The food you eat can really affect how you feel and your overall health. Getting the right kind of nutrition is highly essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Along with physical activity, the diet you follow can help you reach and maintain the right weight for your body. It can also help reduce the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. However, this is easier said than done. People who are die-hard soul food lovers, by that, we mean scrumptious pastries, soupy noodles, fried chicken, and other street food that would love to gobble these for any tempting movie night. It is hard to get past that lifestyle. But that’s where you find a balance by keeping a few days as cheat days for all the yummy, greasy food and substitute it with healthy green alternatives for the rest of the days. It doesn’t have to be challenging. All you need to do is start by incorporating minor adjustments into your daily habits. If you start incorporating at least eight of the following eleven goals, we guarantee you will lead a healthy lifestyle:
1. Half Your Plate Should Be Fruits And Vegetables
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more colorful, the better. This would make it more likely that you would get minerals, vitamins, and fiber that your body needs to become healthy. Make sure that you add fruits to your meal as a side dish or even dessert. Sometimes, we overcook our veggies which strips it of its many rich minerals that would have directly benefited your body. Even though we love a masala-rich sabzi, sometimes it’s good to steam or saute it to help the food retain its properties.
2. Eat Whole Grains Daily
It would be best if you switched from eating refined grains to eating whole grains. Choose whole-wheat bread over white bread. Make sure you read the list of ingredients before you purchase the product to buy the right items. Keep your eyes pinned for keywords like, “oatmeal”, “whole wheat”, “bulgur”, “brown rice”, “quinoa”, “rolled oats” and “wild rice”. Even if you are having oily food with it and just starting out this healthy-eating practice, this will be a good way to start instead of consuming butter chapati.
3. Switch To Drinking Fat-Free Or Low-Fat Milk
It’s essential to get a good dose of dairy in order to live a healthy life. However, most dairy products contain a lot of saturated fat and are highly calorific. It’s a better idea to switch to healthier alternatives like low-fat, fat-free, or even almond milk if you’re a vegan. Although these other types of milk are pricier than your regular milk, they are a healthier option in the long run.
4. Ensure You Get A Daily Dose Of Lean Protein Foods
Protein food groups do not necessarily include only meat, but seafood, dry beans, eggs, nuts, peas, and even seeds. If you would like to eat red meat, opt for leaner cuts like ground beef, lamb, or turkey breast. Fish is also great for your skin and a good alternative to red meat. Different kinds of lentils can act as a good variety for your healthy eating.
5. Lessen Your Sodium Intake
An excess of sodium could lead to plenty of issues, and hence it is not the best option when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Opt for lower sodium products when you’re buying ready-to-eat foods like soups and meals that are frozen. Pay close attention to the labels. If you’re eating canned food items, opt for foods labeled as “low sodium” and “reduced sodium”. You might have heard of doctors advising your elders to consume less salt to maintain good health.
6. Skip The Sugary Drinks And Stick To Water
Make sure that you drink a decent amount of water to cut back on any unnecessary calories that you may gain from consuming sugary drinks. Avoid drinking energy drinks, sodas, and any sports drinks as they are a significant source of added sugars and contain excessive amounts of calories. If you want to add a little bit of flavor to your water, you can add lime, fresh herbs like basil or mint, lemon, and apple to it.
7. Get Some Seafood On Your Plate
Following a pescetarian diet may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are numerous health benefits to consuming seafood. Adults should make sure they eat at least eight ounces of seafood in a week. Kids should eat small amounts of shellfish. Seafood can include fresh fish like tuna, trout, salmon, and shellfish like mussels, crabs, and oysters. Some may be allergic to shrimp and shellfish so take that into consideration before ordering seafood dishes from restaurants.
8. Lower Your Intake Of Solid Fats
If you want to eat healthier, it’s crucial to get rid of food products that contain a lot of solid fats. The most significant sources of these fats are foods made with margarine, butter, and cream. Foods like cakes, pies, ice creams, and cookies are made with these ingredients. Even cooked rice and potato that we eat as a staple contains fat, so try reducing the quantity of your daily intake.
9. Prepare Healthy Snacks
It’s essential to check that your kids are also eating healthy. You need to teach kids the difference between healthy everyday snacks like fruits and veggies and junk food snacks like sweets and cookies. Stock up your fridge with cut-up veggies like carrots, peppers, cucumbers. Also, keep cut-up fruits like orange slices, watermelon, mangoes, etc. You can make things more fun by freezing the fruit and eating it like ice cream. Prep your meals a week in advance if you’re someone who tends to get busy during the week.
10. Control Your Portion Sizes
While preparing meals at home, make sure you use smaller plates. This will ensure that you do not overeat. Also, make sure that you don’t clean your plate empty if you are already full and instead keep the leftovers for the next day. We agree it is quite tempting to help yourself to a second serve of that delicious biriyani, but a little self-control will go a long way for your health.
11. Maintain A Food Diary
Keeping a food diary is crucial to maintaining healthy food habits. You should use it to note down how you feel when you consume certain foods. Create a list that details your bowel movements, gas, and other things. If any foods cause specific problems with your bowel movements, note them down and avoid eating them.
By reinforcing these food habits, you can make sure that you follow a healthy diet and improve your quality of living. Take these steps one day at a time, and we bet you that you will be losing weight and having excellent gut health in no time. We are not asking you to give up all the gluttony because let’s face it, we are all human and need some greasiness to lift our moods. Switching to a healthier diet is a slow process and if you take a few of these tips into notice, your body will be prepared for longevity for sure. Do let us know all of your thoughts on this article in the comment section below.
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