To put it simply, eating right is all about eating smart. Eating right is not a “diet”, it is a lifestyle. You cannot completely give up on any type of food or put strict restrictions on yourself because eventually, you will give in to temptations. Hence, most nutritionists recommend that you eat a little bit of everything, but in moderation. Eating right is just knowing what to eat and when to eat it. And once you get the basics right, nothing is stopping you from leading a healthy lifestyle!
Follow the basic rule of thumb for a balanced diet
The basic rule of thumb is that your diet should include 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 25% fats. Here, it is important to note that carbohydrates include grains such as wheat, rice, oats and fruits, as well as fibre-rich foods such as green and leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas etc. If you are attempting to lose weight, you can reduce your intake of grains and increase your intake of vegetables in the carbohydrates section, while ensuring that you have a form of protein in every meal.
Know your food Do you really need to eat carbs? Carbohydrates give you the energy that you need to go on with your daily routine. However, this energy is derived from complex and unrefined carbs like whole grains and vegetables, not from refined carbs like sugar and white flour. Why do you need to eat protein? Proteins are basically the building blocks for tissue, bones, skin, muscles, cartilage and even blood. It also provides the energy you need to go on with your day. Have you ever noticed how energetic you feel all day long after eating a good protein-rich breakfast? Are fats even good for you? The keto diet suggests that fats are great for weight loss and overall well being. But that’s a discussion for another time. Healthy fats are just as important as anything else – they ensure support cell growth, prevent heart diseases, improve nerve, heart and brain function and produce important hormones. Also, healthy fats are stored away to give you energy when you’re running out. Once you know what you are eating and why you are eating it, your ways of choosing and consuming food will totally change. Don’t get into fad dieting, get into eating healthy.
Micronutrients are just as important
Micronutrients are those nutrients which your body needs to survive, literally. These are found in the food you eat – if you eat healthy. Micronutrients namely vitamins and minerals, also known as essential nutrients, are very important to stay fit and healthy. Vitamins are essential for immune function, blood clotting, bone development, energy productions and so on. On the other hand, minerals are essential for the growth and development of bones and teeth, providing oxygen to the muscles, normal growth, fluid balance and so much more. If you are not getting these essential nutrients from your daily meals, then it is recommended that you start taking vitamin and mineral supplements, after consulting your physician.
Moderation is always key
Nothing is off-limits, and nothing should be eaten in excess. If you only eat protein all day long, you’ll probably end up damaging your kidneys. If you decide to completely go off sweets, you’re probably going to get a massive craving one day and end up overeating. The key is moderation – eat a little bit of everything. You basically need to figure out how to stay fit and healthy by eating moderately i.e. without completely giving up on a certain food as well as without going on a food binge. For example, if you’re craving a pizza or a burger or even a chocolate brownie, eat it. However, a healthier alternative would be to make this at home. That way you can use a whole wheat pizza base to make a healthier pizza. You can use whole wheat flour and sugar-free alternatives to make the brownies. That way, you are giving in to your cravings but very moderately.
Always stay hydrated, drink H20 It often goes unsaid, but staying hydrated is a very important part of a healthy diet. You need to follow the 8×8 rule – drink at least eight glasses of water from eight-ounce glasses. Many a time, your body cannot tell the difference between hunger and thirst. So, instead of just drinking water and feeling satisfied you start munching on some unnecessary snacks. Make sure that you drink water regularly, especially when you wake up. Some research has shown that drinking two glasses of warm water every morning on an empty stomach helps improve various bodily functions as well as organ functions.