If you have finally made-up your mind to live a healthier lifestyle, do follow the below mentioned tips to stay on the track for a longer period of time in a sustainable manner:
Eat a variety of food
For good health, we need a variety of nutrients which cannot come from one food. Having a balanced diet is a key to the good health. Eat your carbohydrates, protein and fats to nourish your body. Read to find different protein sources for vegetarians here.
Reduce Salt & Sugar Intake
A high salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Buy low-sodium salt and substitute salt with spices in food.
Sugary drinks and food are high in energy and should be consumed in moderation as an occasional treat. Use fruits, dates and even jaggery to sweeten favourite dish.
Control the Portion Size
Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet.
Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yoghurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.
Paying attention to portion size will help us not to consume too much calories, and will allow us to eat all the foods we enjoy, without having to eliminate any.
Drink Plenty of Water
Adults need to drink at least 1.5 liter of water everyday and even more when it’s hot and when they are physically active. Read here to know when is the right time to drink water.
Stay Physically Active
Physical activity is important for people of all ages and weight ranges. It not only helps in burning extra calories but also keeps health in check. We don’t have to be a full time athlete to be active. Include small habits such as taking stairs, going for walk during lunch hours, making time for some activities during weekend. 150 minutes per week of moderate activity is advised.
Bring Lifestyle Changes Gradually
It’s easier to maintain lifestyle changes when introduced gradually. Major lifestyle changes introduced all at once are not sustainable. Begin with keeping a diary of your day to day activities and food you eat. Spot things you would like to change. Go slow. E.g. if you notice too little physical activity in your lifestyle, then start by taking stairs or going for 10 mins walk and gradually improve it. Sudden major changes will only backfire.
Eat Plenty of Fruit & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals and fibre. We should try to eat at least 5 servings a day. For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.