Eating a healthy diet is a very important part of being fit and healthy as well as looking good. This can also help you feel your best.
This means that you have to eat a wide variety of food and it the right portions too, with the right amount of proper drinks.
How To Eat Well?
Here is a quick guide on eating healthy:
- Eat at least 5 portions of different fruit and vegetables every day
- The base of your meals should be high in fiber like potatoes, pasta, rice or bread
- Have some dairy in your meals or dairy alternatives
- Eat beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other foods which is high in protein
- Choose unsaturated oil and eat them in small amounts
- Drink a lot of fluids
Here are some tips on eating healthy:
- If you are having plenty of foods and drinks that have a lot of fat, sugar and salt, have these less often and in small amounts
- Choose a variety of foods from the 5 main food groups to get plenty of nutrients
Get enough fruit and veggies
Make sure that you are eating enough fruits and vegetables. You should eat at least five portions a day to get all of the necessary vitamins, minerals and fibers.
This may sound hard at first but it’s really not. These can be canned, frozen, fresh, juiced and so on. So, a portion of fruit and vegetables consists of:
- 80g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables
- 30g of dried fruit and vegetables
- 150ml glass of fruit juice or a smoothie but don’t have more than one portion as they are often sugary
One banana, one apple or pear are a potion each. A slice of pineapple or a melon are also each a portion. 3 tablespoons of vegetables are also a portion.
So, as you can see, there’s really not as much work as you think to eat healthy. Add a piece of fruit to your breakfast, take it as a snack and so on. You can also add a salad to your lunch, eat a portion of vegetables for dinner and fresh fruit with plain yogurt for dessert.
These should make up just over a third of all food you eat. Your meals should be based on these foods. Choose wholegrain varieties of starchy foods because they are healthier for you and you won’t gain weight from them.
There’s brown rice, wholewheat pasta, brown or high fiber bread and so on. They also contain more vitamins and minerals. Potatoes with the skins are a good source of fiber and vitamins as well.
Milk and dairy or alternatives
Milk and dairy foods like cheese, milk, yogurt and so on are sources of protein for you. They contain calcium which means that your bones will be healthy.
Go for products that contain less fat and sugar, like semi-skimmed milk or skimmed milk, lower fat cheeses or cottage cheese and lower fat and sugar yogurt.
Soya drinks are also included in this group and you should choose unsweetened varieties with calcium.
Sources of protein
Foods like beans, pulses, fish, mean and eggs as well as other proteins are essential for the body to grow. They offer plenty of minerals and vitamins like iron, zinc, B vitamins. Choose lean meats and skinless poultry.
Cook it well. Eat less red and processed meats and eat plenty of eggs and fish, especially oily fish. Aim to eat fish twice a week. There are many choices from fresh to frozen or canned.
Eat pulses like beans, peas and lentils often because they are full of nutrients. Nuts should be on your menu too.
Fat is necessary in every diet if you want to be healthy. But, you shouldn’t eat saturated fat. It’s important that you eat unsaturated oils and spreads.
Avoiding saturated fat, sugar and salt
Too much of these can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood which means you can get a heart disease, gain weight and bring a host of problems upon yourself.
Thus, you need to choose healthier options. Eating food and drinks high in sugar ruins your teeth and weight gain, salt can raise your blood pressure and so on.
Healthy eating can help you lose weight and have more energy. It can improve your mood and energy levels as well. However, eating healthy can be challenging.
Here are some tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
Have realistic expectations
Eating a healthy diet has numerous benefits and the potential for weight loss. But you need to set realistic expectations for yourself if you want to be successful in your endeavors.
If you set your expectations too high, you will end up straying from the road and you will end up with disappointment. Don’t pressure yourself to lose weight too quickly or to get used to your new lifestyle too quickly.
It can all backfire. Researchers have found that people who set their goals too high in weight loss may end up giving up the weight loss program.
Consider what motivates you
Remembering why you are doing this is one of the important things you can do. Of course, different people do it for different reasons so you may have your own. Most people want to lose weight and be healthier in their life.
Some want to grow muscles and be more active in their life. Some want more energy or to give a good example to their children. So, you need to list your own reasons and then keep that list handy for when you feel down and like you don’t want to do this anymore.
The important part is go deeper into your goals. For instance, you may want to lose weight, but why? Are you getting married soon and want to look your best? Are you going on a vacation soon? Are you tired of people pointing out your weight?
List those specific reasons so that you are even more motivated to do it. What are your deepest, most secret reasons behind the weight loss and healthy eating?
Keep all unhealthy food out
So, you want to lose weight and eat healthy and you bought a ton of healthy food? That’s great! But what about all of those hidden – or not so hidden – nooks and crannies where you still have unhealthy food left. A bag of chips here, a chocolate bar there and you are already off your goal.
You need to go through your house and kick all of the unhealthy foods out. If your family don’t want to eat healthy and want to keep most of the unhealthy foods, then you should ask them to keep them hidden or at the very least, off the counter tops.
Out of sight is out of mind in this case.
So, remove all food from display and then display some healthy foods, especially fruit and vegetables.
Don’t be “all or nothing”
One of the biggest roadblocks to having a healthy diet is thinking in black and white. One of the most common scenarios here is that you have a few unhealthy snacks a day and you decide that your healthy diet is ruined.
Then your proceed to eat too many bad meals. This is bad, and you are not doing yourself any favors. However, if you see it a bit differently, you will have a much easier time staying on track.
For example, if you indulge in an occasional bad food, you don’t have to stop eating healthy. Simply accept it and move on. Or allow yourself one piece of bad food a day, so you never really miss it.
This will help you feel good and slowly eliminate all of the bad food from your diet.
Always carry healthy snacks
One of the most common times when people fall off the track is when they get hungry in between meals.
While this may be a trap for you to eat bad food, you can prevent any bad food eating by always carrying a healthy snack that can still feed you well.
When you get too hungry, you may eat whatever you find first but when you bring a healthy snack, that’s the first thing you will eat. Have snacks that are high in protein and vitamins and that will feed you well. Some examples are almonds, various nuts and seeds, jerky, hard-boiled eggs, cheese and so on.
Exercise and change diet
If you change too many things at once in your diet, you may end up not changing much at all and you will give up.
However, you might want to start your diet and exercise at the same time because it can help you reinforce your results and make you feel better about yourself. Even research supports this, so it’s a good way to go too. Although, you can try both ways and do whatever suits you best.
Have a game plan
When you go out, you will often be tempted by the sheer amount of options, most of which are going to be unhealthy. So, you have to go out with a plan.
Check the menu before you go and then order something healthy when you come to the restaurant without even looking at the rest of the options. Otherwise, you’ll be distracted by delicious but unhealthy foods.
Don’t derail because of travelling
Whether you are travelling for business or for pleasure, you should keep in mind that you need to keep to your healthy diet. Research the restaurants and supermarkets around your destination and pack some healthy shelf-stable foods that you can eat.
Eating mindfully can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Take the time to enjoy your food and appreciate the ability of food to actually feed you.
Eliminate distractions as you eat – turn off your phone, the TV or your computer and just focus on the food. This will increase your chances at staying on track and making lasting behavioral changes.
Track and monitor
Log all of the things that you eat into an eating diary and then track it and monitor it. The key is to stick to the diet and recognize the patterns that keep you healthy and the patterns that get you off the track.
You can also use an app that will help you stay on the right track. Measure the exercise you do and the amount of calories you spend and intake.
Get a partner
Having a partner to do all of the hard things with you is one of the best things you can do. It’s much easier and you will support each other through the tough times until you reach the goals that you have set. It will be a lot more fun and it won’t be annoying and boring for either of you.
Ellie Coverdale, a health blogger at UK Writings online service, and she focuses her research and blogs on such topics as personal development, health and wellness, and early child development. She shares her insight and expertise with her readers on online health blogs and magazines to meet new audience and get new insights.