women

Adopting Healthy Eating Habits (part 1)

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1. Do the Opposite of What You Normally Do

If you are seeking ways to boost your metabolism, struggling with weight issues, and want to improve your overall health, it’s important to adopt healthy eating habits. To do this, you may need to take a close look at the way you’re eating and decide to overhaul your lifestyle. Make the decision to make the following changes—and watch your metabolism skyrocket as a result!

2. Eat Carbohydrates Early in the Day

As carbohydrates are easily metabolized into fat, eat the bulk of your carbohydrates early in the day so your body will have plenty of time to metabolize them. For example, rather than eating a light breakfast and a heavy dinner, eat your heaviest meal for breakfast and your lightest meal at dinnertime. Doing so will not only get your engine going in the morning, you will metabolize the bulk of your daily calories when you’re most active. Help your body burn carbohydrate calories by exercising in the morning or making special efforts to walk throughout the day. Obviously, a body in motion burns more calories than a body at rest.

3. Always Break Your Fast Shortly after Rising

After you’ve slept for eight hours, breakfast breaks that fast. When you do so, you pump up your metabolism by flooding your body with food that your body breaks down into blood sugar—also known as glucose— which your body uses as energy. As a result, those who eat breakfast (as opposed to those who skip it) find it easier to concentrate, solve problems, and have more strength and endurance for activity because their muscles are dining on the glucose that’s just been deposited into the bloodstream. Here are some healthy suggestions to enjoy in the morning:

• Cold cereal with fruit and skim milk

• Bran muffin and a banana

• Hard-boiled egg and grapefruit juice

• Yogurt with fruit or low-fat granola cereal

• Peanut butter on whole-wheat toast and an orange

• Instant oatmeal with raisins or berries

• Breakfast smoothie (blend fruit and skim milk)

• Low-fat cottage cheese and peaches

4. Eat a High-Fiber Breakfast to Lower Fat Consumption

If you think breakfasts are unhealthy, maybe you need to rethink what you’re eating. A doughnut and coffee aren’t going to start your day off right, but what about eggs, whole-wheat toast, and a small salad or piece of fruit? By eating a high-fiber breakfast, you can stay fuller for longer, and it will help you not reach for that sugary snack in the office kitchen or in the pantry. Research has shown that eating a high-fiber, low-fat breakfast can result in a lower fat intake for the entire day, which helps your metabolism because it can use the fat already stored in your body for energy. If you can’t stand the thought of eating breakfast, start out with something like toast or fruit and bring a snack with you for later in the morning when you get hungry.

5. Don’t Skip Meals

One of the worst things you can to your metabolism is skip meals. By doing so, you slow your metabolism. Your body thinks it is going into starvation mode and needs to conserve energy by storing fat, even though you’re trying to lose weight. Aggravating, we know. But also consider that by skipping one potentially healthy meal, you may later overeat and throw off your day’s calorie intake altogether. So, instead of skipping meals, do the opposite—eat well-balanced meals and snack on healthy foods throughout the day. This will help boost your metabolism instead of bringing it to a standstill.

6. Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable

In addition to the types of fuel you put into your body, your energy can be directly linked to the amount of energy you put (or don’t put) into your body and the timing of it. Nutrition, as you know, is all about fueling the body for optimum function. Many Americans have become so preoccupied with weight loss that they have lost sight of the main event: You need food and glucose—the energy source found in food—to live. If you don’t give your body glucose through balanced meals, your metabolism will slow down and your sugar cravings will increase. When blood sugar dips too low, your brain thinks it’s starving. This is why you end up craving high-sugar foods; since most high-sugar foods are also high-fat foods, desperation eating packs a double caloric whammy. Well-timed and well-balanced meals will boost your metabolism because you won’t be hungry as often, making you less likely to reach for non-nutritious foods.

7. Avoid Social Eating

We are all at our most vulnerable when eating in social situations. At parties, after one cocktail in the midst of conversation, we’ll find ourselves accepting hors d’oeuvres one after another, and then eating whatever is put on our plates, including dessert. To spare yourself, eat healthy food, especially protein, before you go to the party, and then stick to nonalcoholic, low-calorie beverages. This will lower your susceptibility to eat or drink more than you intend. It is possible to avoid social eating, but it takes a lot of discipline and commitment to health. Find what works for you, and go with it.

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