Incorporating healthy eating habits in your lifestyle

You don’t need to restrict yourself in order to eat healthy. Eating healthy is about eating in moderation, eating food that’s natural and unprocessed, and having a variety of foods that provide all the nutrition your body needs. Here are some tips on how to add these healthy habits to your daily life.

Be mindful of calories

Try not to consume more calories than your body burns in a day. On average, the recommended daily allowance for most people is 2,000 calories. But this will be different depending on someone’s age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity. It’s important to not skip your meals, but rather spread your calorie intake throughout the day. So if you have a big breakfast, even out your calorie intake by eating smaller portions for lunch and supper, with healthy snacks in between. For example, if you plan on having a take-away for dinner, consider having oats, boiled eggs or flakes for breakfast to balance out the calories.

Exercising at least once a day is also a great way to balance out your calorie consumption. This can include a 30 minute walk, jog or run. Or if you’d prefer, try playing a sport or starting a hobby such as dancing.

Eat a variety of foods

Eating a variety of foods helps you get the right amount of nutrients to your body, which promotes good health and can reduce the risk of diseases. The next time you do your grocery shopping, read the label on a food item before you buy it to see what nutrients it has. For example, foods such as fish and beans are high in protein. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, and so on. Whole grains provide carbohydrates and fibre, which are all part of a balanced diet. 

Eat moderate portions

Although some of us think that we should have less meals a day or restrict our eating, this is actually quite wrong. Eating 5-6 times per day is ideal for your metabolism, and helps to boost your energy levels during the day. Aim for 3 reasonably sized meals with 2-3 small snacks in between. Healthy snacks include nuts, fruit and yogurt.

Eat enough fruits and vegetables

Make sure that your diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables often. Make a trip to your local fruit and veg market and stock up for the week, and plan your meals in advance to avoid buying ingredients that you forget to use. You could also start a vegetable garden for yourself and your family, or visit local gardens in your community. Here’s more info on how to start your own veggie garden on a budget.

Minimise sugary food

Diets that are high in sugar can lead to a weak immune system, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, headaches, and depression. You can cut back by using half the amount of sugar in your diet. Limit fizzy drinks by drinking water or freshly squeezed juice instead. Fresh fruits are always a great option, as they have natural sugar with no added preservatives.

Drink plenty of water

Getting enough water every day is extremely important for our health. Aim to drink a minimum of 2 litres of water a day. Doing so flushes toxins from your organs, carries nutrients to your cells, helps your joints, and helps you digest the food you eat. Carry a water bottle as often as possible to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Incorporating healthy eating habits in your lifestyle will give your body the fuel it needs to function well, look and feel better! A nutritious diet can make your immune system stronger, help your body fight diseases and keep you feeling energised. What healthy eating habits have you gotten into this year? Share them in the comments below.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).