6. Eat regularly and monitor portion sizes
The best formula for a healthy diet is to eat a variety of foods, regularly and in the correct amounts.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can cause a feeling of uncontrolled hunger that often leads inevitably to binge eating. Eating between meals can help control hunger, but these snacks should not replace main meals. As a snack, we can have a yogurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruit or vegetables – such as carrot sticks -, unsalted nuts or perhaps some bread and cheese.
If we pay attention to the size of the portions, we will avoid consuming too many calories and we will be able to eat all the foods we like, without having to do without any.
– By cooking the right amount, it is easier not to overeat.
– Some reasonable serving sizes are 100g of meat, half a piece of fruit and half a cup of raw pasta.
– If smaller plates are used, it will be easier to eat smaller portions.
– Packaged foods with labels showing the number of calories may help control servings.
– When eating out, you can share a portion with a friend.
7. Drink lots of fluids
Adults have to drink at least 1.5 liters of liquid a day! Or more, if it is very hot or they do a lot of physical activity. Clearly, water is the best source of liquid, and it can be tap or mineral, sparkling or still, plain water, or flavored water. Fruit juices, tea, non-alcoholic drinks, milk, and other beverages may be fine, once in a while.
8. Maintain a healthy body weight
The appropriate weight for each person depends on factors such as gender, height, age and genetics. Being overweight increases your risk for a wide variety of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Excess body fat is the consequence of eating more than necessary. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient, namely protein, fat, carbohydrate or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us burn calories and makes us feel good. The message is reasonable and simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!
9. Get going, and make it a habit!
Physical activity is important to people, regardless of their weight and health. It helps us burn excess calories, is good for the circulatory system and heart, maintains or increases our muscle mass, helps us focus, and improves our overall well-being and health. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to get going! 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week is recommended and can be easily integrated into your daily routine. We could all:
– use the stairs instead of the elevator,
– take a walk on the lunch break (and stretch at the office during working hours),
– dedicate time to a family activity during the weeken
10. Get started now! And it changes little by little.
It is easier to maintain gradual lifestyle changes than large, simultaneous changes. If we write down for three days all the food and drinks we have throughout the day and write down the amount of movement made, it will not be difficult to see what we can improve:
– Did we skip breakfast? A small bowl of muesli, a piece of bread or a piece of fruit could help us to gradually incorporate it into our routine.
– Few fruits and vegetables? To start with, we can introduce an additional portion per day.
– Preference for foods rich in fat? If we eliminate them all at once, it could take its toll on us and send us back to old ways. Instead, we can opt for low-fat alternatives, eat them less often and in less quantity.
– Very little activity? A great starting point would be to take the stairs every day.