How many times have you promised yourself you would start a new life on Monday? And how many times have you actually succeeded? We suggest that you look at good nutrition not as a diet, but as a way of life and eating habits that will make you more alert and energetic without depriving you of delicious food.
Eating right doesn’t always work out in the long run. How do you switch to proper nutrition, avoid breakdowns, kickbacks and not torture yourself with unpalatable but healthy foods? Let’s figure out how to eat right, which foods should give up, and which – to give preference.
When to Consider Switching to a Healthy Diet
Keep in mind that a healthy diet isn’t a diet in its pure form. Rather, it’s a way of life, a thoughtful approach to the diet. Let’s break down who should think about forming new eating habits in the first place:
- Those who are overweight. If your body mass index is above 25, it means you are overweight and you should think about a more balanced diet. According to the WHO, people who are overweight are more prone to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders and some cancers.
- People who watch their physical shape, work out, and do sports. It will be easier for them to work out their muscle relief by sticking to the right diet.
- For those who watch their health. Because many diseases can be prevented if you balance and think through your diet in time.
How to Switch to Proper Nutrition: First Steps for Beginners
If it’s finally that Monday from which you “eat the new way”, start with simple steps. This approach will allow you to form proper eating habits without psychological discomfort. It reduces the risk of breakdowns and allows you to restructure your diet in stages.
Down With the Junk Food
This term is used by nutritionists to describe foods that should be limited in your diet. It’s unnecessary to eliminate “food garbage” while watching movies or playing at an online casino real money completely, it will only lead to breakdowns and overeating. But the number of these products should be significantly reduced:
- Sugar and products that contain it.
- Processed meat, sausage.
- Sugary soft drinks.
- Fast food, snacks.
- Ketchup, mayonnaise, sauces with flavorings, sweeteners, and other additives.
Junk and processed foods (sweets, convenience foods, mayonnaise salads) contain virtually no nutrients and not only produce a short-lived feeling of fullness but also dull the natural satiety, causing people to overeat when they are in fact already full.
Drink Less Alcohol
John likes to drink with friends at the bar at the end of the work week, but that Monday has finally arrived: John decided to address his eating habits. So our hero was left without his usual way of getting rid of stress? Not necessarily. Alcohol cannot be completely eliminated from the diet, but only limited to a glass of wine or other alcohol at dinner and careful attention to snacks:
- Alcohol consumption stimulates the appetite and is fraught with overeating. Alcohol often involves snacks, and these are mostly food junk: chips, croutons, snacks. You can replace them with crunchy vegetables and sauces without additives: hummus, cottage cheese.
- Alcohol has a negative effect on the metabolism: drinks with a degree slow down the metabolism and retain water in the body.
- The caloric value of alcohol is quite high, especially strong drinks.
To form proper eating habits, it’s necessary not only to eat right but also to drink enough water. Two liters of water a day is a common myth. A healthy person doesn’t need to calculate the rate of fluid intake because the mechanism of water metabolism in the body is regulated by natural thirst. If the feeling of thirst is blunted or you have chronic diseases, calculate your fluid intake rate from the formula of 30-45 ml per 1 kg of weight. This includes not only water but also liquids from food and other drinks. For example, tea, coffee or milk. But it’s still better to give preference to pure water and definitely not sugary sodas.
In order for the transition to a proper diet to be successful, it’s necessary to have the right psychological attitude. Set up in advance for a long work on yourself, a gradual change of habits. The time frame of a restrictive diet is usually limited, while the transition to a healthy diet is a lifestyle change designed for years and decades. That’s why psychological comfort is an important key to success. The longer you suppress your natural sense of hunger with rigid restrictive diets, the stronger the episodes of compulsive overeating that follow. That’s why good nutrition is about comfort, health and good food.
What’s Next: The Second Stage of the Transition to Proper Nutrition
The first stage is passed, you have already mastered the basic principles and started to successfully change your eating habits. Now it’s time to change your diet and the very approach to nutrition. For convenience, the second stage can be divided into steps.
Don’t Eliminate Carbs
Even if you decide to switch to proper nutrition for the sake of slimness, don’t give up carbs in any case. They must be present in the diet: these substances are the main sources of energy. It’s carbs that signal your brain that your body is full.
Carbs are divided into simple and complex:
- Simple ones are broken down quickly, rapidly raising glucose levels. They are the ones that lead to being overweight. Sources of simple carbs include pasta, white rice, sweet fruits, and honey. You shouldn’t refuse these products completely – you can include them in your diet in small portions once in a while.
- Complex carbs are broken down for a long time, so they don’t lead to sudden jumps in glucose and provide a long feeling of satiety. It’s the source of complex carbs. Such substances are contained in uncooked rice, beans, vegetables, wholemeal bread, cereals, pasta from durum wheat, root crops, and unsweetened fruits.
Cook in a New Way
Give up fried foods – they provoke an increase in blood cholesterol. The caloric value of fried food in oil is much higher, which can lead to extra weight.
Foods can be boiled in water or steamed, baked in the oven or grilled, or stewed (without oil). Instead of chemical additives, use natural spices – so the food will please with a variety of flavors.
Reconsider Your Diet
The products that are included in the daily menu should provide the body with macro and micronutrients: the first are needed in large quantities, the latter in small ones. Macronutrients include fats, proteins and carbohydrates; micronutrients include vitamins and minerals.
Protein is necessary for cellular repair, regeneration processes. Lack of such substances reduces immunity, leads to hair and nail brittleness, destruction of body tissues. Nutritionists recommend consuming 1-1.3 grams of protein per kilogram of weight to maintain muscle mass.
Fats ensure the normal functioning of the endocrine and nervous systems and improve the digestibility of other substances. The menu should include vegetable fats, animal fats, especially omega-3 – this fatty acid is contained in marine fish. The daily dose is 0,5 g per each kilogram of weight.
Carbohydrates provide the body with energy. Lack of such substances in the diet causes a constant feeling of hunger, chronic fatigue and can lead to the destruction of muscle tissue. In a properly composed diet complex carbohydrates are the sources of 45-50% of daily calories, the amount of simple carbohydrates – no more than 10%. If you are afraid of overdoing it, follow the Harvard plate rule, complex carbs are half of your meal.
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for the body in smaller amounts, but their lack disturbs the metabolism and can lead to diseases. Nutritionists say that with a properly designed diet, there is no need for dietary supplements, and all the vitamins and minerals can be obtained from the food. Nutrient deficiencies can only be detected by taking tests, and whether they are worth prescribing can only be determined by the doctor.
Move More Actively
Allocate time for physical activity: even a half-hour walk will be enough, but even better – connect home training. Just 15 minutes of vigorous exercise every day will help keep your muscles toned.
Don’t Forget About Sleep
Try to normalize your sleep patterns. It can be difficult, but remember that lack of sleep worsens the breakdown of fats, negatively affects your metabolism and your psychological state. Frequent or chronic stresses also have a negative effect on health and may cause bouts of hunger and a strong desire to eat something to eat your troubles.
What Mistakes to Avoid
When planning to change the diet, beginners often make typical mistakes. They can be fraught with deterioration of health and sometimes even cause health problems. Here’s what it’s best not to do to maintain proper eating behavior for a long time:
- Cut calories drastically. Even if you have decided to switch to a proper diet to get rid of excess weight, you should not drastically reduce your daily caloric intake. Remember: even at complete rest the body needs at least 700-800 kcal per day. Any averaged recommendations for the norm of calories per day are incorrect, it’s better to calculate your individual norm by Harris-Benedict formula.
- Reduce the number of meals. It’s unnecessary to refuse breakfast, lunch or dinner. A strong feeling of hunger on a healthy diet is wrong, especially, you risk eating more at the next meal.
- Abruptly change your diet, introduce a large number of unfamiliar products. At best, you will simply give up trying to switch to a healthy diet, at worst you may encounter gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions.
- Adhere to a monotonous diet. The body won’t receive all the necessary substances, and such food won’t bring pleasure, which will increase the risk of failure. A balanced died is necessary for all aspects of your health, and as one Calgary optometrist recommends, foods as simple as carrots are needed to keep your eyes healthy.
- Reduce the amount of water. This is a common mistake made by people who lose weight. Remember: dehydration has nothing to do with a proper and healthy diet.