The term "skinny" is used to describe a physical appearance that is subjective, irrelevant, and too often confused with the word "healthy." The truth is, the two don't have to have anything to do with each other, and honestly the second is much more important than the first.
Food is something necessary for all of us to live, as it fuels our body and allows us to do what we do every day. Our bodies are our gifts, the homes of our brains and our souls. Without them, we have nothing, so it is really important to take care of them. This does not mean starve ourselves to be skinny and look good. This means doing exercise, eating a balanced diet and strengthening our bones and muscles so they can live a long and very healthy life.
A healthy lifestyle is exactly that, a lifestyle. It is not like a diet that lasts a few weeks, months or longer -- healthy eating is something that we should adapt to and implement in our meals every single day. Below are a few simple tips that will help you start on your path towards a healthier life.
• Exercise. I cannot stress how important this is and, as a person who hated it and recently discovered its benefits, I know it seems like a pain. However, it really is important, and even the smallest effort every day will make the biggest difference. As I said before, our bodies are a gift, so it is essential that we strengthen and keep them strong. Simply by moving around, whether it is walking instead of taking the car or doing 20 jumping jacks in the morning will help. For me the most effective way to get me to go do exercise is to already have it in my schedule, and that way I can't avoid it or move it back. So go sign up to a dance class, a group activity or get a tennis buddy and make a date every week or even every day. It can be fun, and exercising has huge benefits in the long-term.
• Don't deprive yourself. This is really important in terms of food and something that I think many of us overlook. As I said, healthy eating is not a diet, so in order to maintain it you cannot deprive yourself of any type of food, especially the things you like. The trick is to eat everything in moderation. This way you can avoid cravings and binges. Don't stress about eating pizza, McDonalds or cupcakes every once in a while, enjoy it! Eating should be fun and beneficial, not something you avoid or worry about.
• Eat everything. Again, everything is good in moderation. This means that a crazy amount of "healthy" foods, like carrots or fruit, can hurt you if you go overboard. That's why it's really important to eat everything, because every single type of food will contribute something different to your body. Try to eat a lot of fish, veggies, meat and chicken, and try new things! This is important because being creative and preparing your own food will first of all make you appreciate it more, and secondly make you excited to eat. Even if it's just a snack, step out of your comfort zone and try to make something new and original! Mix your favorite things to come up with delicious combinations, like peanut butter and sliced banana on rice cakes.
• Eat food from the season. Primitively, humans are animals. Therefore, we used to eat what we could find and that which was growing around us. Today, chemicals and additives allow our consumer society to basically eat and buy everything whenever we want to, but in the end, what feels good to our body depends a lot on the time of the year. It is best to eat fruits and veggies that are from the season. So try to avoid eating mushrooms in the summer or cherries during the winter because they're most probably not going to be good, and it is just not natural. Apart from eating seasonal foods, eat food from your region too! That way you'll be helping your own country and giving your body the best of the best!
• Eat five meals a day. This is said very often, but done very infrequently. Eating more often will, in the end, make you eat less because your portions will be smaller, and it will also significantly increase your metabolism. That said, the snacks should be small but filling and delicious. And don't forget breakfast, the most important meal of the day!
• Put your fork down between bites. One of the worst things to do is to wolf down your meal as quickly as you can. This will not give your body enough time to realize what you're eating, so it will not know when it is full. If you eat too quickly you will overeat. Therefore, the best thing to do is eat slowly, and if you put your fork down between bites you will be allowed to pause and refresh.
• Drink tea. It might sound stupid, but tea has tons of benefits for your health. Green tea boosts your metabolism, chamomile tea helps with menstrual cramps and black tea improves your cardiovascular health. Apart from that, a warm cup of tea is soothing and relaxing after a long day. Drinking one every day will help your body in way you won't even realize.
• Hydrate your body. Last, but probably most important: drink water. Of course, everything is good in moderation, but water is something that is very difficult to go overboard with. The benefits are endless, so remind yourself to drink one glass many, many times a day.
The Internet is a never-ending resource for interesting recipes and fun snacks. If you have fun with what you eat, love your body and treat it right you won't go wrong.