Monday, November 5, 2012
ABC's Of Getting Fit!
A is for Alcohol - Though it has been suggested that drinking one glass of alcohol a day (for both men and women) has it's health benefits (ie- reducing the risks of heart disease) : alcohol is packed with calories and increases your appetite. If you must drink, try to keep it to one and something such as red wine.
B is for Buddies - Humans are social by nature. When you have a buddy that has the same fitness goals as you, you motivate each other. Programs like Fit Friends and having a work out buddy is crucial to staying on track.
C is for Calcium - Calcium is a crucial nutrient that fuels the human body, aids with bone and dental strength amongst many other benefits such as: preventing obesity, PMS, kidney stones and colon cancer. Be sure to drink your (almond) milk!
D is for Density - Eating a diet rich in nutrient dense foods (foods with a higher nutrient content than caloric content) will set you up for fitness success! (A few examples of these foods are asparagus, spinach, brown rice, almonds, black beans, cod and tofu.)
E is for Eat - One in 200 women in America suffer from anorexia, whereas 2 in 300 women are believed to suffer from bulimia. Starving your body of foods and nourishment is a death sentence and the exact opposite of getting in shape. It's hard to remind yourself of this, especially with the pressure women are under to look like celebrities. Mama's Got A Big Belly! is focused on living healthy and taking care of your body, not trying to look thin.
F is for Fiber - Fiber not only "keeps you regular" but is also contributes for lowering your risk of diabetes. There are two types of fiber- insoluble fiber (pushes your stools through your digestive system) and soluble fiber (lowers glucose and cholesterol levels.) Fiber rich foods include flax seed, peas, legumes, apples, bananas, most green leafy vegetables and whole wheat, plus many more!
G is for Grapes - Yes, the delicious, sweet fruit that is plum full with health benefits! Grapes contain vitamins A, C, B6 and follate as well as other nutrients and antioxidants. Grapes also aid with constipation, indigestion, migraines, asthma and heart disease!
H is for Hydration - More than 60% of human bodies are made of water, so it only makes sense that staying hydrated is key to getting in shape! Doctors recommend drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day, especially if you drink caffeine (with dehydrates you!) Hydration keeps your bodily functions (digestive tract) moving, as well as clearer skin and helping with energy! Drink up!
I is for Individual Responsibility - You are in control of your destiny! Until this fact is realized, getting in shape (and every other part of your life) will not be in your hands. "You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of." -Jim Rohn
J is for Journal - A study suggests that keeping a food journal can double weight loss. Writing down daily what you put into your body allows you to become aware of exactly what you are feeding yourself. Get creative, create an instagram account that is dedicated only to pictures of your meals, start an online journal, a blog, there are many apps like this one from Livestrong that can help you visualize what you are consuming.
K is for Kale - One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. This an amazing leafy green that you can eat raw, cooked or in smoothies!
L is for Legumes - Beans, peas, lentils are examples of legumes. Legumes are high protein and low in fat and cholesterol. (For example, one cup of cooked lentils contains 18 grams of protein and only .75 grams of fat! Amazing!)
M is for Matcha - Japaneese Matcha Green Tea is a super food- unlike regular green tea, matcha allows you to ingest the entire green tea leaf. This tea boost energy with 35g of natural, green caffeine per serving, contains 318 mg of fiber, is rich in chlorophyll which aids in detoxing the body and boosts your metabolism!
N is for Nuts - Make nuts a regular part of your snacking now! Almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts help to lower cholesterol and are packed with protein!
O is for Overcome Fears - Often times people are afraid of failing, which is completely understandable. But, if you never start something, how can you finish? Overcoming your fears in regards to getting in shape is one of the key first steps in healthy living!
P is for Protein - Lean protein is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet. Did you know that the optimal time for protein intake is in the morning? By starting your day off with protein rich foods, your body will feel fuller, longer!
Q is for Quinoa - Quinoa is a gluten free "grain" that is rich in nutrients-- though grain is used rather lightly because quinoa comes from the same food family as chard, spinach and beets!
R is for Replacement Shakes - I know! It sounds completely unappealing but protein rich, meal replacement shakes are a great way to lose weight while not compromising the nutrients that your body needs. I often drink a protein shake in the morning with a banana or some toast. Not to mention that protein shakes can boost your metabolism by 25%.
S is for Stress - When a person is stressed, their body releases something called "cortisol" (the stress hormone!). When your body is releasing too much cortisol, weight gain occurs because your body cannot keep it's energy levels up to burn fat. It is also worth mentioning that external factors that come along with stress (not just biological!) can effect healthy living- stress eating, anyone? Take time to meditate, pray and keep those stresses down!
T is for Take Time Daily - You must make time for yourself every day and do something you love. Whether that's watching a favorite television show, reading a book, getting your hair done, taking a long bath- do something for YOURSELF!
U is for Understanding - Stay away from the scale as much as you can and understand that getting in shape doesn't happen over night and takes time and dedication! Also understand that muscles weighs more than fat, so you may see a decrease in your inches but no budge on the scale!
V is for Variety - You have to make sure you are not eating the same thing every day, doing the same exercises, ect. because the monotony will bore you! There are plenty of activities and healthy foods to give you something different every day!
W is for Whole Foods -Whole Foods are foods that are in their "natural state." (AKA- unprocessed!) Fruits, vegetables, whole wheat and (organic) meat are all considered "whole foods." As to be expected, processed foods are linked to cancer and obesity.
X is for X Out eXcuses - Do not allow yourself to say things like, "I'll just start tomorrow," or "I'm too out of shape to start going to the gym." Today is just as good a time as any, and how do you think you get in shape? By getting your butt to the gym!
Y is for Yoga - Yoga is a practice that focuses on both mind and body through physical poses and breathing. Physically, the poses, called postures, increase strength and flexibility. Yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years!
Z is for Z's - You have to sleep! Lack of sleep produces the stress hormone cortisol (that tricky guy seems to appear whenever he can), as well as slowing down your metabolism. It is recommend that adults get between 7-8 hours of sleep a night.