kieferpix - adobe.stock.com
How To Stay Fit While Still Eating Your Favorite Foods
January 13, 2020
Think you need to eliminate your favorite foods just because you’re on a fitness plan? Nope! Not at all. In fact, you shouldn’t. Here’s the secret—it’s all about how you eat instead of what you eat. There are easy ways for you to still indulge in your favorite pasta, pizza, and ice cream without worrying about throwing off your progress. Here’s how to incorporate your sinful foods into your daily routine without feeling any guilt or regression.
Switch up the Order of Eating Your Meal
On a dinner plate full of veggies, protein, and carbs, start by eating the vegetables and protein first, then finish with the pasta or bread. By eating in this order, you’ll fill up quicker and stay full for longer thanks to the fiber-rich veggies and satiating protein. Since you’ll feel full from the protein and veggies, you’ll be less tempted to overindulge on the calorie-heavy carbohydrates. Limiting your carbohydrate intake will help keep your blood sugar levels from rapidly rising as well
Drink Tons of Water
Drinking water and staying hydrated is beneficial in so many ways. And by drinking an ample amount each day (aiming for 72 ounces or more), it can help raise your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn off calories more quickly. If it’s part of your regular routine, you can be rest assured your body is happy, hydrated, and burning calories like a machine.
Be as Active as Possible Throughout Your Day
No matter what your normal fitness routine is, try and incorporate as much additional physical activity in your day as possible. Walk to the store instead of drive. Take the stairs at work or school. Set an alarm to get up from your desk every half hour and do some squats. Whatever it takes—keep your body moving throughout the day. Not only is it great for your heart health, but it will also help boost your metabolism allowing you to not feel guilty for having that pastry.
Make Sure You Know What a Real Portion Is
One of the easiest ways to go overboard when it comes to eating your favorite foods is overdoing it on the portion size. A portion of pasta at a restaurant is usually enough to feed a family of four, so just because it came in one bowl, doesn’t mean you should eat it all. As far as chocolate and sweets go, those calories can quickly add up without you even realizing it. Did you know just five dark chocolate Hershey Kisses have about 100 calories? So, don’t be afraid to satisfy your cravings, just be aware of how much you’re consuming.
Aim for 7-8 Hours of Sleep Every Night
A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your entire system—including your metabolism. When your brain and body don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, the production of hormones responsible for appetite suppression and metabolism decreases—making it more tempting to overeat, to eat foods that aren’t the healthiest choices, and also making it harder on your body to burn off the fat and calories. So, get those Zs and your body will thank you.
Snack on Healthy Foods
Heck yes, you can snack while you’re trying to get in shape. Actually, by doing so, you’ll keep your metabolism burning at its max throughout the day. Here’s the catch—you should only be snacking on healthy foods. By snacking on healthy foods like fruit, nuts, or pretzels and peanut butter, it will help prevent you from overindulging when you order that delicious meal at your favorite restaurant for dinner. Basically, don’t turn snacks into ‘indulgent moments.’
Swap for Low-calorie or Healthier Versions of Your Favorite Foods
Another great way to still enjoy the gratifying foods you love without feeling like you’re taking two steps back is to simply prepare it differently. Love pizza? Opt for a thin crust or swap out meats for more veggies. Is chocolate your vice? Instead of eating milk chocolate which tends to have more sugar and higher calories, go for dark chocolate which also has antioxidants. There are lots of ways to prepare your most gluttonous foods in healthier ways—and most of the time you can’t even tell much of a difference.
Your fitness progress and exercise program don’t need to be all baked chicken breasts and steamed broccoli. Enjoy yourself! As long as you’re staying on track most of the time with a healthy eating regimen, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your favorite meals and treats from time to time.
Written by Ashley Brewer for Knockaround.