Healthy eating is not about limiting the number of calories one eats, but more about where you are getting them from. Consuming 200 calories of fast food is definitely not similar to eating those same amount of calories in vegetables and fruits.
What is healthy eating?
With hundreds of thousands of information floating around the web, it can get quite confusing when people look for information about what to eat. However, what most people look for isn’t healthy eating but quick and fast weight losing diet that involves counting calories and cutting down a lot of food that the body needs to function. Healthy eating means consuming food packed with nutrients the body needs for your health, to help make you feel good and more energised.
Healthy eating is a ‘non-diet’ approach to losing weight
Meeting your weight losing goals by starting to eat healthy is a far better approach than cutting back on food altogether. The ideal way to start eating healthy is changing your bad eating habits by swapping one or two items like white bread for whole-wheat and white rice for brown or wild. If you compare the number of calories between white and brown bread and rice, they are almost the same. However, brown rice and wheat bread have much more nutrients like fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that the body needs.
Healthy eating means a balanced diet
To maintain a healthy body, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Here’s a list of produce that contains all the nutrients your body needs:
• Fish, poultry, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds, tofu and soy products are packed in healthy protein
• Good or healthy fats like olive, peanut, sesame oils, avocados, sunflower, sesame and pumkin seeds contain mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats
• Cereals like all-bran and oatmeal, vegetables like spinach, broccoli, greens and grains like barley, wheat, brown rice are good sources of fibre
• Yoghurt, cheese, milk and sardines are good sources of calcium
• Healthy carbs include brown or wild rice, whole-wheat pasta and spaghetti and whole-wheat or whole-grain bread
One step at a time
Make small changes in your daily eating habits instead of going for a strict diet that tortures the body, preventing it from essential foods. This includes adding salad to your daily meal and eating fruits instead of snacking. Whole-wheat or whole grain and brown rice are ideal as they are packed with nutrients that will keep you full the whole day. Prepare your own meals and monitor whatever goes into your food, from salt and sugar to oil and processed meat.
Feeling satisfied with your meal
Eat as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied after every meal instead of feeling stuffed or bloated. Additionally, you can indulge in your favourite meal once or twice a week. You can eat a burger or pizza during lunch and choose something healthy for dinner. No food is off limits as long as you moderate its consumption. Go for smaller portions or share large plates with friends to limit your occasional indulgences.
Fruits and vegetables should be present everyday
Add more fruit and veggies to your diet as these should be part and parcel of your daily eating habit. Low in calories and rich in nutrients, fruits and vegetables will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. Add fruits to your breakfast and one or two vegetables to lunches and dinners to start with.
Make your vegetable dishes tasty
Use colourful veggies to increase and vary the colour of your salads and vegetable dishes. Try to liven up your salads with different types of leafy greens, spicy dressing and even cheese. Additionally, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, onions and bell peppers will add sweetness to your meals and partly satisfy your cravings for sugar. Try grilling and roasting your veggies instead of always steaming or boiling them.
Make meal plans every week or month
Start with a detailed weekly planning and go grocery shopping according to that list. Stock the fridge with your favourite fruits and vegetables. Today, most supermarkets have a healthy food section that include snacks, sugar free energy bars, whole wheat pastas, biscuits and many low calorie and nutrients rich products. Make it a habit of comparing items by carefully reading the label on each product for information about the percentage of sugar, protein, fat and carbs.
Combine healthy eating with daily exercises
Being physically active and eating healthy is the perfect combo to help the body stay strong and healthy. However, nobody is forcing you to join the gym or fitness training classes. You can exercise at home every morning or evening by watching informative tutorials on YouTube and internet. Even if don’t have time for daily exercises, you can always take the stairs, walk or bicycle to go shopping or to work to stay active.