Your Guide To Healthy Eating
Eating healthily and taking more exercise are the key to maintaining a healthy bodyweight. But where do you begin when it comes to changing your diet?
Here, we offer you some valuable tips and expert healthy eating advice so you can improve the way that you eat, shed the pounds and progress to better lifestyle.
Eating Junk Free
The first step to improving your diet is to eliminate the junk from your diet. Sugar and saturated fats are the two main culprits that cause you to put on weight, so you need to find ways to replace them with healthier alternatives.
While we all require some fats in our daily diet, we have to avoid consuming too much of the wrong kind of fats. There are two kinds of fat – unsaturated and saturated. If you eat a lot of saturated fats your cholesterol levels will increase, raising your risks of getting heart disease.
Men should keep the amount of saturated fat they consume each day to under 30g, whereas women should aim for 20g per day maximum. While it’s important to reduce your intake of saturated fats, you need to eat plenty of unsaturated fats like avocado, oily fish and vegetable oil. Try switching to low-fat spreads rather than butter on your bread and opt for lean cuts of meat instead of fatty ones.
Sugar is another major culprit which causes weight gain as well as tooth decay. Alcoholic drinks, sugary sodas, cakes and sugary breakfast cereal should not be consumed regularly. In general, you should be looking for foods which have under 5g of sugar per 100g.
Excess salt raises blood pressure which can, in turn, cause strokes and heart disease. Adults should have less than 6g of salt per day to stay within recommended levels, and it’s important to remember that many processed foods have salt already added. Even unexpected products like breakfast cereals contain salt, so checking the packaging is vital.
Although it seems difficult to eat healthily, in fact it is a lot easier than you think. You need to make sure that you consume an appropriate amount of calories depending on your activity levels. The more exercise you do, the more calories you can consume. If you live a very sedentary lifestyle and eat too much, you’ll gain weight. On the other hand, if you consume fewer calories than you need to fuel your activity during the day, you will lose weight. It’s that simple.
You still need to ensure that you’re eating a well balanced diet, however, so that you can obtain all the essential nutrients your body requires. You should have about 2,500 calories per day if you are a man, or 2,000 calories per day if you are a woman.
A third of your meals should consist of starchy carbohydrates like cereal, pasta, rice, bread and potatoes. Whenever possible, you should stick to wholegrains which have more fibre and so make you feel fuller for longer. When you eat these kinds of foods, however, you need to pay close attention to the fats which you add. Creamy sauces, butter and oil all cause the calories to mount up. Instead of opting for a creamy carbonara sauce with your spaghetti, try a tomato based sauce instead, and use a reduced-fat spread on your toast instead of butter.
It goes without saying that you should include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. The 5 a day advice still holds true even if you are trying to lose weight. There are lots of ways to include fruit and veg in your daily diet. Try switching unhealthy snacks like cakes or cookies for healthier ones like pieces of fruit. You can have a glass of vegetable or fruit juice as one of your five a day, but no more than that.
When it comes to protein, you need to make sure that you include plenty of lean proteins in your diet. Fish is one excellent source which is low in calories yet high in minerals and vitamins. Oily fish contains vital omega-3 fats which can help to guard against heart disease, so try to eat a minimum of two portions each week. Any kind of fish is suitable when you are on a healthy eating plan, but bear in mind that if you choose smoked or canned fish they are often contain high levels of salt which will contribute to the amount of salt you eat per day.
Start Cooking For Yourself
It can be very tempting to rely on convenience foods, especially in today’s modern world where we all have busy lifestyles. However, relying on processed ready meals and fatty takeaways are one of the reasons why we’re all getting bigger and piling on the pounds.
Although the occasional meal in a restaurant or getting takeout for dinner every now and then won’t ruin your diet, it’s important to start cooking for yourself. By preparing wholesome meals in your own kitchen from proper ingredients you can be confident that you’re doing the best for your health.
Processed and takeout foods often contain a lot of unexpected ingredients which are bad for your health. From extra added salt and sugar to potentially harmful additives and preservatives, these unhealthy products all too often lack the nutrients you need for optimal wellness.
Even if you aren’t a whizz in the kitchen, there are plenty of simple meals that you can rustle up which will leave you feeling full and satisfied while also ensuring that you consume nutritious foods. There are homemade versions of all your takeout favourites which are made with wholesome ingredients and without the additional calories that cause you to gain weight.
Whether you love curries, stir fries or comforting pasta dishes, there are low calorie versions that still give you all the taste and pleasure of a takeout meal but without the additional fat.
Follow this healthy eating advice and begin the journey towards weight loss. Not only will you look and feel healthier, but your body will also be better nourished.