Healthy Eating Plan for Women
Living healthy is about far more than losing weight. It is essential that you eat properly and follow a proper healthy eating plan for women. This is just as much for having the strength to live the healthy and active life that you’ve always dreamed of living as it is to ensure that you look great.
Now some people might think that this healthy eating plan is a must follow for everyone. But that would be wrong. A healthy eating plan is just going to serve as a base. You can customize it to your needs.
How Do I Know if I Have Picked a Healthy Eating Plan?
The right healthy eating plan will keep you feeling strong. You won’t struggle with heartburn or nausea. You will be able to focus throughout the day. You will also see a drastic increase in your energy levels. Fit Day describes the ideal healthy eating plan as being one that corresponds to weight-loss health and internal organ health as well. So basically, when you’re eating the right foods, you’re going to be feeling wonderful.
The other way that you will know you have set up the right healthy eating plan is if you are avoiding certain bad foods and eating plenty of the good ones. It’s very important that you don’t cheat. That’s right. It really does count all the time.
So for the purposes of this, you need to make sure that you have an eating plan that involves lots of lean protein, fresh vegetables, and no sugar. For recipe ideas, you can check out sites that specialize in natural, non-processed Paleo recipes like some of the ones at Paleo Plan or Everyday Paleo. Just remember that some of these places do use foods that actually aren’t good for you.
Make sure that the recipes don’t include foods with sugar. And don’t be fooled if they say that all they have are health foods. Some “health foods” can cause just as big of a problem for your weight loss goals as sitting down and munching on a bag of Snickers.
What Separates the Different Eating Plans?
A healthy eating plan will be distinguished based on a couple things. The basics are going to hold true, meaning that you should be eating a diet rich in lean protein, cruciferous vegetables, and green leafy vegetables. However, your healthy eating plan is going to vary based on how much of these you consume, in what quantities, and how frequently.
Let’s tackle the how much you consume. When you eat, you should be hungry. You should eat until the hunger stops. That’s the simple version. That of course does not address issues of dealing with emotional hunger, head hunger, or other things that might cause you to get mixed signals. If you struggle with this, then you may need to count calories.
According to several fitness and wellness magazines, it’s vital that you do not eat any less than 1200 calories in a day if you are counting calories. Less than that and you risk shutting down and slowing your metabolism.
How much you consume once more depends on you and your needs. This is the part of the eating plan where you learn how to listen to your body. Once the sugar is purged from your system, you need to start looking at what you’re craving. Generally, cravings indicate something that your body needs.
Daily Transformations walks through the different things that you might actually need when you crave certain foods. Generally, those cravings can be satisfied through eating healthy foods like broccoli, cheese, horse radish, kale, and the like, so long as they are not emotional cravings.
Emotional cravings need attention in other areas. You will want to adjust the percentage of lean protein and vegetables that you eat as you go. As a general rule of thumb though, try to enjoy twice as many vegetables as you do lean protein.
And last but certainly not least, let’s talk about the frequency of your eating. Now this is one where you may wind up with people out in the streets fighting. There are people out there who are hard core advocates for the six mini meals a day while there are others who are adamant that three meals a day are best.
The fact is that it all depends on you. You do need to eat at some point in the day. However, the frequency that you eat needs to be the frequency that provides sufficient energy for you and keeps you from giving in to binging.
Intermittent fasting has started becoming more popular. Dr. Joseph Mercola points out that this can be a powerful tool for leveling off your insulin levels and priming your body for fat burning. What is important is that you eat lots of nutritious food during the times when you do eat. You must not go below the 1200 calories if you decide to do intermittent fasting.
So for the frequency, you’re going to have to experiment a little bit. Make note of when you get hungry and how often. If you need lots of little snacks throughout the day to keep going, then eat the mini meals. If you only have a few points where you can eat, then a traditional three meals is probably best. Intermittent fasting tends to work best for those on busy schedules or who are having problems kickstarting their metabolism.
Just remember that the food you eat is supposed to nourish you. If you start struggling with will power issues because you have so much time in between eating, then up the number of times you eat. Also bear in mind that during menstrual cycles and menopause, you will want to eat more regularly as it can be particularly difficult to control your cravings, especially early on.
Something Important That Most People Forget
By the way, here’s one more thing that you need to bear in mind. Most people assume that breakfast means that they have to have breakfast foods. With the exception of bacon and eggs and sausage patties, most American breakfasts are exceptionally high in sugar and bad carbohydrates. From doughnuts to Poptarts, pastries rule the breakfast world, and frankly, there are only so many things that you can do with eggs before you start to get bored.
Just remember that you have total control over your menu. You don’t have to eat breakfast food for breakfast. If you want, fix yourself a hearty bowl of stew or season up some chicken strips. It may take you a bit to get used to the idea.
“Your Heart and Diet: Why Eating Right is Important for a Healthy Heart,” Fit Day, http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/your-heart-and-diet-why-eating-right-is-important-for-a-healthy-heart.html#b (2011).
“10 Things You Didn’t Know About Calories,” Shape, http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/10-things-you-dont-know-about-calories (2012).
“What Food Cravings Really Mean,” Daily Transformations, http://www.dailytransformations.com/food-cravings-here-is-what-your-body-really-wants/ (2013).
Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Intermittent Fasting Finally Becoming Mainstream Health Recommendation,” http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/01/18/intermittent-fasting-approach.aspx (2013).