A complete nutritious diet is like a money investment plan, the longer the investment term, the better the returns. So make your diet a long-term lifestyle change rather than using it as therapy for your short‑term goals. A good diet is the fuel that takes you on the path toward a strong and disease-free body and a peaceful mind. However, unhealthy and improper eating is increasing with every passing day as technology unveils new ways to make life easier. The primary consequence of unhealthy eating habits and an inactive lifestyle is obesity. Increasingly today, the first step toward better health has to be achieving the ideal weight for your age and height. While exercise and changing your dietary approach are the two keys to achieving the right weight, you can win the battle simply by eating more mindfully.
Portion control is one of the easy ways of improving your eating patterns. By keeping track of how much you eat as compared to how much you should eat, you can begin cutting down your portions. Also, wise selection of what you should eat will help in reaching the ideal weight for your body.
The journey of healthy eating begins at home
It is commonly said that a match is won easier on your home ground. Similarly, it is easier to control your diet and portion size when you are home. It is further simplified if you know certain nutrition facts. For this, always read the nutrition data stated on the labels, track the calories you consume every day and try reducing them based on your needs or activity level. The recommended serving size for every individual depends on various factors like body weight, age, height, disease conditions, etc. Using some simple and practical methods, you can have complete control over your serving size, refills, as well as your diet.
- Serve snacks in small bowls or buy small bags for eating. Avoid eating directly from the container or bag of food. This will help you overcome the temptation to eat more.
- Buy a single serving bag of the snack of your choice instead of opting for multiples. If you must buy many portions at once, then divide them into single-serving portions after you get home.
- Serve food on smaller plates while sitting to eat. You can always refill if you are still hungry after finishing what’s on your plate. More than likely, you will end up skipping the second serving.
- Store packed food at a place that is difficult to reach and out of sight to reduce temptation. This will reduce the amount of food you eat.
- While having meals, keep the main servings on the kitchen table such that you will have to get up from the dining table to refill your plate.
- First, fill half of your plate with green leafy vegetables and salads; then serve other foods on your plate. Try to fill the other half with whole grains and lean proteins.
- Mindfulness is a basic necessity for maintaining a healthy weight because many times you are so engrossed in your discussion or television that you unknowingly overeat. Keep your complete attention on the food while you eat.
- If you are hungry between meals, choose high fiber foods like fruits and salads.
- Always choose fruit juices over sugary drinks/sodas, but remember, whole fruits are always preferable to fruit juices as they give you a good amount of fiber.
Food is your partner for life: Choose it wisely even when dining out
Eating outside is a typical modern practice that can lead to an increase in portion size and affect your weight. Following the measures to cut down your portion size and control your food is easier when you are home, but what to do when you are at a restaurant? Some of the steps recommended by the American Heart Association to monitor and control your food intake even when you are eating out are listed below:
- Skip the appetizers.
- Divide the salad and the main course with one of your friends.
- Eat one slice of pizza rather than two and order a small-sized pizza rather than a medium or large one to split among the family.
- Avoid eating at theatres or while watching a movie at home as you tend to eat more when your attention is diverted from your food.
Incorporating healthy eating behaviors in your daily routine can help you prevent and treat many diseases. You might have always heard people asking you to watch what you eat, but it is also essential to focus on how much you eat. Monitoring and controlling the quantity of food you eat will help you lose weight and accomplish the mission of heading toward a healthy life. Eat smartly, stay healthy!