Whether you are an avid athlete or a chronic couch potato, this fairly easy dietary regimen should give you a good push in the right direction. Pair it with some regular exercise and a positive attitude, and you could be well on your way to the best shape of your life!
Tip #1: Give up soda.
It’s true soda is full of empty calories. Sure, it may help you to stay awake at work, but it can also corrode your teeth and increase your waistline’s girth without warning. Sugary drinks impact the acidity of saliva, which quickly increases the likelihood of cavities. Furthermore, continuous consumption of soda and other super-sugary beverages can impact your digestive process.
If you can’t give up soda, at least decrease the amount of soda that you drink in a given day. Try to treat soda as just that a treat. Have one glass a day with lunch or dinner, and drink ice water or spring water for the remainder of the day. Water is great for your body, helps to flush out toxins, and keeps you hydrated. That’s a lot more than we can say for soda!
Tip #2: Pass up salty, greasy fast food.
Believe me, as a French fry-aholic, I feel your pain. As a cross country runner in high school, I gave up eating fast food at all my favorite chain restaurants. I don’t think I ate a single French fry or chicken McNugget for six months or more. And how could I forget, when my running season was over and I indulged myself in an Extra Value Meal, my stomach cried out in pain for all the greasy chow dumped into it after months on a healthy diet.
Again, if you can’t give up the fast food, try to limit the amount you consume. You can pair your cheeseburgers with salads or fruit cup, or, you can consider switching to a healthier alternative like a deli sandwich or wrap.
Tip #3: Shut out the sugar.
Like I should talk here, being a self-proclaimed chocoholic. But without a doubt, I eat five or ten times as much candy now as I did during my high school sports seasons. Now, ten years later it is ten times tougher to prevent those sugar calories from sticking on my tummy, legs, and hips. What’s a girl to do?
During those months of training for my races, I gave up ice cream and 90 percent of the candy I used to eat. I also chowed down on healthier snacks, like carrot sticks and crackers when I got hungry. Try cutting out the majority of your sweet indulgences and treat yourself to just one (OK, or two) sugary treats a day. A small candy bar, a single brownie, two cookies give yourself a limit and stick to it. If you feel especially motivated and determined, try to give up the sugary snacks completely for a few days a week.
Tip #4: Stop eating before bed.
Without a doubt, eating and sleeping should not go together as blissfully as they do. Eating makes us feel full and being full is akin to satisfied. Satisfied equals comfortable, and comfortable often leads right to sleep. But, if you limit yourself to eating dinner and all snacks prior to a certain time, you can help prevent those extra pounds from sneaking on late at night.
Sure, it’s all right to get a midnight snack once in a while, or to indulge at a friend’s party or other social engagement. The big idea is to work out a routine of eating before it gets to be late at night. Stick to the schedule as best as you can, and be sure to eat three balanced meals a day.
Tip #5: Exercise!
Adhering to the right kind of diet should help you initially, but exercise does the body good in so many ways. Whether you like to walk, jog, run, bike, swim, go to the gym, or do exercise videos, exercise is critical to keeping your body in the kind of shape you crave. Fitness is good for your body, mind, and soul. Paired with the right kind of diet, a regular regimen of exercise can really work wonders on any body!
Remember, everybody’s body is different. What works for me may not work as well for you, and vice versa. Whatever the case, cutting some of the sugary sodas out of your diet and working out on a regular basis should bring positive results.