When diet and lifestyle match you are no longer on a 'diet' but are simply living your life. The problem most people have with following a diet is that it is contrary to how they live. When you live a healthy lifestyle you will naturally make healt

When diet and lifestyle match you are no longer on a 'diet' but are simply living your life. The problem most people have with following a diet is that it is contrary to how they live. When you live a healthy lifestyle you will naturally make healthy choices regarding food. Unless you're addicted to food the challenge is in making the lifestyle change.

"I made some pleasing discoveries last year while preparing to teach a class on healthy cooking and eating. I'd like to pass along some plain-spoken points about the practice of eating in a healthier manner.

The most important thing I learned was that eating a healthy diet is all about fueling our bodies in the way they were meant to be fueled so they operate at maximum efficiency. Fuel the body properly and it will take care of the tasks it was meant to perform. Improved energy, an efficient immune system, and a gravitation to the natural weight our frames were meant to support are the result of practicing a healthy diet.

Starving the body throws it off track. It goes into a defensive mode and little is achieved except upsetting the natural order of things. Over-feeding the body bogs it down. Feeding the body in proper proportion to our age, gender, height, weight and activity level is a sustainable way to feel and look your best. It's pretty much that simple.

The old-fashioned food pyramid, upgraded with more emphasis on grains, fruits and vegetables, is the best guide to a daily and sustainable way to eat. Generally speaking, all the fad diets, past and present, work as advertised as long as the regimen is followed. When that stops, we get back all the weight along with a dose of duress. Not for me. I don't have the will power or discipline. Practicing the principles of the food pyramid is easy and sustainable. Even without strict adherence, I've been able to get to, and sustain, my weight when I was 18 years old.

Here are some more keys to practicing a healthy diet.

Eat reasonable portions of food - slowly. When eating in public, note the physiques of the speed eaters and the slow-paced eaters around you. Visual verification of the results of both eating styles is right before your eyes. Eating slowly improves our appreciation of food flavor, improves digestion, and lessons our food intake. Speed eating does the opposite.
Keep hydrated. Have water at hand all day long.
Eat non-processed, natural foods. They have nutritional calories. Processed foods are laden with all the wrong ingredients.

Become familiar with food nutrition labels. Even casual adherence to seeking the right nutritional ingredients, and avoidance of harmful ingredient levels, will yield positive results.

Complex carbohydrates are the suppliers of nutrition and energy. They are derived from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Simple carbohydrates go right to the blood stream, leaving behind little or no nutritional value. They are found in processed foods, sugar, traditional baked goods, and most carbonated beverages.

The good carbohydrates digest slowly. They stave off hunger. Simple carbs make us crave more because the body is saying, "Hey, I didn't get anything from that. I need more."
A good adage about eating is, "Eat like a king in the morning, a prince at mid-day and a pauper in the evening." It advises us to eat in relation to our metabolism. A healthy breakfast has all day to burn and process.

A heavy mid-day or evening meal does not get the same burn. Be prepared to fend for yourself. You'll need to shop with a plan and have a plan to prepare food to take with you on a daily basis. Note and patronize the retail salad bars near your daily routes of travel. Remember to keep water at hand all day.
Snacking is the bane of a healthy eating plan, but it doesn't have to be.

Simply convert your snacks from empty calories to positive calories. Hand-held fruit, precut vegetables, whole grains, nonfat cottage cheese and yogurt, olives, 100 calorie protein bars, and sugar free Jell-O are better alternatives.
Following the recommendations of the food pyramid is a natural way to eat.

It is certainly easier than any diet. Converting to a healthy daily diet takes commitment, just like any worthwhile endeavor. Treat it as a long-term project. The positive surprises along the way will help keep you on track. Practicing the food pyramid style of eating is the least punitive, and most rewarding, path to feeling and looking better".

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If you continue to approach diet and weight loss as something you do rather a way you live then you will never transform your body and health.