Studies show that healthy eating is about feeling great, having more energy, stabilizing your mood, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible. These, the report shows, can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for you.
However, you can expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a tasty, healthy diet.
To set yourself up for success, Nutritionists are of the view that one can plan a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change.
‘’If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
‘’Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of colour, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
‘’Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. ‘’Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
“Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts,’’ they noted.
Water, they also said helps flush the systems of waste products and toxins and added that many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. ‘’It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
“Find something active that you like to do and add it to your day, just like you would add healthy greens, blueberries, or salmon. The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise may even motivate you to make healthy food choices a habit.’’
People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but a key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? How much is a moderate amount? That really depends on you and your overall eating habits.
The goal of healthy eating is to develop a diet that you can maintain for life, not just a few weeks or months, or until you’ve hit your ideal weight. So try to think of moderation in terms of balance.
Despite what certain fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.
Experts, however gave the following healthy tips:
….When you ban certain food’s or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. Later you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
…. Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms, and start small. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, try adding more leafy green vegetables or rounding off the meal with fresh fruit. Visual cues can help with portion sizes–your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards, a slice of bread should be the size of a CD case, and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb.
….. Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
….. Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
….. Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
…..Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.
…..Avoid eating at night. Try to eat dinner earlier in the day and then fast for 14-16 hours until breakfast the next morning. Early studies suggest that this simple dietary adjustment—eating only when you’re most active and giving your digestive system a long break each day—may help to regulate weight. After-dinner snacks tend to be high in fat and calories so are best avoided, anyway.
…..Fill up on colorful fruits and vegetables
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day and with every meal—the brighter the better. Colorful, deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits, so eat a variety. Aim for a minimum of five portions each day.