During a time like this, 24/7 access we have to our refrigerators can be a blessing and a curse.
With the goal of staying happy and healthy, we need to make sure not to neglect our nutrition. It seems like when we are bored, we start giving in to our every craving. While a cheat meal once in a while is normal, it’s all about balance and making sure your body is also getting the nutritious elements of a healthy diet. We are all trying to stay productive, positive and vibrant, but these are all things that cannot be attained unless your body is getting the proper fuel it needs. Keep in mind, everybody and every body is different. We are not medical professionals and you should always go to a physician for nutrition/exercise advice.
So, who else struggles with snacking on empty calories? It was my personal struggle, for sure. When working, studying and doing everything else from home, snacking on a bag of chips time and time again started to become a rather bad habit. Instead, I started to stock up on some frozen blueberries to give me the same satisfaction of being able to snack on a type of finger food, but one that was nourishing my body with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. To avoid reaching for those chips, a good hack is to not buy them at all. You can have a small section of your pantry for your cheat days, but the less packaged junk food you let in your house, the less likely you will be to deny your body the nutrition it needs.
One part of maintaining a balanced diet is making sure to eat at regular intervals and to strategically plan your plates. This simply means eating throughout the day to make sure your metabolism stays alive and active, burning the stubborn fat that you might be trying to get rid of, and most importantly, ensuring that you get the right portions of veggies, lean protein, complex carbs, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. Three main meals and two snacks with three hours in between is a good way to structure your day, given that you were not told to do otherwise by your physician/dietitian.
Another crucial part of ensuring you stay as functional as possible is to stay hydrated. Most of us don’t even realize we are dehydrated until it's too late. A lot of times, our body confuses being hungry with being thirsty. Drinking before and after meals is a good way to try to regulate water intake in addition to the sipping you may do throughout the day. Another tip for healthy drinking habits would be to be aware of the other types of liquids you drink throughout the day.
For example, instead of reaching for that pop, try making some home-made iced tea. When making your drinks at home, certain all-natural sweeteners are a good alternative for using artificial sweeteners. With the pandemic at hand, we need to make sure that our immune systems are stronger than ever. For those who may not be taking vitamin or immune support supplements, try to consciously intake different fruits and vegetables to naturally boost your immune systems.
Pineapples for example are very rich in enzymes, vitamins and minerals and are very versatile as they can be used in salads, on top of home-made pizzas and simply eaten alone. When trying to reach your fitness goals, regardless of what they are, approximately sixty percent of your success, if not more, relies on your diet. Do not let all your efforts go in vain by nullifying all those miles you ran and all those squats you did by not caring about what you put in your body. It’s all about maintaining a balance. Try to do right by your body and your organs by eating right six days a week, but also do right by your soul by allowing yourself to enjoy a banana split Saturday night, guilt free. That type of a recharge will motivate you to stick with your plan, and to be the happiest, healthiest version of yourself that you can be.