When trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eating right is just as important as following a regular exercise routine, and maybe even more so. But it’s not a question of how little you eat to survive or how much weight you can lose, merely keeping an eye on the kinds of food you intake can benefit your body. There may be a lot of conflicting dietary advice out there, but have no fear. You can use these simple steps to help you design and personalise a delicious and varied nutrition plan just for you.
Eat healthier to feel better
It’s obvious that the right kind of diet can help you get your body on track to a healthy weight, but a lesser-known fact is that the right kind of nutrition can also affect your mental health. Studies indicate that eating healthy improves your body’s health, and therefore contributes to improving your general mood as well as self-esteem. Research also indicates a diet comprised of mostly processed meats and sugary snacks is linked to high rates of depression, and mental illnesses in the West.
One easy way to follow this step is to make sure to cook your meals at home, as well as by stocking more fresh fruits and vegetables. Surrounding yourself with healthy, tasty edibles should go a long way in helping to cut down on ordering food from restaurants, as well as indulging in sugary snacks. Of course, certain foods have been shown to be more effective mood balancers than others but, in the grand scheme of things, a balanced diet over a prolonged period will go a long way towards having you feel better about yourself.
Don’t leave yourself room to cheat
It’s important to remember that diets are hard for a reason; you’re trying to give up some of your favourite treats in order to eat healthier. So if you do end up cheating, it’s important to forgive yourself and try again, instead of berating yourself for your failure and giving up. That being said, an easy way to help you stick to your goals is by easing yourself into the diet, and leaving yourself less room to cheat.
Plunging headlong into a whole new eating plan is a shock to the system; instead try to plan your new diet as a few incremental steps. Start the new regime with a salad in your day then, when you’ve acclimated to that, perhaps give up unnecessary sugar, and so on.
Additionally, prepare all your meals at home, so you know exactly what’s going into your food. While doing so, you can cut out all the unhealthy foods in your diet and switch them out with healthier options. For example, switch trans fats with healthy fats like grilled chicken and fish. The trick is to not count calories but instead focus on the variety of food available and how fresh it all is. Stay away from packaged and processed foods.
As such, you’ll want to make a habit of reading labels when buying groceries, if you want to know what’s in your food. Aside from that, focus on how you feel after eating a healthy home-cooked meal. If you eat right, your body will thank you, so focus on that good feeling to help build the diet into a habit.
Drink plenty of water, as it helps flush out all the toxins leaving your body. Too little water can lead to exhaustion, headaches and apathy. In addition, it’s easy for your body to confuse being thirsty with being hungry, so staying hydrated will help you avoid unnecessary between-meal snacks.
Leave aside what diet gurus will tell you; cutting out any food group entirely is bad. You don’t need to eliminate carbohydrates or glutens unless your body is allergic to them; you just need to eat all of it in moderation.
Eat smaller servings of food at each meal. This way, your brain isn’t fooled into thinking your usual huge serving is the quantity it needs. Keep each serving small, so your brain has time to gauge when your stomach is full (it actually takes a few minutes to figure it out), and you can stop without over stuffing yourself.