Lasting results are achieved through balance
A vast amount of information has been written about nutrition and healthy eating habits. However, the opinions of these authors often seem contradictory, and what’s good for our health one day seems to be bad for our health the next…
All you have to do is look up “eating”, “trans fat” or “antioxidant” on the internet, and you’ll find tens of millions of pages on the subject. Wading through all of that is no easy task! It’s simpler to just get back to the basics and focus on eating a well-balanced diet.
Eating well has nothing to do with the latest culinary trend or the newsuper foods. Like any other area of your life, it’s all about balance. On the other hand, a healthy diet should never mean sacrificing enjoyment,because for most people, eating is one of life’s most basic pleasures.
People who maintain a healthy weight don’t deprive themselves; they have simply learned how to eat better and how to maintain good, healthy eating habits.
DETERMINE YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT
Before making any changes to your diet, the first thing to do is determine your goal. A simple calculation is all it takes to determine if you’re at a healthy weight, i.e. a “normal” weight that allows you to feel good about yourself and that increases your chances of being healthy.
Not everyone has the same ideal weight, because it’s based on a ratio between your height and your weight. You can calculate your own ideal weight using the tool below. If your weight is too low or too high, you should do something about it before you start to have more serious physical or psychological health problems.
AVOID MIRACLE DIETS
When you want to change your eating habits to help you achieve your ideal weight, there’s nothing worse than a miracle diet. This is a diet that prevents the complete absorption of certain foods, or that promotes excessive absorption of other foods, over a defined period. For example, if you eat nothing but broccoli for two weeks, you will definitely get thinner. But as soon as you return to your old eating habits, any weight you lost is guaranteed to come right back!
So forget about those “miracle diets” that seem to work in the short term, but provide no real solution for the long term. Set a reasonable, attainable goal, like losing about 0.5 kg (1 lb) a week.This is a realistic, achievable goal that will enable you to
integrate good eating habits that will have a lasting effect.
ADOPT A WINNING STRATEGY
- Eat at regular times to control your hunger more effectively. Skipping meals encourages you to eat more at the next meal.
- Try to eat 5 to 6 fruits and vegetables a day, and round it out with protein-rich foods like fish, chicken and lean meats, which produce serotonin, a chemical that promotes a feeling of wellbeing.
- Fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration.
- To avoid dehydration and stay in shape, drink water instead of soda or coffee.
- Forget about the bathroom scale, and focus instead on your energy level and how your clothes fit.
DO YOU KNOW YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT?
Your ideal weight is determined by calculating your body mass index (BMI), which is the ratio between your height and your weight.
A.Write down your weight in kilograms.
To convert pounds to kilograms, divide by 2.2.
(E.g.: 150 pounds / 2.2 = 68 kilograms)
B.Write down your height in metres. To convert inches to
metres, multiply by .025.
(E.g.: 5’7” = 67” x .025 = 1.68 m)
C. Calculate your height in metres squared, i.e. your height
multiplied by itself.
(E.g.: 1.68 x 1.68 = 2.82)
D.Divide your weight by your height squared (A/C).
The result is your BMI.
(E.g.: 68/2.82 = 24.1)
The normal range for adults between the ages of 18 and 64 is between 18.5 and 24.9. If your BMI is lower than 18.5, you are at increased risk for anaemia and osteoporosis. If it is between 25 and 29.9, you have excess weight and are at much greater risk for developing health problems. If your BMI is over 30, the risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain kinds of cancer are much higher.
SO WHAT’S THE SECRET?
The secret to healthy eating is simple. It’s all about eating reasonable amounts of a wide variety of healthy foods (see table below). At the same time, you can identify one or two foods that you know aren’t good for you, and try to eat less of them. For example, if you drink one soda a day, you’re ingesting the equivalent of 7 teaspoons of sugar each time! If you cut your consumption in half, you will eliminate your sugar intake by almost 30 teaspoons a week, without making much of a sacrifice. Keep this up, and you’ll soon be tightening your belt… guaranteed!
It’s a matter of identifying those foods that have no nutritional value, cutting down on them and replacing them with foods that give you health benefits rather than excess weight. This will help you achieve your ideal weight gradually, and more importantly, it will produce lasting results. A healthy diet, combined with physical exercise, will help you combat stress, stay alert and be better prepared to deal with day-to-day stress and illness. Bon appétit!
CHOOSE STRESS RESISTANT FOODS
|Oranges, grapefruits, apricots, peaches, apples, pears, melons, strawberries, carrots, beans, tomatoes,spinach, broccoli, eggs, cheese, butter, fatty fish, liver||Vitamin A||Promotes cell growth and development and protects against infection. Helps maintain healthy skin, hair, nails and eyes.|
|Lemons, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries,blackberries, raspberries, black currants, gooseberries,kiwis, mangos, tomatoes, sweet peppers,broccoli, cabbage, spinach||Vitamin C||Promotes good blood vessels and strengthens gums, teeth and
bones. Also improves the uptake of iron and strengthens the immune system.
Helps to stimulate the immune
|Asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, avocados, eggs, olives, salmon, tuna, nuts, red kidney beans, vegetable oil, brown rice, wheat germ, whole wheat bread||Vitamin E||Helps to stimulate the immune system and protects against heart
disease. Also helps form red blood cells.
|Brazil nuts, fish, mushrooms, wheat germ, whole grains, bran, giblets, lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, duck, seafood, white fish, tuna, milk, butter, cheese, lentils, avocados, garlic||Selenium||Limits the destruction of cells and stimulates the immune system.
May also help reduce the risk of getting certain types of cancer.
|Milk, butter, cheese, peanuts, sunflower seeds, oysters, fish, seafood, liver, beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, veal, wheat germ, whole grains||Zinc||Promotes the healing of wounds and contributes to healthy
skin and hair. Promotes digestion and metabolism. Contributes
to reproductive health.