Your body is a complex machine that functions with fuel. Different parts of your body need different types of food in order to work properly and effectively for a long period of time. Your goal should be to live a long, healthy, and happy life but you cannot accomplish that without the right nutrition and body care.
Finding a diet and developing eating habits that will improve your health and vitality is a unique and personal experience. Nobody works the same. What is right for you may not be right for me. It all depends upon your body composition, metabolism, genetics, health condition, etc. The variables are plenty and the combinations resulting from those variables are too great to count.
Luckily, though, there are some general rules we can all follow. Most of them are based on common sense while others are based on what nutritional experts have told us works best for women. Many of these ideas can be added to your routine right away, and others can be added slowly.
- Eat! Your body cannot function without fuel. Eat (but don’t overeat) everything you crave. Depriving yourself will make matters worse as your psychology will keep that craving in your subconscious until you satisfy it. No need to suffer in the process; just eat what you like.
- Educate yourself about the foods that are good for you and the ones that are not. Learning about what you should eat and why will help you appreciate the healthy foods that you eat more. Additionally, education will certainly turn your palate off regarding all the foods that may taste good but are actually wreaking havoc in your body.
- Your body is always changing. Embrace and enjoy that fact. Curves, inches or lack thereof must be welcomed and worked on as you work on accepting or rejecting everything else in life.
- Limit the amounts of soda, sugars, and processed foods you eat. If you cannot live without fries, have them once a week instead of every day. If ice cream is your weakness, have a smaller scoop instead of a banana split.
- Use smaller plates to eat and put 1/3 less food on the plate to begin with. This is easier than serving yourself your daily portion and leaving 1/3 on the plate. Our brains work in such divine ways that seeing an empty plate will tell your brain you are done and most likely full.
- Drink lots of water. You’ve heard that before. It’s just plain good for you.
- Eat foods high in fiber. They are low in calories and very dense, so they’ll make you feel full and provide essential nutrients without all that extra stuff you can’t even pronounce. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are examples of foods high in fiber. There are plenty of choices. Even if generally you do not like vegetables, there must be one or two you like and can eat on a daily basis.
- Eat at least one serving of vegetable, fruit and/or grains in EACH meal every day.
- As much as you can, avoid animal-based products. Try going from one beef, chicken, or fish meal a day to about 2 or 3 meals per week. Eat grains, vegetables and organic vegetable protein alternatives instead.
- Exercise regularly and make sure you have fun in the process. You don’t have to be in a gym for hours in order to attain a healthy body that looks great. Dancing, for example, is not only great fun for most, but will actually help you burn more calories than many grueling sports.
- Eat only when you are hungry.
- Bring lunch to work or school with you whenever possible. It not only saves you money, it also helps you keep track of what you eat.
- Take your vitamins. In case your diet is not giving you all the necessary nutrients, make sure you take daily vitamins to ensure you will have a healthy body for years to come.
Self confidence and self esteem come from a good sense of who you are. This is why body image is directly related to self esteem. The less you know yourself, the easier it will be to cave in to negative ideas about your body. The more negative your perception of your own body is, the more negative you will feel about yourself. At one point or another, take a journey to learn about yourself. It is vital to help you learn to love, respect, and appreciate yourself—every part of yourself.
Your self esteem is your internal voice. It lies to you if you lie to yourself, but it will make you happy if you ask it of yourself. It is your ego at work. It is an indication of your sense of worth as a person physically, emotionally, morally, and intellectually.
Understanding and embracing your ego will help you understand yourself, learn about your personal likes and dislikes, and, ultimately, will help you build your self esteem. Use some of the following ideas to help you build self-confidence and self-esteem:
- Do not let others define who you are. Chances are that, deep inside, you know who you truly are. If you are having a hard time defining yourself, though, find ways to help yourself overcome it. Do not let other tell you who you are. No one knows who you are better than you.
- Be confident in your ability to do what you and others expect of you.
- Remember that you deserve to be happy. Remind yourself of that principle every morning and do not let anyone take that away from you.
- We all have rights. Learn about them, and enforce them when you think something is unfair or unjust.
- Once you have developed good morals and ideals that you firmly (without outside pressure) believe in, stand up for them.
- Respect your own needs. Recognize and take care of your own needs and desires first. Only then you will be strong enough to take care of others.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Keep looking at the “glass half full”.
- Set real and attainable goals for one aspect of your life at a time. Once you have mastered one area, you will have the confidence to move to another.
- Try something new. Take a chance at something you have never tried or take a different approach about something you have already done. Be aware that you may make mistakes, but, rest assured that those mistakes will only make you wiser and stronger.
- Focus on your strengths rather than on your weaknesses.