Living a healthy lifestyle involves making many choices. Choosing a balanced diet is one of those choices. A healthy eating consists of the following:
- A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat or fat-free dairy.
- It Includes eating lean meats (as far as red meats) , fish, chicken, eggs, beans and nuts
- A diet that’s low in saturated fats and trans fats. Best to stay away from Cholesterol and salt (sodium) rich foods
People always think that getting into the Healthy eating habit that they have to follow a strict nutrition so that they can stay idealistically thin and that they should deprive themselves from the food that they love. They need to realize that Healthy eating is more about how you feel about yourself, getting more energy, neutralizing you mood and eating habits. It is about living your life as healthy as possible. This can be done easily by getting familiar with the nutrition facts of the food you eat, reading the labels on the foods you buy, staying away from processed foods. You can educate yourself about making healthy food choices so that you can make tasty meals and make the diet fun and not a burden. You don’t have to feel like you are missing out!
Here are some healthy eating tips that you should consider:
1. Always think success!
For this change to be a successful one you have to have a plan. It is always best to take smaller steps instead of one big one. You have to gradually make changes to you diet. What this means is don’t stop eating everything you love all at once. Cut back on portions. Start by stopping fried food. Swap your soda with sparkling water and so on.
Don’t make it stressful. Make it simple and fun. Instead of worrying about how many calories you are eating and measuring your portions with every single thing you eat, just think of it as being fun! Think of all the different colors of fruits and vegetables out there and the benefits they have for your body. Think about how much better it is for you to eat a fresh vegetable rather than a vegetable off a can. This makes your healthy choices so much easier. After some time your healthy lifestyle will not only be a fun one but a delicious one.
Always start slow. Make the change over a period of time and not overnight. That seems to be the biggest mistake most do and thus leads to failure and binge eating. It’s just unrealistic to make a big change overnight. This will lead to a lot of cheats because you will miss eating everything you are used to eating for such a long time. Think about this. Do you get a degree over night? Precisely! You are probably saying well how? Add more salads and vegetables to your diet. What salad dressings do you use? Start making your own dressings. Love butter? Substitute that with olive oil. These little changes will eventually become a habit and not a diet.
Remember that everything takes time. Every diet change you make will make a difference long term. Nothing needs to be perfect so stop thinking that you have to be perfect. You don’t have to stop eating everything that you love. The aim here is what do I do to make me feel good about myself and prevent diseases. Every little bit of change in our eating habits counts.
When you make this change it is very important to remember to include water and exercise into this new lifestyle you are starting.
Water is very essential in ridding your body of toxins. So many of us seem to forget about drinking water or we may just not like it but its one of the biggest mistakes out there. Staying hydrated. Dehydration can cause is overwhelming fatigue.
Just know one thing. If you ever feel like you are thirsty it means that your body is already dehydrated. Sometimes when you are dehydrated you may mistake it for hunger and thus eat when you really don’t need food. So remember another key to success is hydration.
When we say include exercise we don’t mean drop everything and do hardcore heavy lifting at the gym. Think on an activity that you love and just fit it in your daily habits. This will help you lose weight while doing something you love and enjoy.
In order to have a successful diet you have to think moderation. What do we mean by moderation? What is considered a good amount? It comes down to the individual and their eating habits. The goal for this healthy lifestyle to be successful you need to improve your eating habits so that you will be able to maintain it for the rest of your life and not give up after a few weeks. The misconception that some have is that once they reach their ideal weight they stop eating healthy thinking it’s enough no need to continue. But over time that weight loss will be easily gained back before you know it.
Moderation does not mean you have to eat a whole lot less than what they are accustomed to. It really means try to eat less unhealthy food. So instead of eat food that are high is sugars and saturated fats try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Moderation and healthy eating does not mean you eliminate all the food you love. For example, say you feel like having a 100 calorie ice cream one afternoon of the week. Sure go right ahead. But for the rest of the day try to make up for it be eating less calories and eating more vegetables.
It is quite normal for our body to crave the food that you are used to giving it. Try not to stop the food you love all at once and instead eat it less often or in smaller amounts until you get your body adjusted to the change.
3. Choose colorful fruits and vegetables
Eat different colors of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.
Get your vitamins from your fruits and vegetables and not from pills. The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. Sure supplements help if you cant have a certain food. But it’s just not the same as when they are consumed naturally.
4. Eat healthy carbs and whole grains
Choose healthy carbohydrates and consume more fiber in order to maintain long lasting energy. Whole grains and very filling and they are packed with antioxidants that help protect against diseases such as coronary heart diseases, certain cancers and diabetes.
What you need to know about healthy carbs and unhealthy carbs:
Healthy carbs (usually known as good carbs) include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy complex carbs are digested slowly and make you feel full for a longer period of time. This then stabilizes your insulin level.
Unhealthy carbs (or bad carbs) are foods such as white flour, refined sugar, and white rice. Unhealthy carbs are digested quickly and causes an increase in blood sugar levels.
How to choose healthy carbs?
Add different types of whole grains into your healthy diet. These may include whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa and barley.
Check your food labels and make sure you are really getting whole grains. A label that says multi grain and 100% wheat is not the same thing. Look for the words “whole grain or 100% whole wheat”
Make sure you avoid refined foods such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain.
5. Unhealthy vs Healthy fats
Often time people worry about the word “fat”. What you need to know is that our body needs healthy fats. Healthy fats are needed to nourish our brains, hearts, hair, skin and nails. Foods that are rich in omega-3 are very essential and they help reduce cardiovascular disease.
Healthy fats to incorporate into your diet:
- Monounsaturated fats: These can be peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, walnuts, and pecans). They can also be found in seeds such as pumpkin seeds
- Polyunsaturated fats: theseare usually omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Usually found in foods such as salmon, sardines and other fishes. Polyunsaturated fats can also be found in walnuts, soybean and flaxseed oil.
What you should Reduce or eliminate from your diet:
Saturated fats: Typically found in mostly animal sources including red meat and whole milk dairy products.
Trans fats: These are usually found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, and baked treats.
6. The significance of protein
Protein plays an important role in our body. Protein in food is broken down into the 20 amino acids that are the building blocks for growth and energy, and is essential for maintaining cells, tissues, and organs. The removal of protein from our diet can slow growth and reduces muscle mass. Protein is especially important for children, whose bodies are growing and changing daily.
Some rules on including protein in your healthy diet:
Try different types of protein. Don’t just concentrate on one type of protein, try different sources of protein—such as beans, grains, seeds, tofu, peas and soy products—will give you a variety of options for meals.
Consume smaller portions of protein. Some people consume a lot of protein. Try to include other nutrients other and focusing only on protein. Sure eat some proteins but also include whole grains and vegetables.
Consume quality sources of protein: like fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, beans, or nuts. When you are having meat, chicken, or turkey, buy meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.
7. Limit sugar and salt
Once you are successful in maintaining a diet that includes fiber-rich foods, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and good fats, you will automatically be cutting down sugars and salt from your diet.
Avoid sugary drink: Sodas have a lot of sugar in them which can even exceed our daily recommended intake value! A good substitute would be sparkling water or just plain water.
Sweeten foods yourself: try to get everything you buy unsweetened and you add your own sweetener. An example would be yogurt or oatmeal. Add your own sweetener like fresh fruits and honey.
Eat naturally sweet food: Have a terrible sweet tooth? Try to satisfy it with fresh fruits or natural peanut butter. Make an ice cream from frozen fresh fruits. Yes it is quite possible.
How to find sugars in food labels?
Often time manufactures try to avoid the amount of sugars used in their products and thus they will always use a word instead of sugar. These are a few things you need to look for in labels to avoid unnecessary sugar intake:
|▪ crystallized cane juice▪ fruit juice concentrates▪ maltodextrin▪ Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, or Sucrose▪ Brown rice syrup▪ Honey or molasses|
The average individual consumes too much salt in their diet and thus leads to high blood pressure and health problems. It is advised to limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day, which is the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.
- Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods. Processed foods like canned
Soup or frozen dinners contain hidden sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.
- Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded
- Always go with fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.
- Cut back on salty snacks such as potato chips, nuts, and pretzels.
- Check labels and use reduced-sodium products.