From The Straits Times    |

stay lean

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Let’s all admit we wish we could exercise everyday and eat healthy all the time. With our sedentary and busy lifestyles, however, it is definitely tough to stay lean.  

A lean figure is actually not that hard to achieve if you set out a little bit of time to include these simple habits into your daily routine.

Here are 6 tips that will help you maintain a lean figure all year round. 


1. Eat well

healthy eating

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Eating nourishing foods in appropriate portions will help you lose body fat if you need to or stay lean if you already have a healthy body composition.

Knowledge continues to grow in science and research, linking what, how and when we eat with how we feel today, but also how our bodies age and our health fares decades into the future.

Real food means food that is close to the way nature intended – that is food that is full of beneficial nutrients, phytochemicals and zoochemicals.




2. Drink water… lots of it

drink water

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Drink water as your main drink to stay well hydrated.

Have a glass of water with your meals and on average, try to have a glass every hour throughout the day.

Water has no calories and no undesirable additives.

You can also enjoy coffee and tea with milk if you like, but without added sugar. Veggie-based smoothies are also fabulous additions to your daily menu plan to boost your intake of plant foods. Soft drinks and juices are out — you don’t need those extra calories.


3. Exercise


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Exercise is a non-negotiable for good health and weight control over the long term. It changes the way your body works and with a little extra lean muscle, you’ll burn more calories at rest.

If you don’t exercise regularly, aim for a 30-minute walk every day and add two or three more formal exercise sessions into your week — such as yoga, pilates, dancing, cycling or running.


4. Stay active

stay active

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Aside from the formal exercise you do, how active you are for the rest of the day also matters. Count the number of hours you sit for on a typical day. If you work at a desk, you’ll be amazed how it adds up.

Set yourself goals to break up sitting so that you never sit for more than an hour without a break.

If your office has a standing desk, use it for some of the time. Stand on the bus or train. Stand when you are on a long phone call. Walk the escalators and grab other opportunities for movement.


5. Manage stress

manage stress

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Stress can lead you to sleep badly and if you’re sleep deprived you may then skip exercising. Many of us also turn to food, often unhealthy food, when stressed, and elevated levels of stress hormones may result in excess belly fat.


6. Sleep


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Being tired all the time erodes your ability to eat well, move more and manage stress.

Aim for seven to eight hours sleep on most nights and you’ll be amazed at how much better you look, feel and perform.

If you’re tossing and turning at night, think about what researchers call sleep hygiene. This includes things like going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

This article was originally published in The Singapore Women’s Weekly.