1. Move a little or a lot. Even a small amount of movement from things such as fidgeting, walking/pacing while you are on the phone instead of sitting and taking the stairs has been shown to aid in weight loss and even decrease cholesterol and blood pressure by increasing blood flow and total calorie burn throughout the day. This is known as Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). Even if you exercise for an hour or more, sneaking in movement throughout the day is paramount to your health. On layovers, or long sits in the airport (or office), walk around instead of (or before) sitting to update your phone or do anything else that requires you to be stationary. If you must sit, try to limit it to 45 minutes at a time. Then get up and move around by walking the terminals (invite a few crew members to keep you company if you like) do a few squats (there are generally empty seating areas here and there as well) and/or
2. Go “Au Natural”. Unprocessed foods provide more nutrients and are more biologically available to the body to be utilized as fuel and less likely to be stored as fat. Instead of reaching for that candy bar, energy bar or any other refined airport food, consider grabbing a few pieces of fruit, plane nuts/seeds, or prepare ahead and bring your food with you!
3. Eat plants at every meal: No, french fries do not count as a vegetable! Each meal should contain at least one, if not a variety of vegetables, legumes, grains, spices and herbs. If you are just starting down the path of healthy eating, grab a salad (minus the ranch or other creamy/oil laden dressing and substitute with salsa, balsamic or lemon with salt and pepper) and eat it before your typical meal. Asking for extra veggies and swapping mayonnaise for mustard on a sandwich are all improvements. Make it a game at every meal to see how you can improve the nutrition and get as many non processed, whole foods in as possible.
4. Healthy fats and snacks. Instead of indulging in fats from processed foods such as oils (think fried foods, olive oil drizzled over your salad or oil used to stir fry your meal in), candy bars, trans fats etc. top your salad, sandwich or almost any meal with avocado for a creamy satisfying texture and flavor or sprinkle some nuts/seeds over top and eat whole olives (mind the sodium). More and more research has come to support a diet as low as 10% fat is optimal and keeps us off the operating table for heart related diseases. These whole-food options of fat will surly satisfy while offering fiber, nutrients, minerals and vitamins without the negative consequences of eating processed foods stripped of their health promoting components.
5. Choose nutrients over calories. Most of us get more than enough calories from the foods we eat. The problems is most of us are also nutrient deficient. How can that be? We are over fed, yet under nourished. It is simply because we are choosing the wrong foods. In choosing to eat Whole Foods, you can generally eat as much as you want (seriously, AS MUCH AS YOU WANT) without worry of becoming over weight. Whole foods are packed with filling fiber and water making it difficult to overeat. You will nourish your body with the proper nutrients to not only get through the day but to perform mentally and physically at your peak. In choosing nutrient void foods, meaning processed, calorie dense foods with little to no nutrition, we become bigger and bigger but less and less nourished. Follow the tips above to avoid this trap!
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