Open any magazine and chances are at some point, especially during the summer months or in the run up to Christmas, there will be a myriad articles on losing weight and the latest fad diets and exercise regime. Whilst these are often only good for a quick fix, they do not explain the best and most effective ways to use diets and exercise plans for life so that stable weight is maintained and good, overall health is achieved. Here are a few hints and tips to incorporate into everyday life that can make a real difference here, now and for the future.

Food and drink for life and for looking great

Eating well is not just about losing weight and staying slim. It’s about having glowing skin, shiny hair, strong, healthy teeth and nails and good body confidence. Everyone needs to ensure that the following foods that are essential building blocks for all of the above are included in their diet.

Vitamins A, C and E: Vitamin A is found in abundance in liver, carrots and spinach. Vitamin C is most commonly found in citrus fruits, potatoes and peppers. Vitamin E is found in anything that contains good, essential fats such as almonds, avocados and sunflower seeds.

Omega 3s: More usually referred to as Essential Fatty Acids, foods such as salmon, herrings, sardines and mackerel are rich with this. For a vegetarian, foods such as flax seeds contain high levels of these acids and can be added to mixed salads for taste and crunch!

Water/Green Tea: Include lots of pure water and Green Tea into the diet to help thoroughly rehydrate the body and help with digestion. This is especially important if lots of exercise is being undertaken and in hot weather. Dehydration is one of the biggest skin aging factors.

Proteins: Forget highly fatty, processed meats and concentrate on skinless chicken, lean cuts of steak, white fish and tofu or other soy based meat substitutes if on a vegetarian diet. These are the perfect building blocks to sustain and provide energy properly throughout the day.

Planning for proper fitness

Many people incorrectly assume that when they start to exercise, they need to eat more to fuel themselves. This is only really true in cases of professional athletes or sports people who work out for competition. In a normal exercise situation, in which short gym workouts, jogs or power walking take place, there is no real specific need to up calorie or protein intake.

The only essential thing to do is make sure a small, high carbohydrate snack is taken on board around thirty minutes to an hour before exercise. This can take the form of a banana, a piece of toast with jam or even a small quantity of a sports drink. During and after exercise it is important to make sure the body is properly hydrated with water, so keep sipping throughout and keep a bottle to hand for after a workout is completed.
Post by Tony, a UK based blogger on behalf of Reebok Fitness.

Eat your Way to a Good Body