Diet is the most important part of leading a healthy long life. A poor diet without the right nutrients affects every part of the body starting from the brain to the rest of the body. Not even going to the gym daily will protect you from health problems when you don’t check your diet.
Changing your diet for the better does not have to be a huge challenge. It usually seems so because people tend to want to make big changes at once. Instead, you should seek to make little changes and then form a habit out of them. Slowly, you will find yourself able to make bigger lasting changes in an effort to make your diet healthier.
Below are some of the first steps you can make starting today.
1. Start by replacing just one unhealthy thing
If you are used to eating a bowl of ice cream every day after dinner, try replacing it with a fruit like a mango or an apple. Do it on the first day, the second, third and so on until it becomes a habit. Try another change like cooking your own dinners rather than eating takeout. The point is, small steps will get you to your goals.
2. Cut out all processed foods
Processed foods are the major cause of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and some cancers. Protect your health by eliminating them as much as possible from your diet. Strive to your best effort to eat natural foods. Not only will it be easier to maintain a healthy weight, you also greatly reduce the risk of certain diseases and increase your lifespan.
3. Eat home-cooked meals
A lot of pre-packaged foods bought in a grocery store cannot be compared to a home cooked meal in terms of hygiene and nutrition. Even worse are takeout meals such as Pizza. They are just empty calories that damage your body. Get motivated to cook your own food at home. Seek out interesting healthy recipes and go for weekly ingredients shopping. Prepare weekly meal plans that will help you avoid the temptation of picking the phone and ordering a pizza.
4. Vegetables and fruits
A rule of the thumb when it comes to a good diet is to ensure that half of your meals are vegetables and fruits. You can eat vegetables during lunch and supper and use fruits as healthy snacks in between. Focus mostly on leafy vegetables as they are the most nutritious and have very few calories.
5. Drink lots of water
Water is an oft ignored part of good eating. Don’t just drink water when you are thirsty, keep a bottle or jug of drinking water with you at all times of the day. Water as numerous benefits including proper cell function, weight management and overall body health.
6. Create an optimal eating environment
What should you not do while eating? Watching TV, using a computer, talking on the phone, sitting on a sofa and anything else that is not eating on a dining table. Being distracted while eating is a recipe for overeating which will lead to weight gain. The TV, your phone and laptop are all distractions to avoid while dining. Sitting down at a dining table will ensure that you focus on the food and actually savor it. You will find yourself focusing more on quality rather than quantity.
7. Cut on carbs, eat more proteins and healthy fats
An immense amount of research has shown that excess carbohydrates, even healthy ones, are not that good for the body. They tend to shorten lifespan and affect brain health and function. The recommended diet is one low on carbs and high on healthy proteins, oils, fruits and veggies. This diet is highly effective in weight loss and management and in protecting the body against certain diseases.
A low carb diet however has a few risks that are still under research. It is therefore advisable to talk to your doctor before you adopt it. Certain people such as those with blood sugar issues should not be on a low carb diet.
To boost your health and fitness even further, exercise regularly either at the gym or outside. For older persons who can do neither, Zumba gold dvd for seniors is a good idea for home exercise.