Today, millions of people around the world seek a “magic” formula or “diet” that will effectively help them lose that extra weight once and for all. However, after finding the “ideal diet” and achieving the desired weight, in most cases, people return to their previous diet, which results in the recovery of the weight lost. Has this ever happened to you? The key is creating Healthy Eating Habits!!
This time I’m going to list a few tips that can help you achieve your goal this year: lose weight THE healthy way.
First, you must become aware that there is evidence that obesity predisposes individuals to many degenerative diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. Therefore you must be aware of all that is at risk and prioritize your health rather than your appearance. Your goal should not be to look slim, or to look like models in magazines. Those pictures almost never show reality. The most important thing is to aim to achieve a healthy weight, according to your height, build and age, and not wanting to look like top models. We are all different and each one of us requires a certain diet in order to stay in good shape and healthy.
Now, what I recommend you is to slow and gradually start changing your eating habits, one by one. Hence, establishing Healthy Eating Habits for life. These could be some of them:
1. Eat breakfast early, between the first hour after awakening. It is important never omit breakfast. Breakfast helps restore blood glucose values after the hours you starved during the night. There is evidence that people who eat breakfast tend to choose healthier foods during the day, helping to maintain ideal weight.
2. Program your three main meals and two snacks, (that can be a mid-morning and afternoon). Examples of snacks include: low-fat yogurt with berries and nuts or a piece of fruit and almonds.
3. At breakfast remember including fruits, you can take a piece of fruit just before your regular breakfast. Also add sources of high biological value proteins like egg whites, cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt and also complex carbohydrates such as oats, barley or wheat bread. Remember also to include healthy fats like nuts, peanut butter or olives.
4. Limit or avoid drinking and eating beverages and food with regular sugar, such as soft drinks, candies, gum, cookies and cakes. If you wished something sweet during the day, fruits are a good choice, including dried fruits like raisins or dried cranberries. Another good choice is chocolate with high cocoa content (70-85% tastes good without being too strong). Prefer drinks such as water, tea, and freshly squeezed juices.
5. Reduce or completely avoid fried and puff pastry. Instead, prefer baked, roasted, boiled or grilled food.
6. Replace mayonnaise, butter and margarine with light cream cheese, ricotta cheese or hummus dip (chickpea cream).
7. Drink a glass of water or tea before each meal and between meals.
8. Increase your intake of fiber: fruits and vegetables, whole foods (bread, crackers, rice, pasta, oats) and legumes. I would recommend you to do this gradually.
9. Try to eat different kind of food, always including healthy carbohydrates. Visualize your plate: half the plate with salad or cooked vegetables, a quarter of a healthy companion as brown rice, and the other quarter with a source of high biological value proteins like fish, skinless poultry, lean meat.
10. Do more exercise. Walking, swimming, dancing, cycling, etc. Join a gym with a friend and you’ll have company and it will be less likely you will quit. If you have never done exercise in a gym, consult first with your doctor and start slowly.
11. Well, not everything has to be restrictions. It is not bad “to let one´s hair down” once in a while, as they say. Once or twice a week you can have a food that you really like, such as: a sweet, candy, pastry, fried, etc. preferably during the morning. If you do physical activities and eat healthy at least 5 days a week, the balance will be in your favor.
12. Sleep between 7 to 8 hours a day, at least 5 days a week. Sleep deficit can hinder control of obesity, and boost abdominal fat gain and muscle loss.
I would suggest you to include these Healthy Eating Habits in your daily life gradually. It is usually not healthy try changing our current habits overnight, and each body reacts differently to changes. It is best to gradually adopt these changes, in order to really get used to these healthy habits and keep them for the rest of your life.
Keep in mind that every journey begins with one small step.