- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
1. Have a varied diet
We need more than 40 different nutrients to keep us healthy – and one food alone cannot provide them all. The range of food on offer nowadays helps you to follow a varied diet, whether you prepare a meal at home using fresh ingredients, eat prepared meals or go to a restaurant. The most important thing is to have a balanced diet. If your lunch was high in fat, eat something light in the evening. If you had a large piece of meat for dinner one day, choose fish the following day.
2. Food rich in carbohydrate should be the basis of your diet
Most people do not eat enough bread, pasta, rice or other wheat-based products, or potatoes. During a meal, more than half of your calorie intake should be provided by these types of foods. Eat wholegrain bread, pasta and other wheat products to increase your fibre intake.
3. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables
Most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, even though they contain important nutrients. Try to eat at least five portions of them every day, and if at first you do not really enjoy their taste, try new recipes or take a look at the ready-prepared meals made from these ingredients that are available in supermarkets.
4. Maintain your healthy weight and feel good
Many factors influence the weight that is healthiest for you, including your sex, age and inherited factors. Excess weight increases the risk of a number of illnesses, such as heart conditions and cancer. If you consume more calories than you need, body fat content increases. These extra calories can come from protein, fat, carbohydrate or alcohol – but fat itself is the most concentrated source of calories. Physical exercise increases energy levels throughout the day, improving your general feeling of well-being. The task is simple: if you gain a few kilos, eat less and be more active.
5. Eat smaller portions – reduce meal size rather than avoiding certain foods
If you keep portion sizes sensible, it is easier to eat your favourite foods without having to avoid them. Some examples of sensible portions are: 100 grams of meat, a medium size fruit, half a cup of pasta (before cooking) or 50 ml of ice cream. Prepared meals can help to keep to the correct quantities, and in most cases their packaging features the calorie content. If you eat in a restaurant, share your portion with a friend.
6. Eat regularly
Missing a meal, especially breakfast, may lead to an uncontrolled feeling of hunger, and then to careless over-eating. Snacking between main meals may help combat the feeling of hunger, but do not eat as much as a main meal. Don’t forget: snacks contribute to your calorie intake too.
7. Drink a lot of fluids
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day, and even more than that in warm weather or during physical activity. Water is a very good choice, but variations can also be pleasant and healthy. You can also drink fruit juices, milk, tea, coffee, etc.
8. Be active
As we have seen, excessive calories and low activity levels may lead to weight gain. Sensible physical activity helps to burn these extra calories, and is also good for your heart, circulation, general health and helps you to feel good overall. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Instead of using the lift, take the stairs (up and down). Or go for a walk during your lunch break. You do not need to be an athlete to start being active.
9. Start now – and change step-by-step
It is easier to make step-by-step changes in our lifestyle than to make extreme changes in one go. Write down the food and drink you consume for your main meals and snacks over a period of three days. Are you eating enough fruit and vegetables? To start with, eat one more portion of fruit and vegetables a day. Do your favourite foods contain too much fat, causing you to gain weight? Don’t feel disheartened, and you don’t have to stop eating them, but just try eating less of them, or alternatives with less fat. Or, only take the stairs from now on.
10. Remember: there is no “good??? or “bad??? food
There is no “good??? or “bad??? food, only a good and bad diet. Instead of feeling guilty about your favourite foods, eat them in moderation and choose other foods as well, to maintain the balance and the varied diet necessary for your health.