The human body is truly remarkable. It does so much stuff, so many things that most of us aren’t even aware of. Even inside the smallest cell there is a whole living, breathing system of organelles, proteins, and various other microscopic biological components that constantly work to produce energy and carry out the many essential functions that our cells do for us. In a very real sense, the human body is complex and strong, capable of achieving so much and able to carry us so far. Still, in another and equally real sense our bodies are fragile and they count on us to make a conscious effort to protect it.
It’s easier than you think to hurt the body and the most widespread source of disease, and the factors that most directly influence our wellbeing, is in our diets. It’s important to always support our bodies and our cells — the workhorses of our anatomy — by eating the right things, and by avoiding eating the wrong ones. Cells need the right nutrition, and enough oxygen, to maintain themselves and a healthy overall system, and they need to be kept away from the many toxins that originate from some of the junk food we eat.
Weight loss can derive from a truly healthy diet, but the core benefit of eating right is having the energy to meet your dreams and to live the fulfilling lifestyle that helps to prevent disease and premature aging. Having the body you deserve isn’t just about having the right amount of fat, but also consuming the optimal nutrients all around so that you can experience a holistic improvement in your wellbeing.
Weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not about subscribing to a frenetic diet or workout plan. One of the core elements of your health is the distribution of oxygen throughout your body. Oxygen serves critical functions in our cells, one of these being involved with the creation of energy (ATP). If we don’t take the time to breathe, then we’re not giving our body one of the most important resources it needs to keep functioning at peak performance.
Oxygen also helps clear your body of toxins. Around 70 percent of toxins are removed through the lungs, and healthy breathing is key to feeling healthy and relaxed. Taking time out of your day to breathe deeply is incredibly important, and in fact it’s recommended that you take 10 “power breaths” at least three times a day.
What’s a power breath? Separate a single breath into three components: inhaling, holding, and exhaling. Three times a day, in sets of ten, follow a ratio of 1:4:2. If you spend 5 seconds inhaling, for example, then hold your breath for twenty seconds and exhale over a period of ten seconds. Not only will you feel amazingly relaxed, but you’ll ensure that your body is properly oxygenated throughout the day.
Your circulatory system is a major part of the system that distributes oxygen throughout your body, and it also helps protect you from disease. Blood requires a specific and narrow pH balance range that lies between 7.35 and 7.45 to work efficiently. If your blood is outside this pH balance range, then it can’t adequately deliver the oxygen the rest of your body needs to perform optimally. It’s true that the body regulates your pH balance, but it’s also true that you can overtax your body by making its fight against acidity tougher than it need be.
What we eat matters. A lot of the common food that people eat are highly acidic, especially those rich in grain, sugar, and processed foods. Too much acidity is associated with inflammation and it can lead to other health problems, such as fatigue and weight gain. You can apply immediate action to your wellbeing by following the following rule of thumb: 75 percent of your diet should be made of alkaline foods and the other 25 percent of acidic foods.
What type of foods fall under an alkaline diet? Amaranth, for example, is a little-known grain that is alkaline forming and comparatively protein-rich. Almond milk is a great substitution for dairy-based milk, and the diet calls for a shift towards green foods, especially vegetables and certain fruits. Avocado, watermelon, and tomatoes are examples of alkaline forming fruits, while fresh cucumber, spinach, onion are examples of vegetables that fall within the domain of an alkaline diet. And if you love garlic, you’re in luck, because garlic is also alkaline forming.
Transitioning to an alkaline-heavy diet can be as easy as starting with squeezing a little bit of fresh lemon into your water every day. You can also start by cutting out some acidic foods, such as sugar-rich foods, caffeine, and alcohol. The truth is that people who eat healthy, who keep their bodies at peak performance, are the same people who turned their “should” into “musts” and met their outcomes, because they focused on them with a clarity that allowed them the freedom to drive at their goal like a homing missile.
The fact is that an alkaline-heavy diet comes with other benefits as well. It can help stop premature aging by making sure that your cells can continue to divide and recreate themselves. In other words, it means avoiding losing the cells that defend, and indeed makeup, your body. As aforementioned, it can also help against inflammation and related-pain, including back pain. Reducing or eliminating caffeine intake alone can play a large role in preventing inflammation.
Similarly, the benefits of an alkaline-heavy diet for weight loss are evident. Low on sugar and grain, alkaline diets avoid the type of foods that tend to cause weight gain. More importantly, the focus on key fruits and vegetables makes for a diet that promotes weight loss. And if you’re at a restaurant and you need to figure out what’s alkaline-friendly, you can check out our quick guide on hacking a menu.
It goes without saying that water plays a crucially important role in our health. It helps us absorb vital nutrients and it sweeps away a lot of the toxins that can cause us harm, and all of this plays a large role in why it’s heavily advocated that you drink at least 8 to 10 cups of water each day. Apart from keeping you healthy, did you know that drinking more water can help you lose weight? According to a 2015 study, drinking water 30 minutes before your meals is associated with weight loss, and this makes a lot of sense when you consider that water helps to fill you up without adding calories.
In fact, when we feel hungry we’re often just thirsty. Our body signals our hypothalamus, a small part of the brain, when we’re hungry or thirsty, and the hypothalamus can’t distinguish between the two, which is why you feel hungry even if your body is asking you for water. Drinking water as a snack can help keep you full and it can keep those urges that incite you eat at bay, helping you meet your weight loss goals.
Sometimes, though, you really are hungry and a snack can be an important source of fuel and energy. You can still maintain an alkaline-heavy diet and snack when you need to, and there’s no reason to sacrifice the tastes you crave. Carrots and celery with hummus, for example, makes for a great munchie. Likewise, avocado is another great food to snack from and you can pair it with toasted seeds or Brazil nuts. What’s great about so many of these foods is that they’re extraordinarily filling and you won’t eat very much before you feel satisfied and full, which can add to your confidence and contribute to that feeling of progress towards your outcomes. Similarly, there are nutritional supplements that can help reduce hunger cravings, while keeping you full of the nutrients you need for peak performance.
Ultimately, weight loss and healthier living is your outcome, and with clarity and focus comes the power to meet that outcome. If you know what you want and why you want it, the foods you eat or the diets you adopt are just means to an end. It can feel challenging to change how you eat, especially when it comes time to cutting some of the foods that you love out of your diet, but when you’re truly focused on what you want and you’ve turned that should into a must, the rest will flow as your brain zeroes-in on the beautiful, healthy body you seek and deserve.