Even if you are not overweight or obese, you may want to change your routine in order to have a healthy lifestyle. Developing and following a healthy eating plan can help you improve your health. Sport is also a good way to get healthier, improve your energy level and lose weight. Here are 10 tips to follow for a healthy lifestyle.
1. Eat a variety of foods
To be healthy, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can provide them all. It’s not about eating a single healthy meal, but about making a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference. For example, a high-fat lunch could be followed by a low-fat dinner. Also, if you eat a large portion of meat for dinner, fish may be the next day’s choice.
2. Base your diet on many carbohydrate-rich foods
About half of the calories in our diet should come from carbohydrate-rich foods such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one at each meal. Whole grain foods, such as bread, pasta, and whole-grain cereals, increase our fiber intake.
3. Replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat
Fats are important for the health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much can affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different types of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips may help you maintain a good balance:
You should limit your intake of total and saturated fats (often from animal foods) and avoid trans fats altogether; reading labels helps to identify their sources.
Eating fish 2 to 3 times a week, with at least one serving of fatty fish, will contribute to your good intake of unsaturated fats.
During cooking, it is necessary to boil, steam or bake, rather than fry, remove the fat from the meat, use vegetable oils.
4. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can provide you with many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You should try to eat at least 5 servings a day. For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice for lunch, maybe an apple and a piece of watermelon for a snack, and a good serving of different vegetables at each meal.
5. Reduce your salt and sugar intake
High salt intake can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are different ways to reduce the amount of salt in the diet:
When shopping choose products with low sodium content.
During cooking, salt can be replaced by spices, which increases the variety of flavors and tastes.
Do not add salt to your food until you have tasted it.
Sugar gives an attractive taste, but sweet foods and drinks are high in energy and should be enjoyed in moderation on occasion. You could use fruit to sweeten your drinks and foods.
6. Eat regularly and check portion sizes
Eating a variety of foods regularly and in sufficient quantities is the best way to have a healthy diet. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to uncontrollable hunger, which often results in overeating. Snacks between meals can help control hunger, but they should not replace appropriate meals. For snacks, you can choose yogurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (such as carrot sticks) and unsalted nuts. Paying attention to portion sizes will help you avoid consuming too many calories and will allow you to eat all the food you like, without having to eliminate any of them from your diet. Here are some other tips to follow:
- Cooking the right amount helps to avoid overeating.
- Reasonable portions make up about 100 g of meat, a medium fruit and half a cup of raw pasta.
- The use of smaller plates makes it possible to obtain smaller portions.
- Packaged foods, with their caloric value on the package, can help you control portion sizes.
- If you eat out, you can share your portion with a friend.
7. Drink plenty of fluids
Adults should drink at least 1.5 litres of liquid per day or more if it is very hot or if they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and you can use tap water or mineral water, sparkling or non-carbonated, natural or flavoured. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk and other such drinks can also be good – from time to time.
8. Maintain a healthy weight
The right weight for each of us depends on factors such as our gender, height, age and genes. Being overweight increases the risk of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Excess body fat comes from the fact that we eat more than we need. Extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrates or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us to expend energy and feel good. Here’s what you need to remember: if you gain weight, you need to eat less and be more active!
9. Get into the habit of moving
Physical activity is important for everyone. It burns extra calories, is good for the heart, maintains or increases muscle mass, is good for concentration and improves overall well-being. You don’t need to be top athletes to move forward! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity is recommended, and it can easily become part of your daily routine. You can:
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator;
- Take a walk during lunch breaks (and stretch in your offices between breaks);
- Plan time for a weekend activity with the family.
10. Start now and continue to change your lifestyle gradually
It is easier to maintain gradual changes in our lifestyle than major changes made all at once:
- Are you skipping breakfast? A small bowl of muesli, a piece of bread or a piece of fruit may help to introduce it slowly into your routine.
- Too few fruits and vegetables? To start, try to introduce one extra fruit or vegetable per day into your diet.
- What are your favorite high-fat foods? Removing them abruptly could bring you back to your old habits. Instead, try choosing low-fat foods, eating them less frequently and in smaller portions.
- Do you do too little physical activity? Using the stairs every day could be a good first step.