The Truth about Beauty: It’s not what you expect!

The media only portrays one body type and there are so many different varieties of bodies. Becoming ‘media’ beautiful isn’t about going on a diet for x amount of time, it is about making energetic and healthy changes to your life. It is about living a more active and healthier lifestyle.

I learned that many years ago, but with the proliferation of ‘quick and easy’ ways to get thin fast and all of life’s distractions, it is hard to remember and easy to fall off the healthy bandwagon. Most, if not all, ‘fad diets’ damage your body and only have short term effects. While your metabolism may quicken to give you the thin ‘dream’ body, none of these helps you keep the weight off and your body may have lack of essential vitamins. The only real way to be ‘thin’ and happy is to be fit and happy by living a healthy life.

Diet
The first step to living a healthier life is to eat better. No, eating healthier doesn’t mean eating less. It means eating at regular intervals, staying hydrated (with water) and eating more unprocessed foods! You don’t know what goes into processed foods— all kinds of chemicals and saturated fat to help it stay ‘fresh’ and taste wonderful— and our bodies can’t process that. It’s better to eat things that were gathered from nature because we know where it came from and what’s in it. Our bodies can process it! Plus it is the best way to get vitamins and daily nutrition.

The hardest part about eating properly for me wasn’t changing my diet, it was finding the time to eat so much. Having the normal 3 meals a day isn’t good for your metabolism because you’re essentially eating a lot of food at once  (3x/day) then fasting in between. To keep your metabolism continuously working, you must eat every 2 to 4 hours (depending on how active you are), but that doesn’t mean eating more food! Eat smaller portions, like snack-sized meals. The way that I think about it is this: ‘Regularly,’ a person eats 3 meals a day, split the portion sizes of those 3 meals in half and eat the smaller portion every few hours. Every individual needs to intake a certain number of calories in order to function properly and unprocessed ingredients have less calories, so you’ll have to eat more frequently anyways! Here’s a great website to see how many calories is in which food: http://www.calorie-charts.net/

What’s equally important is that you should be staying hydrated. Every part of your body needs water to properly function, just as it needs proper nutrients. A good general rule is about 7 to 8 glasses of water a day. Here’s a quick tip: carry around a water bottle with you during the day. Your body will understand that it’s hydrated and you’ll be able to frequently drink water. Just remember to fill it up!

Exercise
While you can lose weight cutting processed foods from your diet and drinking lots of water, it doesn’t mean you’re living the healthy life. Everyone wakes up, gets ready to go to work/school where they sit for 6 to 8 hours, goes home to have dinner and then relax in front of the computer/TV. Even if you’re eating unprocessed foods, living that lifestyle isn’t the greatest. It’s important to incorporate a little bit of exercise into your day, whether it is walking, jogging, weight lifting, biking or some sport. Not only will this help you lose fat, you’ll gain muscle at the same time.

When comparing my lazy days with my active days, I have always found that I feel much better after being active. Keeping an active lifestyle isn’t an easy feat for a student, so perhaps joining an athletic group or going to classes may help!

Don’t be intimidated from all the super fit people you see walking around at the gym or in classes, either. Becoming healthier is your own personal journey. Everyone has a different body shape and types so it’s not good to compare.
What one person may be trying to achieve isn’t necessarily something you’re trying to achieve! To figure out your body shape, go to http://shopyourshape.com/body-shapes/. To figure out your body type, go to http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/becker3.htm. Also dress appropriately to your body/size to give you better look!

Something I’ve found very helpful is simplifying everything down to calorie in, calorie out. Never intake more calories than you’ll use. If you keep at it, you’ll soon incorporate activeness and health into life and enjoy it! What are some tips and suggestions you’d like to leave for other readers?

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