As the summer slowly approaches and we take off more layers of clothes, we realize that the winter did some damage to our bodies. The holiday season with rich foods, then the cold weather that doesn’t motivate us to get out and exercise---and now we are reaping the products of several “naughty” months. It is time to refocus and start working on getting back to our fitter and leaner Self.
Don’t do any drastic diets and prolonged starvation periods, rather focus on the long-term benefit of being light, healthy and energetic. Add small changes to your current life style, and perfect them as time goes while you are feeling lighter and better. You will be more motivated to add more changes. Start simple:
- Quit any unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, and usage of pharmaceuticals for pleasure.
- Quit eating fast foods, highly processed foods, and sugar-loaded snacks.
- Learn how to deal with stress daily. You can learn how to meditate, do tai-chi or yoga, start jogging, or pick up a dance class. Find what you will enjoy the most and do it daily.
- Eat mindfully. Focus on what you are eating rather than socializing, talking on phone, or watching TV. Treasure each bite of your food.
- If you like sweets (and many of us do), find sweets that are not processed and full of added sugar and chemicals. Enjoy your favorite fruit or home made, all natural baked goods instead.
- Limit eating in the restaurants if you can. You really don’t know what is put in your meal behind the closed doors, and maybe you don’t want to know. But there is definitely more fat and sugars in your meal that you can imagine. Learn how to prepare your meals at home. You can make it simple, yet delicious.
- Socialize actively. Instead of meeting in the restaurant or a bar, why don’t you go for a walk, hike, or get together in beautiful nature. No food or drinks are necessary for a productive meeting.
- Enjoy the precious times with your family, kids, dogs, and friends. You will feel happy and fulfilled---no need of going to food as an exchange for your happiness.
- Move your body more in a sense of strength training---no gym or equipment necessary. Do a few push-ups, lunges, squats, planks and other body exercises. You will become strong, subtle, and flexible and feel great.
If you have some rising health issues (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc) you should consider becoming even more radical with your eating: become a vegan. Unfortunately, too often “vegan” sounds like a cult to many people, and that’s why I prefer to use the expression plant-based diet instead. The more health issues you have, the lower fat you should consume. Read a few inspiring books on reversing chronic diseases:
- The China Study by doctor Campbell
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by doctor Esselstyn
- The Starch Solution by doctor McDougall
You may not have enough time to have a six-pack on your abs by this summer, but I think it is a much better approach to do it for your long-term health and well-being. You will soon notice the bursts of extra energy and that will motivate you even more.
To your health, eat your plants.