When you decide to start living a healthy lifestyle you are sure to get a lot of tips from people telling you what to eat and what not to eat. Healthy eating is not about and should not be about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving one’s self of the foods you love to eat. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, stabilizing your mood and looking your best. But by using these simple tips, you can learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
Set yourself up for success
Changing your diet at once will eventually lead to cheating or giving up on your new healthy eating plan. To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding more vegetables to your meals a day—rather than one big drastic change. As small changes become a lifestyle, you can include healthier choices.
Prepare more of your own meals: Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.
Make the right changes: When cutting back unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing trans- fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried fish for grilled fish) will make a positive difference to your health.
Simplify: Focus more on eating fresh foods while avoiding packaged and processed foods
Read the labels: It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
Focus on how you feel after eating: The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, bloated or drained of energy.
Drink plenty of water: Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet people go through their days dehydrated, thereby 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
Moderation is key
The most important element to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? It means eating only as much food as your body requires. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. Despite what fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of all the food groups (protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals) to sustain a healthy body.
For many of us, moderation also means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating noodles for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of cupcake and a pizza. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate one afternoon, balance it out by deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you’re still hungry, fill up with extra vegetables.
Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you eliminate certain foods or food groups from your diet, it is natural to crave those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to its temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
Think smaller portions. Try using smaller sized plates when eating rather than using a bigger plate leaving you to think that you’ve have not dished out enough food. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, share a dish with a friend, and don’t order super sized anything. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add leafy green vegetables or round off the meal with fruit.
Damola Ladejobi popularly known as coach Damz is the captain/CEO of Askdamz. She is a certified nutritionist by certification and passion and a lawyer by educational qualification. Her personal journey through weight loss of over 35kg lead to the birth of Askdamz, she struggled with obtaining proper information on nutrition and tips on how to maintain lost weight during the process, through her personal journey askdamz came to life. She founded askdamz with a passion for empowering people with knowledge and action on leading a healthier lifestyle to help them achieve their weight/body goals.