Stay Fit and healthy is a choice, it’s a gift we give ourselves. Fit and Healthy not only applies to the Body but also to our mind. Our body can be healthy and fit only if we are happy and taken care of from within. Our output depends on our intake, hence what we feed our body and mind goes a long way in our well being.
Good food habits / Good eating habits help us in disciplining ourselves for the long run. It helps in preventing illnesses, diseases as well commonly occurring infections and pains. Healthy Eating is a mix of all food groups that are necessary for the proper functioning of the body making us healthy and providing energy. It’s a variety of nutrients like minerals, fat, protein, water, vitamins and carbohydrates.
- Chew well: – Simple as it may sound, it’s the most neglected thing we do every day. In our daily rush and routine, food has become a mechanical necessity and we tend to gulp on it rather than chew and enjoy food. Chewing food is the beginning of our digestion process. Taking large chunks of food without chewing, leads to digestive problems. Bloating, weight gain and gas is a common result of improper chewing of food.
- Water: – Your day should begin with water. This is the best way to kick start the day. It helps in maintaining the body temperature and provides cushioning to the tissues and joints. There is a loss of water naturally in our body due to sweating, bowel movements and urinating, on an average 8-10 glasses of water should be drunk every day. Water with honey and lemon juice aid in weight loss along with regular exercise and a balanced diet. Drinking enough water cuts down our thirst of aerated and caffeinated drinks which unknowingly add up our liquid calories.
- Snacking: – Healthy snacking goes a long way in remaining fit and healthy. This is the most underrated meal. In spite of eating 3 healthy meals, many people complain of health issues, the reason is unhealthy snacking. Fruits should be taken in between meal intervals or nuts and salads should be preferred to chips, soft drinks, junk food etc.
- Dispose of Leftover: – Many a times we have leftovers which we preserve or freeze for later consumption. This is an extremely unhealthy and dangerous habit, as food becomes stale and loses its nutrients. Leftover food can be kept max for 3 to 4 days in the fridge but be sure to consume them within that time. Post that, you are at a risk of food poisoning.
- Protein Intake: – Proper protein intake helps in weight maintaining/loss. Milk, Yoghurt, White meat, Cheese, Seafood etc is rich source of protein. To derive maximum health benefit, protein should be consumed in right quantity. Protein speeds up metabolism; builds muscle and keep you fuller longer.
- Plan your meals: – Meal planning simplifies your daily life and also helps in eating right so as to stay healthy. It helps you not to deviate and lean towards processed and fast food. You can plan meals daily for the next day or prepare a weekly or a monthly menu, which can incorporate various dishes and a variety of food group too. This prevents binge eating and resists temptation of junk food as well.
- Portion Size: – Eating healthy food in unhealthy quantity is of no good. Portion size is very important when it comes to food. Filling up your plate during meal time or at buffets is ideally wrong. Taking small amounts of different food groups/items should be encouraged. Along with healthy eating it also inculcates a habit of not throwing/wasting food.
- Hot liquids: – As per research, if we start our meal with soups and end it with green tea/hot water; it helps in maintaining weight and staying healthy. Soups at the beginning of meals help us in feeling fuller and prevent us from overeating, whereas drinking hot liquids at the end of the meal helps in breaking down the food and aids in proper digestion.
- Cheat Days: – Having cheat days helps us in following our daily healthy lifestyle as we have one dedicated day to indulge ourselves. It makes healthy eating everyday enjoyable. Cheat days don’t mean binge eating of junk food. It simply means enjoying your favourite meals in limited/small portion sizes.
- Dinner by Sunset: – The last meal of the day should be ideally taken before sunset or 3 hours before you sleep. Sleeping on a heavy stomach causes improper digestion and leads to weight retention and uneasiness which in turn affects the sleep quality.
- Avoid Whites: – Whites refer to food items which are white in color and which have been processed and refined. Items like pasta, potatoes, rice, sugar, salt, flour, bread etc are said to be avoided as they have no nutrients and are filled with fats and starch. They should be either completely eliminated from our diet or to be taken in moderate quantities. The first step being minimum usage of salt and sugar in our daily lives.
- Reduce toppings and sauces: – Topping and sauces are nothing but empty calories. A healthy salad is made unhealthy with the use of lots of sauces as a palak paratha is made less healthy by having ketchup/sauce with it. Olive oil makes a better salad dressing and Yoghurt is better accompaniment with parathas.
- Listen to your body: – End of the day, all that matters is your body and how you listen to it and pay heed to its demands and requirements. There is no set rule which applies to all. What works for one body type might have an opposite reaction to the other. So eating on demand or when your body craves food is the best solution. Eating wisely and healthy is the key.
Healthy eating habit should be a part of your daily regime as breathing is to living. It does wonders for your health and wellbeing and keeps you happy and fit always.