13 Food Rules Successful, Fit People Follow

Make these daily food rules a must for your health and fitness success! Feel free to print or bookmark and come back as often as needed.

1. HYDRATION

Drink at least eight glasses of water daily in addition to other liquids (like caffeine-free herbal tea). Thirst often masquerades as hunger. Keep a bottle or glass of water on your desk and sip it throughout the day.

2. REAL BUTTER

Avoid margarine, hydrogenated oils, and fat substitutes.

3. QUALITY EATS

Eat more fresh foods than frozen or canned products. Buy seasonal and local produce, which provide the highest nutrient value at the lowest price. Eating seasonally balances the body and provides proper nutrition. And save money by buying bulk seasonally—fruits, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and so forth.

4. SKIP SWEET CHEMICALS

Steer clear of artificial sweeteners. Chemical sweeteners have no calories and no nutritive value. Research suggests that when you eat or drink foods containing these sweeteners, your body interprets the sweetness as a sign that more food is on the way. Drinking diet soda, for example, can increase your desire for sweet flavors, which may lead you to eat more sweet non nutritive foods.

5. CONSIDER AGAVE NECTAR

Use agave nectar to sweeten foods. Made from the juice of the Mexican blue agave plant, agave nectar is a honey-like substance that contains 60 calories per tablespoon. You need less of it to achieve the same level of sweetness you’d get from sugar: In most recipes, you can substitute ¼ cup agave for 1 cup of sugar. Our bodies digest agave nectar slowly, so our blood sugar and insulin levels don’t undergo the dramatic spike that occurs when we eat sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Agave also contains beneficial minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

6. DON’T STRAY FROM YOUR FOOD RULES

Stick to your recommended foods as close as you can.

7. DIVERSITY

Food rules don’t have to feel restrictive. Eat a variety of foods every day.

8. BREAK THE FAST

Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy, well-balanced meal in the morning helps you sustain your energy levels and can prevent those late-day sugar/carb snack cravings that are many people’s downfall.

9. SEEK OUT SOME NEW

Seek out healthy recipes from Team Beachbody’s Meal Planner or come here for healthy recipes. Use the Search function.

10. BULK UP

Cook in bulk. Spend some time in the kitchen on the weekend and prepare a full week’s worth of food. Divide big batches of meals like chili or soup into individual serving sizes and store them in the fridge or freezer for easy weeknight meals.

11. SLOW DOWN

Practice “conscious eating”–eat slowly and savor every bite. Eating consciously gives your brain time to catch up with your stomach so that you’re aware of being full. You’ll know when you’ve had just enough food to be satisfied.

12. EVALUATE

Commit to 30 days of your new healthier habits. Afterward, note how you feel. Based on that self-evaluation, decide which foods you will forego permanently, which foods you will limit, and which foods you will add back in and eat moderately.

13. STAND FIRM

Finally, don’t try to buck the plan by getting caught up in fad diets and weight-loss potions. Long-term success happens when you consistently exercise and eat healthy foods. Our bodies don’t run on exercise, they run on the fuel we put in our mouths. Good diet and exercise have to happen at the same time, however. If you bring the same level of consistency and discipline to your daily fuel intake as you do your workouts, you’ll greatly reduce a lifetime of health risks, improve your overall quality of life, and see much greater physical changes in a shorter period of time.

Which food rules helped YOU be more successful in your healthy eating, weight loss and fitness goals? Feel free to share your own tips below!

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