Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Diet And Exercise: A Couple of Tips

Eating well is not that hard if it's done right.  Rather than shocking the body with a drastic cut in your food intake, it's much better to get your nutrition without the calories.  That way, the body isn't led to believe that there's a food shortage and it must batten down the hatches by storing fat.  

Social Eating!

One purpose of change in diet should be to get rid of any cravings you have for sweet and/or salty junk food.  Of course, this is very hard to accomplish if you've been eating such food your whole life, which most of us have done.  We know it's bad for us but our physical craving overcomes our knowledge that junk food is bad.  'A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.'

Thus, are you tempted by bag of chips?  A bowl of candy?  A king size chocolate bar?  Fries?  The food spread at a Superbowl party?

If you are at home, you should be able to resist that after a proper fast.  If you're at a party or at a friend's house for a visit, it's much more difficult.  If you are a family gathering or BBQ, it's even more hard to say no!

Treat these events as your indulgence.  It can be like being a social drinker.  If you only drink alcohol at gatherings, treat junk foods the same way.  You can eat them when you're at a social event with other people but not when you're at home or on your own.

Don't do this at home!

The main point is not to deprive yourself of enjoyable food. Eat healthy but have the occasional not-so-healthy treat to satisfy your mental craving. This makes socializing all the more fun!

Here's another tip.  If you like to buy treats such as potato chips or ice cream, don't buy your favorite flavor.  That is, if you prefer salt and vinegar chips over barbecue, but barbecue.  If you would rather have vanilla ice cream over chocolate, then buy chocolate!   You'll still enjoy the chips or ice cream but you'll have less of it.  No need for a second helping!

Avoid or Use Moderation with 'White Foods'

These are mainly processed foods which should be avoided or eaten in moderation.

They include:

a) White bread and white flour

b) Sugar

c) Pasta

d) Dairy (in excess)

e) Processed white rice

Core Exercise

One reason I changed my diet was to reduce the paunch I had in my mid-section. It took 5 inches off that area but I also realized that I had to do core exercises. My workouts were mostly about strength training (bench press, bicep curls) with only a few sit-ups done as an afterthought.

Mistake!  Core is defined as 'a central and often foundational part usually distinct from the enveloping part'.  The core of the body's strength is the foundation of the strength of the legs and arms.

I have been doing various core workouts now, which can be difficult at first if you've neglected the core like I have.  It's get easier and you'll feel a lot better as you go along!  You can try the following 30-day ab challenge to get your core in shape.

Diet and exercise are the hallmarks of good health but they don't have to be such hard work that you give up after a short time.  Any exercise is better than nothing and a diet low on sugar and processed foods will do wonders for the body.  There are many diet books and resources but it's often common sense, moderation and a little effort that will go a long way to better, and soon optimal, health!

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