Making Easy but Healthy Decisions

Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated with basic H2O is an easy and dramatic way to improve your health. Drinking enough water can also help with weight loss by keeping your stomach feeling full. Drink water before, during and after a meal to aid digestion.

  • If you feel like snacking, try drinking a full glass of water first. If you’re still hungry 15 minutes after your drink, then it’s time for a snack.
  • Carry water with you so you can easily pick it up when you’re thirsty.

Avoid sugary drinks

These include soft drinks, juices, sports and energy drinks, as well as other products containing artificial sweeteners. Giving up sugary drinks is one of the easiest ways you can instantly improve your diet and become healthier. A white chocolate crème frappuccino has whopping 500 calories. While it’s okay to treat yourself with these and other drinks every once in a while, it’s not a good idea to make them a regular part of your diet.

Consider participating in Meatless Mondays

Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to give up eating meat one day per week. Eating less meat can have several health benefits, as most people already have enough protein in their diets.

Stay away from fast food

As we all know fast food is bad for our health, yet it continues to remain a weekly staple for too many people. For one, fast food is often fried, processed, and excessively salty. Add soft drinks and fries and your meal could easily burn through half of your suggested caloric intake for the day. To add insult to injury, much of the fat contained in fast food is trans fat, the worst kind of fat.

Reduce your alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol consumption makes you gain weight and is hard for the liver to process leading to a host of preventable diseases. Drinking in moderation is key, if you do consume alcohol, consider drink a glass of wine or beer with your meal as opposed to multiple drinks at a bar.

  • Red wine, in particular, contains polyphenol, called resveratrol that scientists believe is particularly heart-healthy. Resveratrol improves the function of blood vessels in the heart and curbs the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your body.
  • Are you pregnant and worried about drinking? Doctors recommend expectant mothers to abstain from alcohol.

How to eat healthy

Choose the right carbohydrates

Simple carbs, like sugar and flour, are quickly absorbed by the body’s digestive system. This causes a kind of carb overload, and your body releases huge amounts of insulin, to combat the overload. Eat these in moderation. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are slowly digested by the body. They include whole-grain flour, hearty vegetables, oats, and unprocessed grains, like brown rice. These foods are usually higher in vitamins and other nutrients that are beneficial for the body, and they are higher in fiber (which keeps your digestive system running smoothly).

  • Consider eating leafy greens like kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. They are packed with nutrients and will fill you up very quickly. Create a simple sauté with olive oil, garlic, a little salt and pepper, which will be surprisingly tasty meal as well as a nutritious one.
  • Choose wheat (brown) bread instead of white bread and whole wheat pasta instead of “normal” pasta. Processed carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread are harder to draw nutrients from, and therefore constitute empty calories. Plain oatmeal is also very healthy for you.

Eat lean, mean protein

Aim to get between 10% and 35% of your daily calories from protein. Protein helps you to build muscle and gives you the lasting energy throughout the day. Some examples of healthy proteins include:

  • Lean fish such as flounder, sole, cod, bass, perch, and halibut.
  • Lean poultry such as chicken or duck breast.
  • Legumes like beans and soy products (e.g. edamame and tofu).
  • Nuts like cashews.

Know the difference between good fat and bad fat

You need to consume fat for your body, to function correctly. However, it’s important to choose the right kind of fats. Here’s a quick primer.

  • Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are good fats, which you should try to consume regularly. They help lower the “bad cholesterol” in your body by raising “good cholesterol”. Foods that are high in fatty acids are olive oil, nuts, fish oil, and various seed oils. Adding these “good” fats to your weekly diet can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Avoid trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats are a form of unsaturated fat commonly found in processed foods, and consuming them raises your risk of heart disease. Read the labels of what you eat, and look for “hydrogenated” anything on the ingredient list.

Stock up on superfoods

So-called superfoods may have a misleading title, but some truly are cut above. Superfoods may have the ability to fight heart disease, stave off cancer, lower cholesterol, and even boost your mood. Here are just few of them:

  • Blueberries. Blueberries may facilitate brain health. If you don’t have access to blueberries, then try fresh berries, raspberries, or cranberries.
  • Algae. It may not sound appetizing, but when you read the list of health benefits you may think again. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, as well as beneficial in managing natural flora in the gut.
  • Salmon. Another creature of the sea makes the list, and for good reason. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a good type of fat. Omega-3 fats are good for blood pressure, brain function, and heart health.
  • Cranberries. These red berries contain quercetin, a natural antioxidant, are low in sugar and are a good source of Vitamin C which is used for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body.

Changing Your Mindset

Adopt a healthy attitude towards food

Take a hard look at your eating habits. Do you eat more when you feel stressed? Do you withhold food from yourself in order to feel like you’re in control? Try to evaluate whether you have an unhealthy emotional attachment to food. If you do, here are few steps to consider:

  • Find a healthier replacement. If you find that you tend to gorge on unhealthy foods when you’re stressed, find a substitute activity — for instance, you could instead go for a walk, take a long bath, or call a trusted friend for a chat. Whatever you choose, it should be something that helps you to decompress, so that you no longer feel the need to binge.
  • See food as sustenance. A lot of Western culture is rife with messages that food is for entertainment or for relieving boredom. Break yourself of this cognitive habit by consciously evaluating food in terms of what it can do to keep your body healthy. Ask yourself if what you’re about to put in your mouth is good for you, and if it will help your body function as it was designed to.
  • Consult a medical professional. Eating disorders are classified as mental illnesses, and you can’t always just talk yourself into stopping destructive behaviors. If you suspect that you have an eating disorder (whether it’s over- or under-eating), ask your general practitioner to refer you the appropriate care.

Determine how many calories your body needs to function each day

This number can vary widely, depending upon your metabolism and how physically active you are. As a rule, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you need to consume and to function properly. Otherwise, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue for energy.

  • If you’re the kind of person who puts on 10 pounds just smelling a slice of pizza, then your daily caloric intake should stay around 2000 calories for men, and 1500 calories for women. Your body mass also plays a part in this — more calories are suitable for naturally bigger people, and fewer calories for smaller people.
  • If you’re the kind of person who can eat without putting on a pound, or you’re physically active, you may want to increase your daily caloric intake by 1000-2000 calories, a little less for women.

Don’t skip breakfast

Many people do this because they think they can drop pound, or they just don’t feel hungry in the morning. Although the scientific evidence is still inconclusive, there are several reasons why you might not want to skip what many people believe is the “most important meal of the day”.

  • Eating breakfast gets your metabolism going and keeps it active throughout the morning. This will keep you energized through out the morning.
  • Skipping breakfast might leave you famished by lunch, causing you to binge as a way to compensate.
  • A small breakfast is better than no breakfast. If you don’t feel up to a full meal, at least drink some water and eat a piece of fruit, a granola bar, or a piece of toast. Get more nutritious bang for your buck by eating a breakfast smoothie.
  • Avoid skipping breakfast at the day of an important exam, job interview, or other critical event, where you may be distracted by your hunger or not have enough energy for your brain to work to its full potential.

Eat slowly

Have you ever gorged on a huge meal and felt fine immediately after, but felt like exploding 15 minutes later? This happens because it takes some time for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s full. Circumvent the problem by consuming your food slower. That way, by the time you get the message and start feeling satisfied, you haven’t consumed extra food.

  • Slow yourself down by waiting 5 or 10 minutes between each course. Chew each bite thoroughly.
  • Drink a full glass of water throughout your meal. Stopping for sips will slow your eating, as well as help you feel more full.
  • Put your fork down between bites. This is a physical reminder to finish the food in your mouth before taking another bite.

Eat five times per day

You may consider eating three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), with two snacks in between. Doing this allows you to eat slightly less at your meals, giving your body a more manageable amount of food to digest, and keeps your blood sugar at a consistent level throughout the day.

How to Be Healthy

Drink more water

Adult humans should drink 2-3 litres(or roughly eight 8 oz glasses) of water per day whilst children should drink 1-2 litres ( or roughly five 8 oz glasses. That is in addition to things like tea and coffee. Water keeps bodies at the correct temperature and removes toxins that are the inevitable result of metabolism and industrial life. You’ll be healthier automatically.

Water also clears your skin, helps your kidneys, helps to control your appetite, and keeps you energized. If being healthier, more wakeful, and having better skin isn’t motivation, what is?

It also keeps you from drinking unhealthy beverages like soda and juice, which are high in calories. The body barely registers the intake of these unhealthy drinks and yet you still feel thirsty hundreds of calories later. If you need the taste, splash some lemon, lime, or 100% juice into your water. However, be sure that you eat plenty of calcium-rich foods, such as broccoli, to support healthy bones as you grow older.

Eat breakfast

A light, healthy breakfast is sufficient enough to reap the benefits of eating early. If it’s comprised of lean protein and whole grains, then it will keep you from gorging at lunch. Research shows that breakfast-skippers actually eat more! So, to curb your appetite, don’t skip the first meal of the day.

Instead of two chocolate doughnuts and a coffee that’s more cream than anything else, opt for eggs, fruit, and for a beverage, skimmed milk, fresh orange juice, or tea. The healthier your breakfast is, the more energized you’ll feel throughout the day and the more you won’t need to eat later in the day.

Eat well 

throughout the day. If half of your plate is vegetables and fruit, you’re on the right track. Add in lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. Once a steady eating pattern has been established, your body will feel more comfortable. There may be a period of time when your body is wondering where the sugary foods went, but once you’re over the hump, you’ll feel better than ever.

Remember that not all fats are bad for you. Good fats can be found in oily fish like salmon and tuna, avocados, nuts, and olive oil. These are essential to a well-balanced diet.

Eat at the right times

A good time for a healthy, easy-to-digest evening meal is between 17:00 and 20:00; it’s best to avoid late night snacks because they fill you with unnecessary calories and can disrupt your sleep. If you do need that midnight snack, stick to unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies.

Snacking isn’t bad for you if you do it right. In fact, eating “constantly” can keep you from feeling deprived and going for that third piece of cheesecake when the cart rolls around. Just make sure it’s all in moderation.