With Thanksgiving now over and the holiday party season just getting going, it seems like every place we go, people are struggling to lose weight, get fit, or stay in shape (while still enjoying the pleasures of holiday meals). But why fight an uphill battle, when you can make a few simple, minor adjustments to your diet and exercise regimen to help you develop a leaner, healthier body in no time?! Getting in shape doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are five top tips for health and fitness that are easy to implement.
1. Eat a salad (with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or a low-calorie dressing) before meals. The fiber in the lettuce helps fill you up (which encourages you to eat less of your main course), while providing a good source of ruffage to help the digestive process.
2. Add chili pepper flakes to your meals to increase your metabolism and suppress your appetite. The “capsaicin, an active chemical found in chili peppers… activates the same neuronal pathways as fat, sending the signal to the brain that you are full. Capsaicin also triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, which makes the individual feel better both physically and emotionally.” [Source: The Chili Pepper Diet by Heidi Allison]
3. Drink water with lemon juice. The lemon acts a detoxification agent, helping your body process and eliminate unhealthy toxins. The more you rid yourself of toxins, the healthier you feel, and the more natural energy you have at your disposal.
4. Rather than focus on the frequency of your workouts, up the intensity of each workout. The key to improving your cardiovascular fitness is to increase your heart-rate. This can be done through simple steps, such as adding interval training to your routine.
5. Slow down while eating. It takes your brain at least twenty minutes to determine that you are satiated. The next time you eat a meal, take smaller bites, chew them for longer (which also helps your overall digestion), and savor the flavors in your meal. Not only will you enjoy your food that much more, you won’t be inclined to over-eat, since your brain will tell your body when it feels full.