You are what you eat may be the most commonly used phrase about food. We’ve all heard this phrase, right? Yet, it has never been truer than it is today. For most people, the way that we live today leaves very little time for eating a balanced diet. We are always so busy with work, picking the kids up from school, getting homework done, running errands, and the other tasks that sometimes sticking to a consistent food schedule can be tough. So how can we live a healthy lifestyle when we are always so busy? Let’s work together and find out what should we eat?
1. You Need Variety
Variety does spices up life. Everyone wants to do different things everyday. No one wants to go through life doing the same thing and seeing the same people everyday without ever changing. That can get really boring. Every now and then, you want to change it up. This goes for your diet as well. Don’t allow your taste buds to only eat certain types of foods. Of course, it’s convenient to stick to a regular diet, but make sure that you add in something different every now and then.
If you want your body to work at it’s highest ability, it needs to have many different types of nutrients and substances. As of right now there is not one single food which can fulfill all the things that your body needs. So, if you want to meet your nutritional needs you have to eat many different types of foods in order to get the nourishment that you need.
The key to this is using a healthy mixture of the major food groups, such as beans, milk, grains, fruits, and of course, vegetables.
Once you find the right balance between the food groups you will notice a GREAT difference in your performance and your body will LOVE you for it!
2. Vegan isn’t for Everybody
Vegetables are considered the healthiest food group. If you stick to veggies only, you will not get your fair share of all the nutrients that your body needs to function at its best. For example, meat is the best source of protein and iron, and you would know that both of these are important nutrients. Plus, there are some nutrients, especially vitamin B12, that you can only get from animal sources, so going vegan, or even vegetarian for that matter, is not the perfect solution.While for some people, it does work and it is a very healthy choice, but it’s a not a magical solution.
3. Eats lots of the good types of food
The key to overall health and wellness is maintaining a healthy weight level. As long as you don’t go beyond a normal weight, the risk of health problems is kept to pretty low. So, the first thing you need to do is keep your calorie count to a very low number. The question is, how can do this? First, you have to cut down eating foods that are high in fats. This doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate fat completely from your diet. Your body does need fat, but the good kind. Keep your fat intake to a minimum and it’s a good start.
You should also avoid foods which are high in sugar. Along with foods that have a large amount of fat, sugary foods cause the most damage to your weight level and overall health. So, start by lowering how much sugar you eat. In fact, if possible, remove sugar entirely from your diet.
That sounds crazy, right?
Sugar contains a lot of calories and the more calories you eat, the more weight you may gain. One of the biggest steps you can take in this regard is to stop drinking any type of soda. Make sure that you are not drinking diet sodas either. They have proven more harmful than regular soda.
The main food items that your diet should include veggies, fruits, and grains. They are rich in nutrients and provide your body the substances it requires. In short, these food groups are the key to keeping good health in the long run. Not to mention, if you prepare them right and keep the added ingredients to a minimum, they are low in fat and calories as well. You should also add more fiber-rich foods like broccoli, beans, or brussel sprouts to your diet. Fiber is essential for your digestive system and helps your body process food better. This will allow your body to get rid of all harmful substances and keep only what your body needs.
4. Run from the Bad Types of Food
Equally as important as knowing what you should eat is to know what you shouldn’t eat. As mentioned above, excess fat is bad for your health and weight, so it is a strict no-no. You should also steer clear of foods which are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. They not only increase your risk of weight gain but are harmful to your heart health and can reduce your lifespan. Also, keep your sodium intake to a minimum as it too can increase your risk of hypertension and a host of other major health problems.
Keep these pointers in mind when planning your diet and you will be able to feed your body what it needs to perform like a CHAMPION.
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Professor Mikal Abdullah is a 2nd Degree BJJ Black Belt, veteran, father, philanthropist, and founder of Aces Jiu Jitsu Club. You can find her personal Instagram account with the handle @cerebralbjj or just stop by one of our locations and get a session in!