Tested Health and Fitness Tips
Becoming a fittest and most energetic one is a main goal for all of us. However, it is sometimes difficult to find real and proven strategies that work in practice. Do you want to lose weight and become the best version of yourself? Well, we have gathered here a list of top health and fitness tips and tricks that will help you realize your goals fast and with minimal effort.
40 Proven Health and Fitness Tips
1. Eliminate White Foods
Many people struggle to follow strict diets and do strenuous exercises to shed some extra pounds and stay fit but the secret is to eliminate the white foods. White foods are a major cause of overweight persons and obesity.
These include bread, rice, pasta, sugar, flour… to mention a few. They contain refined carbs and empty calories, and cutting these out of your diet will generally help you in losing weight fast and improve your health.
Although foods like egg whites, cauliflower, and fish may be white foods, they are of good health benefits and should not be exempted from your diet.
2. Put Healthy Foods in Your Everyday Life
Every personal trainer agrees that a healthy diet is the most crucial thing that will help you achieve your training goals. Imagine food as fuel to your body – without proper food, you will be depleted of energy. Fruits, vegetables, proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats (flaxseed, fish oil) are a necessary part of a balanced diet.
3. Consume Enough Carbs
Your body will be low on energy if you do not consume enough carbohydrates. However, you should be careful about when and how you are going to eat a meal high on carbs, because otherwise your body may take up all this unused energy and store it in the form of fat.
4. Cut on Calories, Eat More Nutrients
The human brain is wired to prod you to eat until you are full. It is therefore important to watch what you consume. The quality of your food is very important but most people often ignore this and consume more calories than nutrients. Consuming foods high in nutrients is essential, as losing weight isn’t all about cutting on calories.
The New England Journal of Medicine has published a recent study where authors found that certain foods will influence weight gain despite having low calorie content. Foods like French fries, potato chips, sugary drinks, unprocessed & processed meats, sweets, and refined grains are among foods associated with weight gain, having considered age, baseline body mass index, exercise, and sleep duration. However, certain foods like yogurt, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables have been associated with weight loss.
In order to stay fit and healthy, high-fiber foods, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean meats are recommended; and these prevent you from overloading on empty calories when you’re hungry.
Need healthy low calorie meal ideas for weight loss on a budget? Check this post.
5. Don’t Skip Meal Prep
It is important to think in advance, what you will be eating and prepare your meals accordingly. If you always have a healthy meal waiting for you, in your refrigerator or in your bag to the office, you will not be tempted to eat junk food or skip a meal (and overeat later).
6. Pump Up Your Body
You should be eating real food and not a bunch of processed ingredients with names you can’ t pronounce. Nutritional value is the key here. Everything you put inside your body should help it in some way and meet its nutritional needs (proteins, carbs, vitamins, healthy fats). This way, you will get the energy you need in order to exercise optimally.
7. Bask In the Sun
Most people do not like sunrays against their skin. But, sunlight is a major source of vitamin D which enables your body to improve its immunity by absorbing calcium that helps in bone formation and growth. Vitamin D also reduces body inflammation and protects against some forms of cancer through the melanin pigment. According to new research, vitamin D may be of help in weight loss through enhancing the metabolic activity of fat cells and controlling appetite. Therefore, basking in the sun may not sound like such a bad idea.
Nearly 75 percent of Americans are of vitamin D deficiency. Although the recommended daily dose of sunshine is 400 IU, some people may need as much as 1000 IU (you can check with your doctor to find out your daily requirement IU).
Sunlight is the most convenient source of vitamin D and produces UV rays that trigger the synthesis of the vitamin and gets converted in your liver into its active form. Other sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Vitamin D is also available in small amounts in fish liver oils, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
8. Be Mindful About Supplements
There is an opinion circulating around that protein supplements are necessary if you want to gain more muscle fast. If you agree with this theory, you probably are using them now or have used them in the past. Another ingredient that is said to help when training is peppermint.
9. Stay Hydrated
Water is life and is essential for survival. Therefore, drinking enough water daily is necessary in order to boost your metabolism and this helps in weight loss. Drinking water also enables your body to stay hydrated, healthy, and energized.
Most diets require you to drink 6-8 glasses of water but how do you find out exactly the amount of water you should drink in a day?
This can be obtained by measuring your body weight in pounds and dividing the result by two. The figure obtained is the amount of water you should drink every day.
10. Ditch Coffee, Embrace Green Tea
Do you always wake up in the morning and in need of coffee? Why not switch to green tea instead. Green tea has great benefits that enable weight loss and will boost your health.
All-natural green tea contains high concentrations of catechins and antioxidants that enhance your metabolism protecting you against heart diseases and some cancers.
11. Moderate Your Sweet Tooth
Desserts are sometimes avoided due to them being sweet foods that may contain high calories or are eliminated from the meal course because most people are often full from the main course. However, you can still eat your dessert but in moderation.
Try consuming your dessert two hours after finishing your meal. This will not only sate you but it will also not interfere with digestion process since consuming desserts immediately after a meal will cause the sugar in the dessert to disrupt the absorption of nutrients.
Dark chocolate is a dessert food that contains good health benefits. It contains flavonols found in cocoa that help in improving blood circulation enhancing blood flow to the brain for better vision.
12. Get a Great Rest
Sleep is often recommended for weight loss and general body health. Lack of sleep can be caused by factors like stress, depression, and amnesia. But depriving your body of sleep can lead to certain effects like speeding up the aging process and deterring your weight-loss efforts.
When you are tired, your brain will crave for carbohydrates and this can make you end up in late night snacking and end up sabotaging your weight loss plans.
Sleeping for a minimum of seven hours will enable your body to fully rest and protect the functioning of vital organs.
13. Break the Fast
Nowadays, people have become workaholics and may skip breakfast so as to be punctual to work or attend to their duties. But, breakfast is an essential meal of the day and should not be skipped or procrastinated to be taken as brunch as this can increase the risk for obesity.
Breakfast literally means breaking the fast taken overnight and lack of eating in the morning will make your body sense an incoming famine, therefore, slowing your metabolism. Eating at a later time causes you to eat ravenously to compensate and you end up over consuming. This causes your body to slow your metabolism thus leading to weight gain.
Planning your day prior is effective in ensuring that you have time for a healthy breakfast each morning. To do this, develop a good breakfast routine each morning by eating the same breakfast or creating a small variety of breakfast foods. However, trying some of the healthy grab-and-go breakfast ideas is effective if eating breakfast is challenging for you.
Searching for low fat low calorie meal recipes? Then check out this.
14. Build Your Muscles the Right Way
Every personal trainer and dietician out there knows the how-to’s of building muscles. First of all, you should increase your calorie intake and the overall amount of protein in your diet. In this way, your body can have all that it needs to grow stronger. Every time you exercise, your goal should be to become fitter, more flexible, and to train your body all-around. You should do weights about four days a week. Last but not least, don’t forget to rest adequately. Having calm days in between your training is hugely important in order for your body to recover and grow muscle tissue.
15. Become Flexible
Don’t do the exercises half-heartedly. Your goals while training should be gaining flexibility and achieving a wide range of motion. That way, every set of repetitions will count more. Your muscles will train more intensely and you will get stronger and leaner faster with every workout.
16. Spend Enough Time under Tension
How to train with weights optimally? You should aim at failing between 30 and 40 seconds that you are lifting. Anytime sooner than this and it means that the weight was too much for you, according to trainers. It is important for your muscles to spend enough time under tension so that they can grow.
17. Cut Back On Cardio
If you want to become bigger in size, you should cut back on cardio, since you need those calories to pump up. Be sure to get an adequate amount of protein every day if your goal is mainly to burn fat. One gram of protein for every pound of your body weight is a good rule of thumb. And if you enjoy cardio exercises, you can still go for a 20-minute jog three to four days a week.
18. Know the Basics of Endurance Training
Prepare to sweat like crazy and burn calories like crazy, too. Important things to consider before you take on endurance training are your hydration levels and your diet. Such training is not easy and you have to be on your best physical condition so that your body can benefit and not get depleted from it. A combination of cardio and weight training should do the trick. Another good idea if you want to get the most out of your aerobic session is high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
19. Use a Fitness Tracker
If you do not have a fitness tracker or a heart rate monitor, you should consider buying one or count your heart rate on your own. Seeing how intense your workout really is, seeing how fast your heart is beating while training makes you feel even more motivated. If you already have a fitness tracker or a heart rate monitor, put it to use!
20. Beat Fatigue
The biggest hurdle to having a good endurance training workout is fatigue. How can you fight it? First of all, become friends with beets, which are known to help your body function in high-energy settings and boost your stamina levels by 20%, thus preventing exhaustion. Beet juice is great for your cardiovascular health and it contains a load of healthy nitrates. Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of a good and well-chosen playlist. According to a study, when we listen to our favorite music, our blood vessels expand by around 30%.
21. Be Patient and Define Goals
When you are training to become stronger, patience and definite goals will get you a long way. First of all, try keeping your schedule at all times and don’t change your plan. While you are in the gym, focus on what you have to do. By arriving home, don’t forget to rest adequately and to note down your progress for this day. If you follow these simple things and don’t give up, you will meet your goals in no time.
22. Motivate Yourself
Your motivation will make you or break you during this process. There are several tips you can do to increase your motivation. When doing reps, count down. When lifting weights, or when you do push-ups, direct your gaze at your dominant hand. That will make you feel stronger, because you know subconsciously that the dominant hand is more skillful and can more easily lift the weight.
23. Pay Attention to the Details
Small things can have a tremendous impact on the success of what you are doing. When you are lifting weights and trying to gain strength, take notice of your weakest spots, the parts of your body that you don’t train so often, for example, or a type of exercises that you don’t do well on. Modify your program accordingly so that you make progress in this little thing.
You should check these exercise tips as well.
24. Shake It Up
Change is a necessary part of a good exercise regimen. It helps you progress, because your body does not adapt to a set of exercises, thus performing better. If you have kept doing the same training program for a while, you may realize that you gain muscle in a tempo lower than before. To go past this obstacle, change something about the way you train. You can lift a bit heavier, you can perform an exercise slower and technically better or faster, or you can train in the morning if your usual time is in the evening (and vice versa).
25. Burn More Calories
Stop counting the calories of every meal you eat, and get back to the basics. Food is fuel to your body. In order to burn fat, you should simply burn more calories than those you are taking in. Pay attention to the macronutrient content of what you are eating -fats, protein- instead of the calorie content. That way, you will have a better overview of the relationship between what you eat and how much energy you are giving away while training. And yes, this six-pack will show up once you lose the excess fat- it doesn’t mean that you don’t have enough muscle.
26. Keep Record of Your Progress
If you don’t see evidence of your losing weight when you use the scale, don’t worry. It may be because while you are burning fat you are gaining muscle at the same time, so you don’t “see” the difference. In order to acknowledge your progress and encourage yourself, take a photo of yourself every week, in the same spot, with the same clothes, front, back and on the side. Even if you don’t notice the change from day one to day two, you will surely see it over the course of a few weeks.
27. Choose Lower Body Exercise
If you have always dreamt of a flat belly, concentrate on training your body below the waist. According to a research made by the Syracuse University, people who did a lower body training program burned more calories than those who did the same program adapted for the upper body. The reason makes sense; your legs have more muscle and are stronger than your arms.
28. Get Yourself a Workout Buddy
Finding a training pal is a great strategy to up your motivation. However, don’t forget: you are looking for someone that will encourage you to do more and push through, not someone that quits easily or is constantly demotivated. Think about all your friends and make a mental list. Who loves to exercise? Can this person meet you for training some days a week? Does he/she support your efforts and/or have similar goals for himself? Will he/she be able to follow your pace? When the going gets tough, will this person be able to push you to give your best during exercising? If someone springs to your mind while you are thinking of these things, do contact him and arrange your first workout together.
29. Take Care of Your Muscles
When you come home from an intense workout, you know the feeling of having sore muscles all over your body. It makes you feel proud for your hard effort, but you need not hurt your muscles. Feel immediately better by taking a cold shower or even better a cold bath for 15 minutes. This is a strategy that many professional athletes follow in order to recover after intensive training.
30. Have a Good Pair of Sneakers
When you are running or exercising, you should feel light as a bird! No tight shoes that make your feet hurt. Try to go shopping in the evening, so that your feet are at their largest size (our feet swell naturally during the day). When in doubt, it is always better to buy sneakers that are half to one size bigger than your shoe size, so that your feet are comfortable. It is important that they are roomy when you first wear them. And when you start running on them, after some weeks they will fit your foot perfectly.
31. Enjoy Your Running Soundtrack
Many people swear by running with their favorite music on their earphones. Pick up some tunes you love and get in a great mood immediately. Go for energetic and optimistic songs (just pay attention to the volume, especially when you are running close to a main road).
32. Become an Expert on Portion Control
If you are not losing weight, you may be eating larger quantities of food than you need. Find information online about the right size of portions according to what you are eating (meat, cheese, pasta). When you are preparing your plate, try to fill half of it with vegetables. That way, there will be less space left for the heavier, fattier ingredients.
33. Concentrate On Exercising
Did you enjoy a huge piece of chocolate cake at your best friend’s house party and you are beating yourself up for it? Relax. You will need much more calories -3500 in fact- and much more pieces of chocolate cake to gain a pound. Not being strict with your diet for 24h does not mean that you will immediately gain weight. But there is a trick here: you should be able to put yourself back on track within the next 2 days. Instead of starving yourself, concentrate on exercising a bit more!
34. Don’t Get Discouraged!
You may have been great at following your well-thought-out diet regimen, but now it’s weekend ahead! That means only one thing: dinner with friends, nights out, celebrations… It is easy to lose your balance! Increasing your activity levels in the next days is the way to go. Take a 20-minute walk to your work every day, or park your car a bit further than usual. And before you hit the road to the bar or house for the party, eat a 100-calorie snack. That will satisfy your hunger and you will be less likely to overeat.
35. Give a Twist to Your Food
Sometimes, even with the healthiest and tastiest fruits and veggies in your diet, you may get a bit bored and want a change. Spice up your meals using herbs, lemons, and spices that you love. You can put anything you like and experiment a bit. The best thing: they are completely calorie-free! Coriander, for example, makes every food much more interesting.
36. Exercise More
You should aim at increasing your speed or miles per run by 10-12% each week, every time you exercise. A steady increase is much better for your motivation than having too high expectations of yourself.
Are you new in exercise? Then check this post 11 Vital Health and Fitness Tips for Beginners in Exercise.
37. Side Stitch No More
This sharp pain under your chest that comes up when you run or exercise intensely and prevents you from giving your best? I am sure you are familiar with it, but how can you get over it? Tip: you press your palm to the point just under your rib cage and at the same time take deep breaths from your diaphragm for about half a minute. After a while, the pain will most likely disappear and you can continue your workout.
38. Rock Your Body
Are you sick and tired of the old bicycle workout or training program on your DVD player? You can shake up your routine and have some fun! Start jumping, moving your hands up and down, and you will sweat in no time. You can prepare a playlist with your favorite tracks beforehand. If you want to motivate yourself even more, invite your girlfriends and shake it up! You can dance, giggle, laugh, and generally have an awesome time.
39. Find Your Way around Social Events
One of the biggest hurdles when you are trying to break out of your unhealthy eating habits is the pressure you get from the people around you. A box of muffins brought in the office? Your partner wanting ice cream after lunch? You get the idea. A good idea is to go ahead anyway with the lightest and healthiest option. For example, if you go to a restaurant, skip the most yummy (and fatty) looking meals and order some lean protein and a salad. If your girlfriends want to try the best cocktails-and-finger-food bar in town, go for an appetizer high on water content such as cucumber or fruits and skip the chips and mayo dip. You will not feel left out and still have a great time.
40. Eat Mindfully
It is widely known (from dieticians’ studies to your mother’s time-old advice) that mindlessly eating your plate in front of your computer or the television will make you eat much more. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate their lunch while surfing online ate more cookies an hour later than those who ate just sitting on their tables and paying attention to their meal. What should you do? No matter how busy you are, find 20-30 minutes every day to just sit and enjoy your meal in peace, whether in a quiet room in your office headquarters or in a comfortable bench in your local park. That will help you reduce belly fat around your waist and feel full faster.
Keep Up the Good Work
So, that was all for now! Congratulations for the efforts you are putting into a healthier and stronger you! When you lose those first few pounds, it will be necessary to maintain this healthy lifestyle in order to keep being fit. You have to keep making healthy choices about what you eat in your work, at home and when you go out. A great habit is to find a person that has similar goals with you and become teammates. You can even arrange some hours every week to meet up and exchange your experience and feelings while losing weight and give each other some tried and tested health and fitness tips. If you see yourself close to putting weight again, concentrate on applying what you already know.
Last but not least, keep following the exercise plan that works for you. And when you lose all the pounds that you want, you will continue being an athletic person with a strong and healthy body and with good habits for the rest of your life. What more could we ask for?
All the above health and fitness tips may be not suitable for each and every person out there. Therefore, if any of these health and fitness tips doesn’t work for you, give it up!
Were these health and fitness tips helpful? Please let’s know.