A healthy diet isn't just about what you can't eat--lose weight, reduce your appetite and improve your health with these five oldies but goodies.
Celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin has valuable tips that are easy to incorporate into your diet.
1. WaterAdd eight or more glasses of pure spring water into your daily diet in between meals. This will help you feel full in between meals as quite often hunger pangs are just thirst pangs in disguise. Your body is 83% water; you need it for every metabolic process including digestion, detoxifying and burning fat. Even mild dehydration(2%) raises stress hormones and impairs performance. The recommended eight glasses is the standard but if you are in a hot, muggy climate or sweating a lot you may need even more or an electrolyte replacement drink.
2. Green tea
This mighty tea contains powerful antioxidants, is calming (due to its theanine content which helps boost the calming neurotransmitter GABA), and may boost metabolism and decrease appetite.
The average American eats 10-14 grams of fiber a day. Increase your intake up to 50 grams per day over several days, and you will notice that you stay fuller longer and your blood sugar stays more stable (no big energy dumps mid-morning and afternoon). Great high fiber options are flaxseed meal, black beans, apples, raspberries and a small handful of raw almonds.
4. Non-starchy veggies
Are you getting in your 5-10 servings a day? If not, this is one of the easiest ways to fill up and get a load of vitamins along with it. Non-starchy veggies (i.e. no potatoes, corn, beets or peas) are high in fiber, low in calories and loaded with phytonutrients. This is one item you can't overeat (unless of course you are eating them deep fried or covered in a cheesy, creamy sauce!).
5. Lean protein
Chicken and turkey breast, whey protein, and cold water fish are all great sources of protein that should be included at all three meals. Protein increases satiety, which helps you feel fuller longer, so you will eat less at your next meal.
Put this plan into action by:
• Carrying a water bottle to drink from in between meals
• Starting your day with a large green tea
• Make sure you always have a few non-starchy vegetable servings at lunch and dinner--and are getting some fiber and protein in at every meal.
You will be amazed at your sustained energy levels--and you may even see a favorable change on the scale without ever going on a 'diet'!
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