You must have come across the phrase that says ‘ You are what you eat’. So, just how true is this statement?.
Now, here in Nigeria, we see a lot of people that don’t really eat healthy due to their lifestyle. Take for example, an individual with a very busy schedule might not have the time to prepare a good breakfast.
So would easily settle for any snack he or she sees on the way, without considering the health benefits. Now this is just one case scenario. We have other cases whereby people’s different lifestyle prevents them from eating healthy.
Healthy eating does not necessarily mean you have to set really strict limitations or deprive yourself from eating food you enjoy. It however focuses on how your food gives you energy, improves your health and boost your mood.
One key thing in eating healthy is eating real food rather than processed food. Food cooked or closer to nature tends to improve one’s health and mood. It plays a huge role in affecting how you think, look and feel.
It is no news that eating healthy, you have to indulge in a balance diet of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Eating healthy does not mean you have to exclude a class or category of food, rather choose a healthier option from each category.
Talking about some of these categories, we have:
- Protein: which is our go-to body building food that also support our mood and thinking. As we age, our body needs food that will build it up as it is been affected by age, high quality proteinous is therefore needed in our diet. A more healthy choice of protein is the plant based source e.g soy beans, oats, beans, almonds
- Fat: we hear repeatedly that fat isn’t good as it spoils diet and increases risk to certain diseases. However, we have healthy fats which when included in diet helps improve physical and emotional health. An example is the omega-3 fat.
- Fiber: eating fiber should be heavily cultivated in diet as it has huge benefits and improves health such as lowering ones risk for diseases, improves body appearance and even help in weight loss and digestion.
- Carbohydrates: our popular energy giving food. Here, the healthier choice is to go for the complex unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains rather than sugar and refined carbohydrates. Much intake on the latter can lead to an increase in blood sugar, fluctuations in mood & energy and even build up of fat.
- Water: the role this plays in healthy living is very vital and should be imbedded in the minds of people. Water helps rid our systems of waste products, toxins and aid digestion. It is quite often to see people dehydrated as they make that common mistake of waiting till they are thirsty before drinking water. I am sure we are all guilty of that, however staying hydrated helps you make healthier food choices.
You can decide to switch to eating healthy today which might not necessarily be an easy feat, but with a determined spirit it can be achieved. You need to understand that you don’t have to be perfect and don’t be in a haste to change everything at once. You are most likely to crash back to your eating lifestyle if you do that.
A good approach is to make these changes one at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed by the sudden change in diet. You can start by making a conscious effort of adding one healthy option to your diet.
After this is established, you can then work on removing one unhealthy choice. Make this consistent and gradually it becomes a habit of adding healthy choices and eradicating unhealthy choices.
Another option is to prepare more of your meals rather than eating takeout. This gives you an awareness of what your food contains.
What does healthy eating really entails?
- Healthy eating leads to healthy living when there is moderation in diet. At the end of a meal, you should feel satisfied and not stuffed that getting up from your seat would now seem to be a huge task.
- It is not making some certain foods off limit, rather it is reducing the portion sizes and the frequency. With time, your crave for them tends to reduce.
- Also, it is taking your time to savour your meal and not just wolfing it down, as it takes your brain some minutes to tell your body that it has received enough.
- Eating healthy is not just about what you eat’ but when you eat. Like most people say, the breakfast is one important meal of the day as it jump-starts your metabolism for the day. The other meals are to supply energy to fuel you for the day. Also, avoid late night eating so as to regulate your weight effectively.
So there it is fellas. Now it is up to you to make that choice of healthy living. You want to live healthy, eat right from today.