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Weight loss begins and ends with burning more calories than you take in. This is the exact reason why your diet and your workout routine can work with or against one another. Eat too much or make poor food choices and no amount of exercise is going to make a difference. Sure, you might drop a pound from time to time, but you won’t be doing it healthily.
How to Eat Right
I get it, not everyone knows how to eat right. What is eating right anyway? Does it mean eating three meals a day? Does it mean going on a vegan diet?
Actually, a healthy diet can mean different things to different people. While a plant-based diet may work for some (increasing their overall health, as well as helping them naturally lose weight), it might not be right for everyone. However, a plant-based diet can assist in weight loss with minimal physical activity (this has been proven by science and by people that follow this type of healthy diet plan).
Not ready to let go of meat and dairy? Still like eggs? You need to make some choices. Our addiction to sugar is one of the things that keeps us from losing weight. In America, they put sugar in almost everything (including bread).
So, here are the things you can work on:
- Cut refined sugar: If you’re craving sweets, pick something with natural sugar. Pass on the candy and eat a strawberry.
- Avoid fad diets: Fads comes and go, and they promote weight gain again after your weight loss. This yo-yo weight change increases your risk of heart disease.
- Make your own juice: Most store-bought juice has extra sugar added. Even if it doesn’t, 100 percent juice usually means that it’s made mostly of the cheapest juice available (like cherry juice made mostly of apple and grape juice).
- Snack smart: Learn that you don’t need a snack every time you think you’re hungry. Use snacks as a way to make it to the next meal, when you’re actually hungry, and then pick smart snacks like nuts.
- Try plant-based once in awhile: Meatless Mondays is a great thing to start with.
- Cut fried foods: Grill foods, cook them in a pan with a healthy oil (like olive oil), and/or bake them. Replace that fatty flavor from frying with some healthy herbs.
- Eat more vegetables: Always fill your plate a third of the way full with vegetables.
- Pay attention to portions: Meat portions are about the size of a deck of cards. Ignore portions for veggies, but pay attention to the packaging for everything else.
Look at these as individual things you can do, and it helps make it less overwhelming. Snacking on fruits instead of candy is a good start, as is filling your plate with veggies and having veggies with every meal.
Where Fitness Comes In
While you can lose weight without working out (surprisingly, you burn calories even when you’re sleeping), you’re more likely to lose it steadily if you do workout. Working out doesn’t have to be painful, nor does it have to take up a ton of time.
You should get some physical activity each day—for 20 minutes, at least. That could be light exercise or something more intense, depending on what you’re striving for when it comes to your health and body image.
Here are some things you can do to get more physical activity:
- Ride your bike or walk to the store.
- Play some Wii games that promote fitness.
- Take the dog for a walk.
- Go for a hike at the local park.
- Rake the yard or shovel snow.
- Take a run or a jog.
- Invest in workout videos (and use them).
Fitness and a healthy diet are essential for overall health. Yes, you do only live once—but do you want the health and energy to enjoy that life? If you do, use these tips to help you get on the path to a healthy lifestyle.