Eating healthy may look like an unachievable dream to some, but thankfully we are here to make it a lot easier for you. Healthy and mindful eating is not about restricting certain food groups or counting your macros to an exact, it’s about making healthy choices and nourishing the body you have. In the world of “wellness” there are so many tips and rules people make up which are needlessly confusing to the average diet practitioner. After reading this article you will know a bit more about nutrition and healthy diet and will hopefully be ready to implement these small changes to your eating habits too.
What is healthy eating?
The most honest answer to this is – no one exactly knows. There isn’t one diet which works for everyone, since our bodies are inherently different. However, we do know that in order for your body to work properly you need to intake a certain amount of calories. If you go below your maintenance number you will lose weight, whereas if you consume more you will gain. It is also important to note that there are so called empty calories – these come in the form of overly processed foods, foods which are tasty and convenient but are nutritiously empty. These are things like chips, chocolate bars or sugary cereal which can satiate your initial cravings but won’t provide you with the quality nutrition you need. Hence,a healthy fulfilling meal should consist of a balance of all three macronutrients.
What are macronutrients?
There are three main macronutrients – protein, fat and carbohydrates. If you want to have a healthy and agile body you need to have a balanced intake of all three of them, since each is responsible for a certain function in our bodies. Fats, which can be found in nuts such as baruka nuts or walnuts, oily fish and meat, help us absorb vitamins and have a vital function in building the cells of our bodies. Protein rich foods like meat and cheese can help you build muscle and are very important for cell repairment. Last, but not least, come carbohydrates, the main macro in oats, rice and quinoa, for example. They are credited for being the main source of energy and are linked to optimal brain function. Though someone may feel their best on a low carb high fat diet, most nutritionists will advise you not to completely cut out one macronutrient from your diet.
Which foods are healthy?
As was previously mentioned, there are some foods which are notorious for being nutritiously empty. They will give you the initial satisfaction but won’t make you long, making it easy for you to overeat at the end of the day. Conversely, there are foods which are nutrient-dense. They are mostly non-processed foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, nuts, seeds and beans. The biggest bulk of your diet should consist of these items, which are known to provide us with energy and needed nutrients. Another benefit of eating these foods is that they will definitely keep your hunger at bay for longer. They are also known to be full of vitamins and minerals integral for optimal health.
What should you cut out of your diet?
Ideally nothing should be completely cut out of the healthy diet – the key is in finding the balance. A lot of people try to cut out sweets, for example, but at the end of the week of not allowing themselves a piece of chocolate, they would end up binging on it. Be careful to base your diet on whole, nutrient-dense foods, but also allow yourself a little leeway since no healthy diet is based on complete restriction.