We all are trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. You may be trying to maintain your current weight, or want to lose a little, it’s important to not go to extremes.
Many people try fad diets which may work in the short term, but tend to disappoint after a few weeks or months – mostly because they don’t help you think about healthy ways to eat as part of your normal life. It is only when you incorporate the healthy way of thinking into every part of your lifestyle, that you can achieve the perfect good health.
There’s a healthier way to think about eating! Let us look at some practical tips for achieving it:
1. Watch your portion sizes. Most of our portion sizes are far larger than we really need.Try placing smaller amounts on your plate, or “fool” yourself by using a smaller plate. Then, after you’ve finished, wait 15 minutes before going back for more.
2. Eat smaller meals more often. Instead of thinking about three square meals a day, try adding a couple of snacks to your daily routine. By eating something that’s high in protein and fibre-rich carbohydrates every two to three hours, you’ll feel more satisfied and energized throughout your day. Try a piece of fruit and some cheese with whole grain crackers, or some bran cereal topped with yogurt and fruits.
3. Drink lots of water.Water is the ultimate beverage; it fills you up, keeps you hydrated and helps flush waste products from your body. Aim for at least 2 litres daily.
4. Write it down. Record each food item and the amount you eat, when you actually eat it. A food diary will keep you focused and help you recognize the times when your dietary pitfalls may occur.
5. Plan some indulgences. Healthy eating doesn’t mean depriving yourself. After all, trying to do without can often lead to cravings and that awful feeling of “giving in” when you do indulge in a favourite snack food. So, plan on a few treats during your week. eg KIT KAT/NESTLÉ MUNCH with a cup of tea after lunch. Or savour that glass of chocolate drink on the weekend. It’s all part of a healthy balance.
Here are some dietary guidelines by National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) for a healthy diet:
- Eat variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet
- Adults should choose low-fat, protein-rich foods such as lean meat, fish, pulses and low-fat milk
- Ensure moderate use of edible oils and animal foods and very less use of ghee/ butter/ vanaspati
- Overeating should be avoided to prevent overweight and obesity
- Use salt in moderation/ Restrict salt in take to minimum
- Ensure the use of safe and clean foods
- Practice right cooking methods and healthy eating habits
- Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation
- Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and fats
- Include micronutrient rich foods in the diets of elderly people to enable them to be fit and active
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain ideal body weight
Good tips for active living
Rev up your metabolism. Do some type of aerobic activity for 30 minutes at least three times a week. If you’re short on time, you can break up your activity and work it into your daily routine. Try getting off the bus a couple of stops early so you can walk. Or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
Choose an activity you enjoy. Don’t try to jog if you hate it. Go for a brisk walk, head to the local community pool or skating rink – or just turn up the stereo and dance!
Pump some iron. Lifting weights builds muscle and increases the number of calories you burn even when you’re sleeping. Pick up some hand weights and an instruction manual at your local sporting goods store or join a gym for some professional guidance. Two to four 30-minute lifting sessions each week will do the trick.
Vary your routine. If you typically walk, try in-line skating, swimming or riding a bike for a change of pace. You’ll use different muscles and it’ll help keep you from getting bored.
Life is all about balance. It will take some time and patience but you are sure to reach your goals and stick with them for longer if you incorporate health in your lifestyle.