There are a lot of books, websites and videos about nutrition, but a lot of the advice can be confusing. One week you might hear that eggs are terrible for your health, and the next week a new study shows that they’re good for you. Sorting through all of this conflicting information can be a challenge. Here are some simple tips and things to consider when looking at a new diet.
What Your Body Needs
Your body is complicated, and it needs a lot of different nutrients for optimal health and well-being. You need some nutrients in greater quantities than others. Protein is essential for cell growth and repair. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy. Fats are needed for hormones, cell division and brain functioning. Your body also needs vitamins and minerals.
Nutrition Versus Taste
When diet fads tout kale or tofu, you might think that all healthy foods taste bad. This is not the case. When considering a new diet, avoid any that point to one food as a cure-all. Also, avoid any diets that force you to eliminate a whole category of foods. For example, the Atkins Diet eliminates fruit. It’s best to pick healthy options from all categories of foods. Doing this gives your body a variety of nutrients it needs. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Try a rainbow of produce every day.
What’s In a Healthy Diet?
You’ll be more successful in eating healthier if you make small changes a little at a time. Instead of counting every calorie you take in, focus on the nutrition provided by each food. Choose foods based on their freshness, color and variety. Try to avoid processed and packaged foods. If the label has words you can’t pronounce, it’s probably best to avoid that product.
Think about how your body feels after you eat something. Did the doughnut make you tired, or did the piece of fried chicken give you heartburn?
If you felt uncomfortable after eating it, consider replacing it with something healthier. Some healthy diet changes to make include:
- Prepare more of your own meals at home
- Replace unhealthy foods with healthier choices
- Read food labels
- Drink plenty of water
- Limit snacking by not buying snack foods
- Eat together as a family
- Notice when you feel full
- Avoid eating from boredom or stress
- Take your time when eating
If you tell yourself you can never have ice cream again, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Instead, reduce the portion sizes of unhealthy foods. Decrease how often you consume them. Think of ice cream as a rare treat, such as on your or your child’s birthday, not as something to eat every day. Learn about correct portion sizes. When eating out, share an entree or ask the server for a doggie bag, and put half of your meal in it.
Stopping your activities early enough during the evening hours will ensure quality sleep. When getting ready for bed many of us like to watch our favorite shows or play online games like poker with all e-wallet solutions available in Canada using our phones or tablets. The blue light emitted from these devices can alter sleep cycles causing our mind to think it’s still light outside. Stopping these activities at least 30 minutes before bed will help your mind get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Another tip is to stop eating before your belly hurts. Your brain doesn’t realize you’re full for a while. Eat dinner earlier. You’ll sleep better.