How to Develop Good Eating Habits for Yoga?

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Good eating habits are almost as important as good dietary habits for your health and ability to benefit from exercise. In other words, it’s not only what you eat, but also how you eat that makes the difference in your health program.

Here are some ideas for developing good eating habits:

Eat slowly, and savor your food. Savor each bite, feel its texture, and enjoy its flavor. Chewing releases digestive enzymes in your saliva and helps dissolve the food for digestion. It also permits you to absorb your food better and get the energy you need for yoga-with-weights exercising.

Eat small portions. Don’t overload your system. Fill half your stomach with food, one quarter with liquid, and then stop. Leave the table a little hungry, but satisfied, rather than stuffed like a big, fat chair. You want to get the nutrients you need for exercising, but you don’t want to overdo it. In the yoga tradition, teachers recommend that you use your hand as a measurement for food. Your palm, held gently like a cup with your fingers together, is considered the right measurement for a food serving. Eating enough to fit in your cupped hand is a nice way to judge the size of a moderate meal.

Eat small meals, but eat more often. Eating small meals throughout the day is easier on your digestive system. By eating this way, you can regulate your energy level at all times of the day, ensuring that you’ll always have energy in reserve to start working out.

Don’t be afraid to snack. You don’t need to be embarrassed about feeling hungry when you eat a diet of fresh and whole foods. You can always have something from the whole-foods categories. To keep hunger at bay, snack on fruits and vegetables, small amounts of protein, or whole grains and small amounts of cereal or oatmeal. Taking in enough fluid daily is also helpful so that you don’t overeat. You may be thirsty, but your thirst shows up as hunger, so have a glass of water when in doubt and then have something light and healthy if you’re still hungry. You should also consider drinking warm tea or vegetable and fruit juice. Hunger is your body’s signal to eat, but most people are unacquainted with this very basic sensation because they may be overeating throughout the day. Appetite is healthy. Tune in to your body’s signals, and give it what it needs.

Make fresh salads and brothy vegetable soups a mainstay in your diet. These foods are simple to prepare and good to eat, and they give you the energy you need to work out.

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