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Diet for the summer: 10 natural remedies to feel good and get to the holidays in shape, full of physical and mental energy.
The goal of our advice is therefore not to provide you with "the magic recipe" for a slimming diet that will make you lose many kilos in a few days as promised by too many improvised operators but to provide you with information to improve your lifestyle, obviously also through foods with slimming properties, but keeping the goal of psychophysical well-being at the center and not the loss of pounds!
But let's get straight to the 10 natural remedies which I recommend:
1) Physical activity: playing sports on an ongoing basis is one of the main winning strategies for improving one's well-being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taking at least 10,000 steps a day, which you can now measure with good accuracy using one of the many activity trackers available on the market. Among those that I can recommend as I bought it is the Fitbit Flex, a minimal model, now surpassed in number of features by other products but which actually already has all the features necessary to help you keep your intentions.
However, remember not to exceed, especially if you have not trained during the year, also because the excess would not lead you to accelerate weight loss but would create the possibility of an injury with effects decidedly opposite to those desired.
Some examples of physical activities? The ideal would be a walk of at least 45 minutes at a brisk pace in green areas, possibly away from cities, preferably in the hills or mountains.
Cycling is also a perfect companion for burning calories in a healthy way and without getting too tired. Swimming in the pool is also great. In the gym it is better to attend aerobics classes or other related disciplines rather than using tools and machinery dedicated to developing muscles, the use of which I would recommend only if followed by a personal trainer, at least in the early stages.
Practicing physical activity constantly, in addition to having a slimming effect, by burning fat, has a firming effect because it tones the muscles.
Another advantage is the beneficial effect on mood as physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins that act directly on our mental well-being.
2) Avoid high-fat foods and in particular foods rich in saturated fat. It seems a trivial advice but it is unfortunately among those most disregarded.
Among the foods and ingredients at the top of the "black list" for the amount of saturated fat contained and therefore to be eliminated or drastically reduced from one's diet, I would like to mention:
- snacks and snacks containing coconut oil or palm oil which are composed of over 80% saturated fat
- cocoa butter and butter in general which contain about 50% of saturated fat
- lard, over 40% saturated fat
- bacon fat, around 40%
- lard, over 30%
- fatty cheeses, which can be composed of about 20% saturated fat.
3) Avoid or strongly limit alcoholic beverages and especially super-alcoholic beverages as they stimulate cutaneous vasodilation and therefore the dispersion of calories in our body in the form of heat. This favors the accumulation of fat.
The strong excess of alcoholic beverages can also lead to serious diseases that affect the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines. This is not to say that a glass of wine a day is deleterious, indeed according to some studies it can on the contrary have a beneficial effect but excess is not good and certainly promotes the accumulation of fat.
With regard to the intake of alcoholic beverages, it is also necessary to be careful to totally avoid consumption if you are taking drugs with potential interference. To check the potential interactions between medicines and food, I recommend reading the guide published by the Federal and Drug Administration (FDA), the government agency for the protection of health in the United States (the guide is in English).
4) Regulate the sleep-wake rhythm. Many people mistakenly think that little sleep leads to weight loss while numerous studies have shown that the opposite is true! Sleeping too little makes you fat. Going to bed too late makes you fat, especially if you eat foods within 3 hours of going to bed.
Here are the hours of sleep recommended by the most recent studies by the US National Sleep Foundation
- From 14 to 17 years, the ideal would be to sleep between 8 and 10 hours (with a "tolerated" margin of one hour more or less: 7 or 11 hours)
- From 18 to 25 years 7-9 hours of sleep are recommended. Occasionally 6 to 10 hours of sleep is tolerated.
- From 26 to 64 years of age, the recommendation is to sleep from 7 to 9 hours, considering the lowest or highest interval in relation to the type of daily activities performed. If you struggle more physically and mentally during the day, you will need 9 hours of sleep.
- Finally, for the population with an age over 65, the hours of sleep can drop: 7-8 hours is ideal but you can sleep for up to 6 hours without negative consequences.
5) Include 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in your diet per day, possibly following the criterion of "varying colors". The advice of the Ministry of Health is in this regard to prefer seasonal fruit, to prepare fruit smoothies without adding sugar (fruit already contains it!) And to get used to eating fruit and vegetables even as snacks instead of snacks and other products. high in fat.
To read a summary of the advice of the Ministry of Health I recommend this guide in .pdf dedicated to fruit and vegetables.
6) Moderate the seasonings or replace them with "fat-burning" condiments. Seasoning foods with excessive amounts of oil is a habit to avoid as it leads us to consume fat even when we eat healthy foods, as in the case of salads and vegetables in general.
It is possible to introduce new methods of dressing into your diet, such as the one that involves the use of apple cider vinegar, to whose properties we have already devoted a whole article.
7) Prefer steam cooking. Among the methods of cooking food, steam cooking is the ideal one as it allows you not to lose vitamins and minerals. The Ministry of Health recommends it in particular for cooking vegetables.
However, frying should be avoided as far as possible, as it involves the use of oil. Even worse, consuming foods in restaurants that use the same oil several times to fry multiple dishes.
Another cooking method to pay attention to is grilling, with which temperatures close to 1,000 degrees can be reached, which can lead to the formation of carcinogenic substances, especially when grilling meat or other foods rich in fats. A specially dedicated study by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, an authoritative institution, based in Boston, arrived at these conclusions.
The same research shows that when grilled food fats tend to drip and burn on the grill, generating smoke rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (or PHAs), harmful compounds that, spreading through the smoke, are deposited on the food.
To significantly reduce the risks of grilling, it is advisable to avoid burning the meat (there must be no blackened parts!) Reaching temperatures that are too high, clean the grill regularly and carefully and remove the fat from the meat which, by dripping and burning, stretches. to form smoke rich in harmful substances.
8) Avoid Stress, especially if you are a woman. A study published in Biological Psychiatry, created by Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at Ohio State University, found that there is a direct correlation between stress and a slowing down of female metabolism with the consequence of promoting weight gain.
The researcher found that a single source of stress in the 24 hours preceding a meal is enough to reduce the energy burned by 104 calories and increase the level of insulin (a phenomenon that contributes to the accumulation of fat). Furthermore, the same study highlighted how stress can lead to eating the wrong foods (junk food, junk food such as snacks or fast food foods), at the wrong times (for example, postponing lunch for a work meeting and having dinner very late. because you arrive home late from work) and in the wrong way (foods are eaten much faster, often even compulsively, causing worse digestion)
9) Create the conditions to improve your diet with small preventive measures. To eat healthily you should act in advance, creating the conditions for a correct diet.
For example, use a low speed juice extractor allows us to easily take fruit and vegetables, keeping all the nutrients (centrifuges with high rotation speed instead make you lose proteins, live enzymes and other nutrients), improving digestibility (insoluble fibers, less digestible, are removed) and being able to create new recipes with satisfying flavors for our palate at the same time.
Another trick is to pay attention to food before it arrives in our refrigerator or pantry, that is when we go shopping. We avoid buying snacks, especially the "family packs" so as not to fall into temptation when we are hungry and open the pantry, we avoid buying sweets rich in fat. We avoid "family packs" of all those products not recommended for the diet.
We do not get into the habit of eating while watching television: being focused on something else and not on food, we would eat larger quantities without even realizing it.
10) Rediscover the advantages of cooking at home starting from quality ingredients. It is evident that it is not always possible to have the time necessary to cook lunches and dinners starting with ingredients chosen by us, avoiding or minimizing packaged products. However, you can start by setting yourself the goal of not eating packaged products on weekends and for breakfast. The dietary benefits will be substantial and you will know for sure what foods you are eating.
Eating well is also convenient from an economic point of view because the savings in buying industrial products and junk food is only apparent as it involves much higher subsequent expenses to (try to) get back in shape!
Other items that may interest you:
- How to speed up the metabolism
- How to get rid of the belly
- Prebiotics: what they are