11 steps to help make you health­ier and hap­pier

Society Magazine - - Fitness - By Robert Ro­driguez

While the idea of cut­ting out carbs and tack­ling the tread­mill ev­ery day may seem daunt­ing, that’s not the only way to be­come healthy and happy, says Dina Juve, one of Fresno’s lead­ing health and fit­ness pro­fes­sion­als. Juve, co-owner of Fit­nessSo­cial, of­fers a more bal­anced ap­proach to food and ex­er­cise. She is liv­ing proof that change is pos­si­ble. As a young adult she weighed 202 pounds and ate mostly fast food. Af­ter hav­ing a child, she re­al­ized she needed to make a change. She be­gan eat­ing bet­ter and ex­er­cis­ing more. Over time, she dropped 90 pounds.

Her weight these days ranges be­tween 110-114 and Juve says she’s a lot hap­pier. Be­fore em­bark­ing on a change in your diet, ask your­self why you are do­ing it. If you can dig deeper than just van­ity, you are more likely to be suc­cess­ful. If you don’t know why you are do­ing it, chances are you won’t con­tinue to truly live a healthy lifestyle. If you are do­ing it to feel bet­ter, have more en­ergy, for health rea­sons, to be around for your chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, etc., then you stand a bet­ter chance of suc­cess.

Drink wa­ter. Ev­ery sys­tem in your body de­pends on wa­ter. Juve rec­om­mends drink­ing 16 ounces of wa­ter be­fore each meal and snack to keep it sim­ple. On av­er­age, try drink­ing 48 to 96 ounces of wa­ter per day. Juve says she finds that when her clients have wa­ter be­fore eat­ing, they tend to eat less.

Stick to whole, real food. Avoid foods that are heav­ily pro­cessed or con­tain large amounts of ar­ti­fi­cial sweet­en­ers, dyes or chem­i­cals. Think fresh fruits, veg­eta­bles, com­plex car­bo­hy­drates, and an­i­mal- and plant­based pro­teins.

Add healthy fats from fish, av­o­cado, olives, nuts and trop­i­cal oils. Nuts have a lot of health ben­e­fits and help you lose fat by im­prov­ing me­tab­o­lism, bal­anc­ing hor­mones and elim­i­nat­ing constant crav­ings by keep­ing you feel­ing full longer. Healthy fat calo­ries do add up quickly, so be mind­ful of por­tion sizes if you are try­ing to lose weight. If you crave some­thing, eat it guilt free just don’t overdo it. Eat the serv­ing size, en­joy it, savour it and be done with it. If your in­dul­gence doesn’t sat­isfy you, ask your­self why. Are there other things go­ing on in your life that need to be ad­dressed? Avoid cat­e­go­riz­ing foods with words like good or bad. Neg­a­tive words make you feel bad about your­self and that’s not help­ful. Aim to eat foods that give you en­ergy and not make you slug­gish. Mind your eat­ing. Eat when you are hun­gry and do not eat when you are not. We have got­ten into a rou­tine of eat­ing on a sched­ule, even when we are not ac­tu­ally hun­gry, or we skip meals. Try lis­ten­ing to your body. When you pay at­ten­tion to your body, you will find your­self fu­el­ing your body and us­ing that fuel be­fore you eat again. Slow down when you eat. Try to take 20-30 min­utes to eat a meal. Put your sil­ver­ware down be­tween bites. Try to chew your food fully. You will most likely find your­self eat­ing less. Try to not eat when you are stressed, anx­ious, an­gry or rushed be­cause this can be the cause of overeat­ing. Aim to eat the rain­bow by adding more fruits and veg­eta­bles. The more col­or­ful your plate looks the more ap­pe­tiz­ing it will ap­pear to your eyes. It will also most likely en­sure that you will re­ceive the vi­ta­mins and min­er­als your body needs.

Yes, you can still eat out and have the body you de­sire. You just have to bal­ance it like a check­ing ac­count. If you overeat the debt will show up on your body. A healthy eat­ing lifestyle has va­ri­ety and it in­cludes oc­ca­sional in­dul­gences. You know you have the plan that works best for you when you feel, move and look your very best. It re­ally is not as hard as it seems.

Be re­al­is­tic about ex­er­cise. Don’t start out too fast, or you will quit as soon as you started. If you are do­ing noth­ing make it a goal to go for a 20-30-minute walk three times a week. If you are work­ing out three times per week add in an ad­di­tional day. Keep adding in in­cre­ments. Even­tu­ally aim to be phys­i­cally ac­tive at least 30-60 min­utes a day. If you are re­ally ac­tive, make sure you take a rest day.

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