Healthy eating habits most important in weight control
I must admit right off the bat that I come from a thin family. I have thin genes and a high metabolism. However, the older I get, the more I realize that the healthy eating habits my mother instilled in me as a child are what have kept me healthy and thin my entire life: low blood pressure, low cholesterol, low BMI. I've never been on a crash diet. In fact, I've never been on a diet at all. I must admit right off the bat that I come from a thin family. I have thin genes and a high metabolism. However, the older I get, the more I realize that the healthy eating habits my mother instilled in me as a child are what have kept me healthy and thin my entire life: low blood pressure, low cholesterol, low BMI. I've never been on a crash diet. In fact, I've never been on a diet at all. I don't believe in diets. What I do believe in is eating - well, I love to eat!
Almost all naturally thin people I know love to eat as well, and here's the secret: they listen to what their bodies have to tell them. When you are hungry, you should eat. When you are full, you should stop eating. Avoid "cleaning your plate" just because there is more food on it. This American "clean plate" ideal, I think, stems from our grandparent's suffering throughout the Great Depression in this country. My grandparents never got over it. Wasting food is a terrible thing, so why not just make smaller portions?
Often times, thin people live and eat very differently than people who are constantly struggling with their weight because they refuse to starve themselves and they are able to eat in moderation. They have also learned the skills for eating well from their families. Or the opposite; they may have intentionally moved away from the unhealthy eating patterns of their upbringing. Naturally thin people have also learned what fuels their body and what makes them feel lethargic or sluggish. Sadly, many people living in this wealthy nation, African Americans and others alike, don't know what eating healthy means. This is especially crucial regarding our growing epidemic of childhood obesity in this nation.
A quick metabolism will only get you so far. A great deal of men and women realize this in their thirties and forties as they begin packing on the pounds yet don't know why. The fast food eating habits of their youth just are not cutting it anymore. It's best to change these bad habits early on.
There are some amazing doctor designated "Superfoods" that can change our health for the better. These foods fuel the body, prevent disease and aid in weight loss.
The list below gives examples of what you should be fueling your body with on a daily basis:
* Spinach: It's no wonder Popeye gulped down an entire can of this when he needed strength. Providing more nutrients per inch than any other food, the list of its goodness is endless -- vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, K, calcium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber.
* Blueberries: Chock full of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids (cancer fighters), vitamin C and potassium. Blueberries lower risk of heart disease and cancer and are anti-inflammatory. Eat a handful every day; frozen blueberries are fine, too.
* Raw Almonds: Protein, calcium, vitamin B and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats make these wonder foods so important. I eat a handful almost every day. They need to be raw, though, to carry the good stuff -- more dietary fiber and calcium than any other nut.
* Yogurt: Read your labels; buy organic with cane sugar, not the high fructose stuff. I've also read that the low-fat yogurt contains more sugar, so perhaps stick to the original variety for balance. This "Superfood" is a natural fat burner. The live cultures (acidophilus) active in yogurt are said to fortify the immune system, aid in digestion and help you live longer.
* Omega 3 rich fish: Salmon is my favorite. These "Superfoods" are good for the heart, joints and memory.
* Green tea: ECGC, only found in green tea, is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in various international studies as well as acting as a natural fat burner. If you can buy this pungent stuff in a powder y