What does eating healthy mean? For many people eating healthy involves maintaining a balanced diet, where they eat the right amount of foods from all foods groups. And while this is true, a balanced diet is only a part of the healthy eating story. To get healthy eating right you need to think about you, your body and what activities you do and how often. Having this approach will enable you to eat foods that give you the right amount of nutrients so you look your best, feel great at any age and have enough energy to get through your day.
Trying to follow fad diets or eating less to lose weight often deprives your body of much needed nutrients. Therefore, it’s important not to succumb to society’s pressures. Instead eat based on your dietary requirements, not someone else’s that doesn’t take your needs into consideration, and listen to your body, it communicates with you constantly.
So, how do you find out what your body needs based on your lifestyle and health requirements? Let’s look at the essentials now.
Food and Fitness Guide To Healthy Eating Step #1 Arrange A Health Checkup
One of the best ways for you to understand what your body is doing right now is for you to book in for a ‘health checkup’. This is as simple as visiting your doctor and them taking your blood pressure, checking your heart rate, weight and other vital signs. It is also likely that they will ask for blood tests to ensure that you have good liver function, cholesterol rates, cell count and blood sugar levels, amongst other tests.
If your doctor finds signs that your food or fitness is not ideal, then they will discuss what options will help you to maintain better health. When this happens you may find that you’ll need to adjust your activity and eating to suit specific health conditions. If you are overweight and you wish to lose weight then your doctor may recommend that you see a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating plan that’s suitable to your needs, and specific health requirements.
So, what happens if your doctor indicates that you’re obese or morbidly obese and you cannot eat healthy or your health is at extreme risk if you don’t lose weight?
If this situation occurs, then your doctor may suggest that you consider having a procedure such as a gastric sleeve to modify your unhealthy eating habits. While gastric sleeves are effective, on occasions your doctor may recommend having a gastric sleeve revision for long-lasting weight loss results.
Food and Fitness Guide To Healthy Eating Step #2 Adopt Immunity-Boosting Techniques
Healthy foods have medicinal properties. Scientific studies have proven that nuts, pulses and grains have health and immunity-boosting properties. For instance, almonds lower cholesterol levels, Brazil nuts contain selenium, which maintains thyroid function and oatmeal reduces cardiovascular disease, stabilises blood glucose levels and lowers cholesterol.
Some of the best immunity-boosting foods are
- Citrus fruits—high in vitamin C, these fruits can help you recover from colds quicker. Can citrus fruit boost immunity against COVID-19?
- Ginger—decreases inflammation and nausea, decreases chronic pain and lowering cholesterol levels.
- Broccoli—is packed with vitamins A, C and E, as well as antioxidants.
- Spinach—rich with vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the body’s infection-fighting capabilities.
- Greek Yogurt—contains live and active cultures that may stimulate your immunity to aid in the fighting of disease. They are also a good source of vitamin D.
Therefore, by trying different foods you may improve your ability to reduce illness, inflammation and improve your overall health. These foods can also come with fitness benefits. Broccoli and Greek yogurt build bones with high levels of calcium and yogurt and spinach reduce hunger.
Food and Fitness Guide To Healthy Eating Step #3 Try Different Recipes
The best way to break habits, especially when it comes to eating healthier foods like vegetables, is to try different recipes. Variety is the spice of life, therefore you may find it challenging to eat vegetables that are prepared the same way everyday. So, why not try several new recipes that include foods with health and immunity-boosting properties such as spinach and broccoli. You can even add some ginger for flavouring.
You can dig up different recipes by reading magazines, watching cooking vlogs on YouTube, or by visiting various websites. Cooking ideas could also come from consulting a chef or going to healthy eating cooking classes. The recipes you use don’t have to be complex.
Even a simple cooking procedure can help you make healthy and tasteful food. For example, sushi is one of the easiest meals to prepare, once you know the techniques. So, if you are a sushi lover, you should try different cookbooks that give you challenging recipes for delicious results.
Food and Fitness Guide To Healthy Eating Step #4 Drink More Water
Check how much water you’re drinking daily. If it’s a glass or two a day, then this isn’t enough. According to research the human body consists of up to 70% of water. As a result, you need to drink between 2 to 3 litres of water daily to replenish your supply.
Apart from water helping your body to get rid of toxins through urination, perspiration and bowel movement, it also assists in the regulation of temperature, lubrication of joints and protecting your spinal cord and assists in brain function. Drinking water can also reduce hunger, especially if you drink before eating.
If your not sure how to monitor if you’re drinking enough, then look at the colour of your urine when you go to the toilet. If it’s clear with a light yellowish tinge, then this means you’re drinking enough. However, if you’re urine is cloudy and dark yellow, then it’s time to drink more.
One of the best ways for you to ensure your drinking enough daily is to carry around a water bottle with you. Drinking regularly throughout your day even if your not thirsty. Thirst is often an indication that you’re not drinking enough—it’s your body’s way of communicating with you.
Some people mistake thirst for hunger and eat food instead of drinking water. This oversight can add calories instead of hydration to your body. However, there are some foods that you can eat—celery, broccoli, watermelon and cucumber—which are healthy and can supplement your water intake. These foods can also be made into smoothies if you have trouble eating them in their natural form.
Food and Fitness Guide To Healthy Eating Step #5 Trial and Test Plant-Based Dishes
Plant-based diets are essential in preventing diseases and infections. So, by adding spinach, kale, broccoli and other vitamin and mineral rich vegetables to your meals you will boost your health. To make the best plant-based dishes just add your favourite notorious vegetables to proteins such as chicken, seafood and other meat.
Adding layers of vegetables may make your meals more nutritious compared to adding more meat. For instance, by adding a roasted grape topping to salmon dishes may give your dish that balanced tart and sweet flavor that chefs’ rave about. These kinds of foods could involve using recipes from different cookbooks and vlogs.
Food and Fitness Guide To Healthy Eating Step #6 Adopt Healthy Habits
Sometimes your daily routine may be the main reason that your not getting enough nutrients. By changing your eating habits to healthy practices you may significantly alter your fitness. One way to limit unsafe habits is to have healthy snacks on hand, such as cashew nuts, your favourite fruit or even a protein bar. You can also have a drink of water to lessen your appetite.
Other healthy eating habits to adopt include slowing down how fast you eat and focusing on chewing foods well to allow your body to absorb more nutrients. Another habit that aids digestion is to drink while you’re eating as this enhances lubrication. It’s also a good habit to learn to listen to how your body reacts after eating certain foods. If you have stomach bloating or pains after eating, it would be best to avoid consuming the same food.
Key Food and Fitness Takeaways
- To get eating healthy right you need to think about you, your body and what activities you do and how often.
- Eat based on your dietary requirements.
- Listen to your body, it communicates with you constantly.
- Book in for a health checkup to see where your health and fitness is sitting, and use this as a starting point.
- Try different foods that may improve your ability to reduce illness, inflammation and improve your overall health.
- If you find it challenging to eat vegetables, then try different recipes.
- Ensure you’re drinking enough water—at least 3 litres a day—by carrying around a water bottle with you.
- If you don’t want to drink water all the time, then consider eating healthy juicy foods such as watermelon, cucumber, and celery.
- Drink water before a meal to reduce your hunger.
- Plant-based diets reduce illness and disease.
- By changing your eating habits to healthy practices you may significantly alter your fitness.
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