Huffpost Healthy Living

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Anca Dumitru Headshot

7 Steps to a Healthy Body and Mind

Posted: Updated:

Having a healthy diet is not about starving yourself. When you embark on such a journey, the purpose is to have a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables that will help you clear out your body and dump the toxins. The rewards are immense, as they won't limit to your body only, but they will extend to your mind and spirit as well. Plus, adding a consistent workout routine will contribute to your health improvement overall.

Here are a set of useful steps to help you with your game plan:

1. Start with a positive mindset
Observe and learn from these health and wellness experts. Most of them have a strong online and social media presence. This makes it easy for you to research them and choose the one that best matches your expectations on how to stay in good shape. Whether you're dieting so that you can look good in your bikini, or simply because you do care about your health, make sure you stay motivated to get the best results.

2. Make a plan and make sure you stick to it
How much weight do you want to lose in how much time? Set some realistic targets for each week and write down your progress. Get a diet buddy to keep you on track with working out and compare notes. Surround yourself with motivational quotes and keep visualizing your goal image.

3. Never underestimate the power of chlorophyll
Go for green vegetables, particularly the dark leafy ones. The more, the better. Not only are they brimming with fibers, but also with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and tons of antioxidants.

Thanks to Dr. Oz, green juicing has become immensely popular. Juice isn't just fast and easy to prepare, but it's the best way to start your day with. According to Kris Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Sexy Diet, all you need is: organic celery, a peeled cucumber, some romaine, kale and a pear.

Juicing is a great way to get your recommended daily allowance of fruit and vegetables, reduces inflammation and gives you a great boost of energy. And it's wonderful for your immune system.

4. Hydrate properly
Water is essential for carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells. You need water for your overall metabolism. It also helps tremendously with the detox process, keeping your immune system functioning properly. It supports digestion as well as transporting and removing waste products in the blood. Make sure you drink one glass of water every hour.

5. Choose a workout you'd enjoy
Include in your regimen a workout that helps you add muscle while you lose fat. Zumba can be a great option. It's fun, high-energy and those Latin beats are easy to follow. If you're more into something milder, a Pilates session or a set of hatha yoga exercises will help with your flexibility and strengthening your muscles.

If running is not your bag try walking or swimming. Another option would be Tim Ferriss's Six- Minute Abs described in his book The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. Whatever tickles your fancy.

6. Avoid mixing carbohydrates and proteins
Most nutritionists are reserved about this combination. It slows the digestive process. Proteins are digested differently than carbohydrates. Mixing acidic foods like meat, fish and cheese with the alkaline fruit and vegetables would cause fermentation in the intestines. If you can't give up on your steak and baked potato, no worries, you can still have them. Just not during the same meal.

7. Don't forget to reward yourself
Punishing yourself is not going to help. Every once in a while, when you notice that you're closer to your goal, indulge yourself. This way, sticking to a healthy diet won't feel like a trap. Treat yourself to an ice cream or a small piece of your favorite chocolate cheese cake. It's not going to be the end of the world.

Obsessing over your daily intake of food and pushing yourself too hard won't get you anywhere. The key is to eat and exercise with moderation having set some realistic targets. It's all about finding the balance that's right for you.

For more by Anca Dumitru, click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

From Our Partners