There is a lot information about how to stay in shape. In my opinion, if you practice these 7 habits of fit people consistently, you will stay fit for life (in the worst case, you won’t gain any additional weight). All it takes is common sense and a desire to be healthy. Losing weight and not gaining it is a by-product of making good choices everyday. Here are the basic ones:
1. Sleep. It is essential for reducing stress hormones and cravings for more calories.
2. Consume protein first. Eating protein first helps with a steady rise and fall in blood sugar instead of rapid peaks of highs and lows associated with simple carbohydrates like pasta, bread, candy, etc.
3. Avoid foods with refined carbs. As mentioned in the previous point, refined carbohydrates spike your blood sugar and your body deals with it aggressively. First, insulin is released to deal with an increased blood sugar level and then as your sugar level falls off you will have symptoms of weakness, lethargy and a desire for your next sugar fix. Such vicious cycles eventually lead to insulin resistance and then diabetes.
4. Avoid foods with high saturated fats. Saturated fats have a lot of calories but they don’t metabolize as well as unsaturated ones. Diets high in saturated fats compromise your cardiovascular health as they increase the risk of fatty plaques on your vessels.
5. Avoid high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is worse than processed refined carbs because not only does it spike your blood sugar, it leaves you craving for more.
6. Limit beverages with caffeine and eliminate caloric carbonated beverages. Caffeine alters your blood sugar and may leave you feeling weak. As you feel weak you are more likely to reach for sugary foods to make you feel better. Also, remember that caffeine interferes with your sleep. Make sure you avoid it post 2-3pm. And if you don’t sleep soundly, your body will crave for fatty and sugary foods the next day.
7. Make physical activity everyday priority. It makes you feel and look better and it also curbs your appetite. Conduct your physical activity in the morning, or budget your energy throughout the day to leave plenty to fit exercise, of any kind, into your day.