Many people uphold the misconception that a bit of physical activity is enough to maintain a healthy weight. This is false. A healthy diet AND regular exercise are necessary to achieve physical fitness. Crash diets or short periods of cutting out a particular product are not conducive to keeping off weight. It is important to create a healthy and balanced lifestyle, with a diet that suits nutritional and physical needs. Eliminating an entire food group can be unhealthy. A diet is not just about weight loss, but about achieving overall well-being. To do so, it is essential to have a lifestyle diet, in which you maintain certain healthy eating habits.
Carbohydrates – Choose good carbs, NOT no carbs. Whole grains are best!
Proteins – Fish, poultry and beans are great sources of protein, but be aware of the “package.” A food like steak is very high in protein, but has a large amount of fat. Also, be mindful of the percentage of fat that is saturated, as too much is not good. Always pay attention to what fat content comes with a protein-packed product.
Fats – Choose healthy fats, limit saturated fat, and avoid trans fat altogether. Plant oils, nuts, and fish are the healthiest sources.
Fiber – Choose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Apples, oranges, beans, and peanut butter are good high-fiber foods.
Vegetables/Fruits – Go color crazy! When choosing the best fruits and vegetables, the more colors the better. Green fruits and veggies are especially nutritious.
Calcium – Calcium is essential for strong bones; however, milk is not the only source. Dairy products contain plenty of calcium, but in many instances they also carry high levels of saturated fat. Some good non-dairy sources of calcium include: collards, bok choy, fortified soy milk, and baked beans.
Drinking plenty of water, consuming less salt, taking a daily multivitamin, and even moderate drinking (red wine promotes heart health) are other dietary choices beneficial to your overall health.
The way in which you cook your foods can have a remarkable effect on how you respond physically to your daily food regimen. Portion is important; do not let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. More meals of a smaller size will boost your metabolism, burning fat more quickly. Cook using extra virgin olive oil, rather than vegetable, peanut, or canola oil. Olive oil happens to be high in a good fat, monosaturated fatty acids. Consume larger portion of vegetables, and a smaller portion of meats. You will notice a great difference with this slight augment in veggie to meat ratio. Sustaining a balanced diet is essential in losing or maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding health risks.