In today’s hectic world that we live in, maintaining our good health is important. It’s easy to let stress take center stage and set us up for poor diet and lifestyle choices. Our diet, exercise and behavioral choices can have a significant effect on our health. If you have a poor or unhealthy diet, you may run the risk of weight gain or increased your risk of chronic diseases (like diabetes or high blood pressure). If you’re not active regularly, you may also run the risk of gaining weight but also miss out on the many benefits of exercise. If you smoke, don’t manage stress or don’t sleep well, you again can run the risk of having negative side effects on your health. Maintaining a generally healthy body will require you to make sure you’re making healthy choices in a multiple areas of your life.
Practicing Healthy Eating Habits :-
01. Monitor calories. To have a generally healthy body, you should try to maintain a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, you are not maintaining a generally healthy body.
- Calories are a unit of measurement. You eat calories from food and that energy is used to fuel your bodily functions and activities throughout the day.
- If you consume too many calories, you may run the risk of gaining weight. If you do not eat enough calories, you may lose weight. The American diet is based on a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet.
- You may need to change how many calories you eat daily to match your body’s needs and to maintain a healthy weight. To lose weight, it is considered safe to cut 500 calories from your diet and aim to lose about one to two pounds per week.
- Use an online calculator or smartphone app to find out how many calories your body needs. A good rule of thumb is that a moderately active adult needs about 15 calories per pound to maintain her weight. Track calories to see if your current diet meets your needs.
02. Eat a well-balanced diet. Having a well-balanced diet is one of the most important parts of maintaining a generally healthy body. Without a balanced diet, it’ll be very difficult to maintain proper health.
- A balanced diet means that you consume foods from each food group most, if not every day.
- In addition, you should consume a variety of foods within each food group. Having a wide variety of foods from food groups will allow you to consume a variety of different nutrients.
- Lastly, a balanced diet means eating the right proportions or servings of each food. If you eat mostly protein foods but very few fruits or vegetables, your diet isn’t balanced. Following the appropriate portion sizes of each food group: 3-4 oz (card deck sized) of protein, 1 cup vegetables or 2 cups leafy greens, 1/2 cup chopped or one small piece of fruit, and 1 oz or 1/2 cup of grains.
- Balance your meals and snacks during the day. Aim for three to four servings of protein daily, five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables, and three to four servings of grains (1/2 being whole).
03. Go for lean protein sources. Protein is an essential nutrient in your diet. It will provide the building blocks for many functions of your body including maintaining lean muscle mass, rebuilding cells and supporting your immune system.
- Lean protein sources include: poultry, eggs, seafood, lean beef, pork, legumes (nuts and beans) and tofu.
- Lean protein sources are low in fat and calories. This helps you get in adequate amounts each day without going over your daily calorie limit.
- Consuming adequate amounts of protein has also been associated with a general healthy body. Some of these include: better management of your appetite and a healthy weight, support healthy cholesterol and lipid levels and better management of diabetes.
04. Make half of your meals a fruit or vegetable. Fruits and vegetables are two of the most important food groups. These foods contain the highest amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- High amounts of fruits and vegetables in the diet have been associated with a variety of beneficial effects on your general health including: decreased blood pressure, better management of blood sugar and diabetes, decreased risk of stroke and heart disease, prevent some types of cancers and decrease risk of blindness.
- Another thing to note about fruits and vegetables is that each color of vegetable or fruit contains different types of beneficial nutrients. In addition to eating adequate servings each day, make sure to choose a variety of different colors of items.
05. Make your grain choices whole grain. Whole grain foods have been associated with a variety of beneficial health effects to help promote a general healthy body. Try making more of your grain choices whole.
- Refined grains, or those that are more processed and not whole do not have as many nutritional benefits compared to whole grains. They’re typically lower in fiber, protein and other beneficial nutrients.
- Whole grains to try include: 100% whole wheat pasta and bread, brown rice, whole grain oats, farro, millet, quinoa and barley.
- Although all your grain choices may not be whole grains, health experts recommend trying to make at least 1/2 of them 100% whole grain. Some of the health benefits associated with whole grains include: increased fiber and other beneficial nutrients, reduced risk of heart disease diabetes and some cancers.
- If you are trying to lose weight, try limiting your carbohydrate intake.
06. Limit junk foods and processed foods. Although there is a wide range of processed foods (including both nutritious and unhealthy options), many are higher in calories, fat, sugar and preservatives.
- Most health experts recommend limiting processed foods or junk foods or eating them in moderation. Although they may not be the most nutritious choice, the occasional treat is appropriate.
- Choose wisely when you’re eating more indulgent items. Foods like chips, crackers, sweetened beverages, frozen meals, fast food, pastries or sweets shouldn’t be a daily occurrence.
- There are plenty of foods that are still considered very healthy and nutritious yet are still considered “processed.” These are OK to eat on a regular basis. Some items include: canned vegetables (look for cans that say “low-sodium”), frozen vegetables and fruit, pre washed lettuce and salad greens, and dairy products.
07. Drink adequate amounts of water. Water is a vital nutrient in your diet and plays many important roles in your body. If you do not consume enough hydrating fluids each day, you run the risk of being dehydrated.
- Most adults need at least eight 8-oz glasses of hydrating fluids daily. However some experts recommend consuming up to 10–13 glasses daily.
- If you are physically active or perspire a lot during the day or during physical activity, you’ll need to replace the fluid lost in addition to your regular daily intake.
- Consume caffeine-free and sugar-free beverages, as these are the healthiest and most hydrating. Items like water, flavored water, decaf coffee and decaf tea are appropriate.
- Dehydration has many negative side effects ranging from very minimal issues to more serious health effects. Some include: fatigue, mental fogginess, headaches, mood swings, kidney stones and urinary tract infections.