneur, Yoga Journal, Glamour, Self and USA Today. She has also been featured on CNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, E Style, Channel, Showtime, and Donny Deutsch’s Big Idea.
Ms. Shaw is the innovative educator, entrepreneur, and visionary responsible for YogaFit as well as YogaButt, YogaStrength, YogaCore, YogaLean, and countless other yoga fitness combinations.
She has more than 30 DVDs and CDs on the market and is widely recognized as the premier yoga fitness trainer in the industry.She is also known for her community service initiatives. As an animal rights activist, Shaw serves on the National Council for the Humane Society and is involved in Animal Alliance, Downtown Dog Rescue and sits on the board of Social Compassion in Legislature. Her nonprofit organization, Visionary Women in Fitness, awards scholarships and grants women in need. She lives in Beverly Hills, California.comments powered by Disqus