1: Go Whole Grain
Consume three or more 1oz. servings of whole-grain products per day, along with three servings of enriched grains. Whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease, and fiber promotes healthy bowel function.
2: Eat Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium protects our bones and helps our heart to beat, our blood to clot, and our muscles to contract. Consume two cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. Other reliable sources of calcium include nuts (especially almonds), rhubarb, and dark, leafy greens.
3: Limit Your Saturated and Trans Fats Intake
Trans fats lower ‘good’ cholesterol, raise ‘bad cholesterol’, and have been linked to increased risk of heart disease. Look for foods labelled as low or no trans fats.
4: Get Active
Engaging in regular physical activity and reducing sedentary activities promotes good physical and psychological health and will help you maintain healthy muscle mass and body weight. It’s been proven that exercise can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as increase energy and libido levels.
5: …But Balance Your Exercise and Diet
Make sure you aren’t taking in more calories than you’re using or burning. In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories that you eat. Implement this carefully though; skimping on calories and engaging in intense exercise can lead to symptoms like headaches, nausea, and fainting.
6: Size DOES Matter
Obviously your best bet is to cut sweets, junk food, and sugar (basically everything that isn’t whole foods) our of your diet completely. But if you’ve got a serious sweet tooth or your just feel like rewarding yourself a little bit, buy your ‘cheat’ foods in small quantities. This will ensure that you only indulge once, not multiple times (especially if you’re a binge eater), and help you stay on your healthy eating path.