As much as it is important for us to exercise, it is also important for us to eat healthily and stay away from food and beverages that will cause disease in the long-run. Although there are times that we cannot avoid these items, do try to minimise the in-take of unhealthy food or balance it out by making the next meal healthy. Here are some tips to eat healthy and stay healthy:
· Adopt a healthy attitude towards food.
Don’t binge when you are stressed instead find a healthy alternative such as taking a walk in the garden or exercising. If you feel you just cannot live without a snack, eat something healthy like carrot or celery sticks.
· Drink plenty of water
Drink between 2 – 3 litres of water a day to stay hydrated and healthy. Drink water during and after meals to aid digestion. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking water when you feel like snacking and you will feel full. If after 30 minutes you still feel hungry, then go get a snack. Avoid soft-drinks and other food items with artificial sweeteners – these are really bad for you.
· Eat five meals a day
It is good to maintain a habit of eating five meals a day which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner with two snacks in-between. This allows you to eat less at every meal, thus helping your body to adjust to a consistent amount of food which does not overload the system. It also keeps your blood sugar at a steady level throughout the day.
· Do not neglect breakfast
As much as we are in a hurry to get to work or school, it is a must to have breakfast. Research shows that people who skip breakfast are usually fatter than those who eat a good meal in the morning. Eating breakfast helps kick-start your metabolic rate in the morning and keeps you both physically and mentally active. In addition, skipping breakfast might cause you to overeat during lunch. Even a small breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.
· Moderation is key to healthy living
In essence, moderation is key to healthy living. Don’t completely leave out sugar, fats or carbohydrates, as your body needs a certain percentage of these elements to function properly. Try to vary your diet to include all kinds of stuff so that you do not end up deficient on minerals or vitamins that are in foods that you have refrained from. Educate yourself on the difference between good fat and bad fat. Choose the right carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are better than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include whole-grain flour, hearty vegetables, oats and brown rice, whilst simple carbohydrates include white bread and processed sugars.
· Don’t consume too much salt
Minimise the in-take of salted food such as salted nuts or salted fish. Too much salt can also cause health problems such as hypertension. Once again, practice caution and moderation when using salt.
The key to healthy eating is to know what you eat and how it affects your body. Of course, do give yourself a breather or a treat once in a while.
By Christina Thomas
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos