To get healthy you do not need to reinvent the wheel. Although, you would think so with all these fad diets, weight loss pills, cleanses, detoxes, and "lose weight quick" programs. It's really not that complicated to achieve a healthier lifestyle. It involves making a motivated decision to do such, then taking the appropriate steps to make it happen. You just need to think like the type of person you want to be. So it's no secret, a healthy lifestyle involves eating well and being physically active. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right? What in the world does that mean anyway? There are so many messages out there that it complicates the goal. You know what you want to do, but the picture is blurry. It's confusing. So here's a simple way to look at what it means to eat well and be physically active.
Simply put, eating well is eating food as close to the form from which it grows. Yes, sure you can cook it just be sure not to overcook it. The message here is eat whole food. Eat oranges that look and taste like oranges. Green beans that look and taste as close to the way they were just before harvesting. Eating whole food allows you to consume all the nutrients the food has to offer the way it is intended to be offered: all together. Basically, your body likes food better that way. When we start breaking down food into particles of what it once was and consume just those particles (i.e. highly processed food), our bodies respond differently and unfavorably resulting in inflammation. Inflammation is your immune system all revved up. Long-term inflammation can lead to diseases like heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack), diabetes (type 2), and certain cancers. Diets heavy in highly processed foods can also lead to being overweight or obese. With that, shift your focus to eating more plants: fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. If you choose to consume meat, try decreasing the amount and frequency you eat it with more focus on lean poultry and seafood. Red meat and processed meat should be avoided when possible as these also cause inflammation.
Okay so easy enough, healthy eating in a couple of sentences, and now let's focus on increasing physical activity. Again, it does not have to involve a ton of intense planning and education. So here's the premise: find activities you enjoy then do them as often as you can. Skate, bike, swim, walk, run, box, hop scotch, jump rope. Whatever! Discover some verbs you find enjoyable then get to the action. You may find you enjoy structured exercise regimes and classes. Awesome! Then do those! It really does not matter the activity. All that really matters is you're doing it, you're enjoying it, and with that, you'll do it again. That's it. It's that simple. Add in simple additional physical activity like climbing stairs instead of using an elevator or escalator, carrying your groceries to the car when feasible instead of using the cart, and parking further away from the entrance when you feel comfortable doing such. Turn on your favorite tunes and dance! Just get moving and don't think too much about it. As in, you don't necessarily have to make plans to be physically active, just be physically active. Just like that.
To summarize the uncomplicated way to get healthy:
Eat plant-based whole food
Decrease meat intake and when consuming meat focus on lean poultry and seafood.
Avoid highly processed foods (little to no whole food ingredients, high in at least one of the following: sugar, salt/sodium, and fat).
Find physical activities you enjoy.
Stick to It:
Eat well in a way that you enjoy it. Plant-based cuisine can be as simple, creative, or both as you like. Season your food in a way you like (caution with sodium and read labels on seasoning mixes)
Get active with physical things that you actually like to do. Do not put too much thought into it. Just get moving doing something you enjoy as often as you can.
The experiences should be enjoyable and easy, so it's a no-brainer to continue on.
That's it! Uncomplicated.
Always striving to help,
If you're looking for help getting started or continuing your journey, check out www.getfitward.com