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Eating Healthy for a Shapely Body

Written by Lisa Jillanza

How many times have you heard your teacher or health professionals in your entire life telling you to eat a balanced diet?  What is a balanced diet anyway when we do not have the same built?  How much should you eat?  What should you eat in order to get that perfectly toned body?

Until recently, I had never been into a fast food restaurant to eat those fast food meals they offer.  Fast foods are something that I have avoided not because I am not a food fanatic.  If I want a perfect body, I must eat only the good stuff.  Fast foods are filled with sodium, high in sugar, rich in fat, and abundant with chemical additives.  Everything that is in it is just not for a perfect body.

First of all if you are planning to have that perfect body, it is important that you take note of your calorie level.  Will the diet you are considering is nutritionally balanced?  Will it be easy to follow?

When taking a look at the calorie level, your intake should just be at the right amount.  If you are trying to lose weight, eat foods that are low in calorie level and if you are trying to gain, then eat those that are high in calorie.

Also, consider that your diet is getting all the essential nutrients.  The food guide pyramid and that box on processed foods containing the nutrition facts can help you achieve a healthy diet.  Your diet should have the following.

  • Vitamins and minerals.  It should be adequate enough in order to have properly nourished body parts such as the muscles, skin, blood, and bones.  Also, it aids in the metabolic processes which is very important fat burning.
  • Right protein.  Consume the right amount of protein to prevent muscle tissue from breaking down and also it aids in the repair of body tissues.  55 grams per day is recommended for men and 45 grams is ideal for women.
  • Carbohydrates.   100 grams of carbohydrates is needed to maintain fluid balance and prevent fatigue.
  • High fibre foods.  This will allow proper elimination.  Toxins that are left in the intestines are gets eliminated along with the fibre making absorption of needed nutrients highly efficient.
  • Water.  It is very important to include water in your diet.  An average of 8 to 10 glasses of water per day is enough to sustain fluids lost during the day.  Of course you will need more during an exercise.

The key here is to eat a variety of foods to maximize the nutrient you can gain from them.  Avoid the unhealthy stuff and you can get the perfect toned body you want.

Researching about protein myths has given me a more enlightened view.  While others might say that too much protein intake is not good for the kidneys, I say that there is no need to worry about kidney failures as long as you do not have any kidney dysfunctions in the first place.  Also, it does not cause weight gain if you are not increasing your calorie intake.  To the vegetarians, there are plenty of protein sources that can give you the same quality as to those who consume meat as a source of protein.  But my advice is that you must vary your sources to maximize the amino acids and here are some of the best and well-known protein sources that has been a part of my diet for years.

  • Red Meat.  This is the most common source of protein.  Ground beef, extra lean, broiled, sirloin steak, choice cut, trimmed, lamb, or pork. Red meats should be eaten in limited amounts because of the saturated fat that it contains which is the culprit for many cardiovascular diseases.
  • Poultry.  Chicken and turkey are the best poultry protein sources.
  • Fish.  Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, or tuna.  These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a good amino acid for protection against cardiovascular diseases.
  • Dairy. Milk, cheese, low fat yogurt, whey.
  • Eggs.  Boiled, whole, scrambled.  It contains all the eight essential amino acids making eggs as the best source of protein.  If you will only consume eggs to get the protein you need, you should at least eat eight eggs per day.
  • Nuts.  Almonds, cashew, walnuts, pistachio.

To get the right amount, health professionals say that men should consume at least 55 grams of protein and 45 g for women per day.  Eating them in the right amount can give you all the protein your body needs.  It is wise that you choose the sources that are called low-fat protein foods to keep your heart healthy, have low bad cholesterol level, and to avoid cardiovascular disease.

Proteins are the building blocks of our body.  Almost every part of our body from the hair, skin, up to the muscles are all made up of protein.  For the muscle, eating enough protein will ensure that your body has a back up when it needs a new one.  It will maintain your muscles in terms of recovery and prevent breakdown from exercise.  Also, it aids in fat loss due to its high thermic effect as the body tends to burn more calories digesting proteins than carbohydrates and fats.

You are what you eat as they say.  If you eat junk, then you are garbage.  There are so many articles written about food and diet but still many are still confused as to what the right diet means.  There have been many kinds of diet from Atkins to South Beach diet.  How will you know that right diet and how will it give you a perfect body?