By Devanshi Thakkar
The key to a healthy diet is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are so you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use.
If you eat or drink more than your body needs, you’ll put on weight because the energy you do not use is stored as fat. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
You should also eat a wide range of foods to make sure you’re getting a balanced diet and your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.
It’s recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).
Don’t drink sugar calories
Sugary drinks are among the most fattening items you can put into your body.
This is because your brain doesn’t measure calories from liquid sugar the same way it does for solid food.
Therefore, when you drink soda, you end up eating more total calories.
Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy.
They’re loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and various other nutrients.
Studies demonstrate that nuts can help you lose weight and may help fight type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Additionally, your body doesn’t absorb 10–15% of the calories in nuts. Some evidence also suggests that this food can boost metabolism.
Get enough sleep
The importance of getting enough quality sleep cannot be overstated.
Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance.
Eat more fruits and veggies
Choose whole grains. Try brown rice instead of white. Switch to whole wheat pasta.
Choose lean proteins like poultry, fish, beans, and legumes.
Cut down on processed foods, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
When eating healthy, flexibility often works best.
If you like to follow a strict diet plan, go for it. If not, it’s OK. “Find what works for you.”
Exercise Every Day
The more active you are, the better, Meng says. Exercise boosts your heart health, builds muscle and bone strength, and wards off health problems.
Aim for 2 and a half hours of moderate activity, like brisk walking or dancing, every week. If you’re OK with vigorous exercise, stick to 1 hour and 15 minutes a week of things like running or playing tennis. Add a couple of days of strength training, too.
If you’re busy, try short bursts of activity throughout the day. Walk often. A good target is 10,000 steps a day. Take the stairs. Park your car far away from your destination.
Cut Down Your stress
It can take a toll on your health. You probably can’t avoid it altogether, but you can find ways to ease the impact. Don’t take on too much. Try to set limits with yourself and others. It’s OK to say no.
To relieve stress, try:
Talking to a friend, family member, or professional counselor
Eat a variety of foods
For good health, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. It is not about a single meal, it is about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference!
A high-fat lunch could be followed by a low-fat dinner.
After a large meat portion at dinner, perhaps fish should be the next day’s choice?
Drink plenty of fluids
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavoured. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk and other drinks, can all be okay – from time to time.
Eat less salt: no more than 6g a day for adults
Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
Even if you do not add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much.
About three-quarters of the salt you eat is already in the food when you buy it, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces.
Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt.
Adults and children aged 11 and over should eat no more than 6g of salt (about a teaspoonful) a day. Younger children should have even less.
Do not skip breakfast
Some people skip breakfast because they think it’ll help them lose weight.
But a healthy breakfast high in fibre and low in fat, sugar and salt can form part of a balanced diet, and can help you get the nutrients you need for good health.
A wholegrain lower sugar cereal with semi-skimmed milk and fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and healthier breakfast.