Let’s Eat! 6 Tips To Eating Your Way Healthy

Carla's Health Feature 1Every New Year, we hear numerous amounts of friends and relatives tell us that their new year’s resolution is to get fit and lose weight. Unfortunately, by February these aspirations towards healthier lifestyles and narrower waistlines have flown out of the window. The problem lies here; lots of people think that in order to lose weight they need to eat less and do endless amounts of cardio. This is mentality is completely wrong. The key to sucessful weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  This means that weight loss is dependent on what you put on your plate and therefore into your body. Notice that I am not saying that weight loss hinges upon what you ‘take off your plate’. Eating healthily is the key, not avoiding food.

Here are 6 tips to eating your way healthy!

  1. Eat breakfast. A lot of people skip breakfast and just opt for a quick cup of coffee, but breakfast is the first meal your body processes after having fasted during your sleep. Breakfast ‘wakes up’ your metabolism and gives you energy for the start of the day. Eating the right type of breakfast is really important so as to ensure that your body gets the fuels and nutrients it needs. Breakfast should not be a bowl of carbohydrates and sugar. Opt for more nutritious breakfasts by going for oatmeal, all-bran, eggs and wholemeal toast. Another healthy and nutritious breakfast option might be an omelette consisting of 2 eggs whites and 1 egg with yolk, mushrooms or spinach, along with 1 slice of wholemeal toast. If you can add a portion of veggies to your breakfast that makes it even better as you’re loading more fibre and more nutrients.
  2. Eat frequently. Do not starve your body. Eat every 3-4 hours. This may seem like a tedious task especially when you are working but this is where preparation becomes key. Planning your meals and cooking  them the night before makes it much simpler to keep up with eating more frequently. Snacks can be as simple as an apple and a handful of almonds.
  3. Eat balanced meals. Choose lean proteins such as chicken, fish, turkey or lean red meat. Compliment  your protein with a portion of vegetables. By all means add carboydrates to your meals too but choosing the right carboydrates is critical. Always opt for wholemeal grains when possible. For example, you can go ahead and eat pasta, just make sure the pasta is whole grain and that you add plenty of protein and veggies to your sauce. However, you should be sure to keep a balanced ratio of pasta to protein and veggies; a handful of each is advisable.
  4. Hungry? Do not be afraid to eat! If you are still feeling hungry just add more veggies to your plate.
  5. Do not ‘go on a diet’.Dieting does not work as most people do not stick to diets simply because the effort gets tiresome. Diets plans do not work unless you integrate them into your lifestyle. Take time to find healthy recipes that you and your family enjoy and eat as much fresh food as possible.

Moderation. I do not believe in telling people that they can never have chocolate or sweets, but do be sensible and keep it in moderation. When sweet cravings kick in consider fresh fruit or a square of dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa). In winter you might like to try poaching apples or pears in cinammon and vanilla, served with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a touch of honey. This makes for a lovely treat that is sweet but healthy.

Article by Carla Vella. Carla is a local food and fitness blogger. For more tips about fitness and clean eating check out her blog www.drdietright.com or follow her page on Facebook www.facebook.com/drdietright.

This feature has been reproduced from the foodie | Issue 19 (Jan-Feb 2012).