Eating well and having a healthy body is normally mistaken for diets and weight loss, but this is not entirely the same. It is not about limiting your intake or aiming to be unhealthily thin.
Being in good health is, in fact, all about feeling good with your body, free from disease, feeling positive and having enough energy. Of course, maintaining an optimal weight and being active is also a part of staying healthy.
It can really be confusing to choose the right food to eat when every day, scientists or dieticians are coming up with new lists of superfoods or restricting what you always thought was good for you. For every “expert” that says one thing is good, someone else will probably say the opposite.
Instead of focusing on specific food items that should be or not be on your plate, it is better to just follow simple tips to have a tasty but healthy and varied diet that will be good for your body and mind.
Why Is Your Mental And Emotional Health Also Important?
What is the use of eating all the right food when you are constantly stressing and counting calories? Part of being healthy is to not stress about what is on your plate. Moreover, general good health also puts emphasis on your mental and emotional well-being.
Having conditions that affect your thoughts and emotions, like depression, anxiety, stress or Alzheimer’s disease does not align with the idea of a healthy person. What most don’t realise, though, is how their food intake can have an influence in this case. Processed food, fast food, and too much sugary snacks have been linked to a higher chance of having these conditions.
In order to stabilise your moods and keep your mind sharp, it is also very beneficial for you to watch out for what you eat. Again, it is not about completely avoiding something, like never indulging on anything with sugar ever again but it is about improving eating habits and maintaining a balanced diet to keep you healthy not just in the physical sense, but also emotionally and mentally.
What Steps Should You Take To Eat Healthier?
Completely changing your diet in one go will be difficult to maintain and most likely will lead to cheating or giving up. In order to ensure success, the trick is to take a few small, manageable steps instead of a complete overhaul.
It can be something as simple as adding a salad to your daily nutrition plan or reducing intake of coffee by 1 cup. By doing these steps consistently, you develop new habits. And once this happens, you can do another small step, and so on.
Here are some of these small steps that you can start now:
1. Prepare Your Own Meals
Eating out or buying fast food means you have no clue or control over the ingredients, the cooking method and simply, how healthy or unhealthy your meals are. If you want to reduce cholesterol and oil, there is no other way to make sure you are achieving your goal than by preparing your own meals yourself.
Again, you can start small by just opting for one home-cooked meal a day until you get the hang of it. Cooking your own dishes will also help you achieve the other steps.
2. Choose the Right Ingredients
When you are making your own dishes, you can then decide to make small changes on recipes. For example, you can swap that cooking cream for something less fatty, or replace trans fats like fried chicken for healthier fats like salmon.
3. Make Simple Changes
If the changes will require counting calories all the time or some other complicated process, then it will eventually overwhelm you. Make it simple, for example, never buy packaged or processed food and preparing something from scratch instead. Another easy tip is to look at your meal and work on getting more colours on it. The more colours, the more variety of vitamins and minerals you end up consuming.
4. Read Labels
This is always one of the best steps you can make to be sure you are eating healthier. There are many “healthy” foods out there that are advertised so, but a quick look at the back shows how much sugar is actually added. Also, the ingredient list will tell you a lot, especially how fresh that item really is. If there are so many unknown things listed, then it isn’t really natural.
5. Keep Hydrated
Many people do not realise how important water is, and how they can improve so much by just drinking enough. Not only will your body be more efficient in clearing it of toxins and waste products, it will reduce headaches, tiredness and lack of energy. Also, when you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty so drinking enough might actually reduce your food intake as well.
Once you make these small changes, you start to feel better after meals. Let this motivate you to continue developing better eating habits. Your body does give you signals that you may not notice, so when you are eating junk, you start to feel it as well. When you feel good and positive, then this is a sign that you are feeding your mind and body nothing but healthy things.