Confused by all the conflicting nutrition advice out every-time? These simple tips can show you how to plan, enjoy and stick to a healthy diet.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, eating healthy food remains an important part of maintaining your health. You may not be able to share meals with friends and loved ones, but there are lots of other ways to eat well and support your health at this difficult time.
What is a healthy diet?
Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself on the foods you love. Rather it is about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health and boosting your mood.
By using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create and stick to a tasty, varied and nutritious diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
Setting yourself up for a healthy diet
To set yourself up for a healthy diet, try to keep things simple. Here are some simple steps which you can follow:
- Prepare more of your own meals: Cooking more meals at home can help you take change of what you are eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You will eat fewer calories and avoid the chemicals additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated and irritable and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety.
- Make the right changes: When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it is important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats will make a positive difference to your health.
- Focus on how you feel after eating: This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The healthier the food you eat, the better you will feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous or drained of energy.
- Drink plenty of water: Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many of go through life dehydrated-causing tiredness, low energy and headaches. It is common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
- Eat with others whenever possible: Eating alone, especially in front of the TV or computer, often leads to mindless overeating. So try to eat with others whenever possible.
Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet
Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or vegetables or a small apple or banana is very helpful.
To increase your intake:
- Add anti-oxidant rich berries to your favourite breakfast cereal.
- Eat a medley of sweet fruit-oranges, mangoes, pineapple, grapes-for dessert.
- Swap your usual rice or pasta side dish for a colourful salad.
- Instead of eating processed snack foods, snack on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes along with a spicy hummus dip or peanut butter.
Eating a healthier diet does not have to be complicated. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, for example, think of your diet in terms of colour, variety and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients whenever possible.
You do not have to be perfect, you do not have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy, and you do not have to change everything all at once-that usually only leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan.
A better approach is to make a few small changes at a time. Think of planning a healthier diet as a number of small manageable steps-like adding a salad to your diet once a day. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add mote healthy choices.
Hope you enjoyed it. Stay tuned with us for more healthy information!