Where was the idea of a healthy diet born and is it even possible to be a ‘beginner’ in something like that? Does that mean we have never eaten properly in our lives? Here, judge it for yourself. You know there come times when we get fed up with the loads of fast food we devour every day and the never-ending spectrum of sugar-coated sweets. Okay – a little bit of salad, a couple of fruits, but most of the things we stuff our bodies with probably aren’t the most ideal choice. At times they just stop pleasing our body and we realize that we get tired much faster or that we have less and less will for regular daily activities. And at times we also welcome new companions in the form of love handles and some extra fat on our legs, thighs and arms.
Whatever the scenario, in these situations we usually consider doing something special for our body to prevent the current state from causing more negative complications that might be significantly worse than a few extra pounds.
Some of you are probably looking at these letters now and thinking, ‘But where do I start? How, when I don’t know anything about it?’ True, everyone’s talking about calories, portions, counting and various factors, but those who are just now getting acquainted with the very concept of a healthy diet probably need answers to some questions.
We’ll try to highlight the fundamentals which someone who wants to embark on this way of life should know. It’s not difficult, it can be challenging – but the feeling and results are quite rewarding.
How does everything start?
Well, it starts with your decision. And when we say the decision, we don’t mean promising that you’ll never even pass by McDonald’s again, that you’ll sit there with an apple while your friends are eating ice cream, and that you’ll never eat anything that contains even a grain of processed food again. We’re referring to the decision that you’ll do your best to avoid what’s bad for you.
Let’s be realistic – we’re all human beings. The point of a healthy diet isn’t to feel bad and as if you’re forced to do something you don’t want to and set yourself countless restrictions. This will sooner or later lead to giving up completely and giving in to old habits. What’s important is to acquire a new habit that’ll ameliorate your life to such an extent that in the end, all these strong, calorie-rich pleasures won’t even provoke any cravings. Therefore, one won’t feel guilt and anger if sometimes they enjoy their favorite guilty pleasure dish. We repeat again – we’re all human beings.
So, for the very beginning, you need goodwill to polish up the quality of your everyday routine and health. If you understand this as something good that you do for yourself and look at it from the above point of view, you’ll need very little time to get used to the healthy way of consuming food.
Whoever functions according to the principle of motivation, is free to give themselves additional will with whatever they want. Someone’s driven by motivational messages and quotes you can find at every step today, and they’ll attach them everywhere – especially in the kitchen. Someone has in mind the ideal weight they want to achieve. That’ll give them the strength to get used to the absence of their favorite treats in the most painless way possible, as they’ll await the results quite eagerly.
Everyone has their own mechanism that drives them and pushes them further – the only point is to understand what it is in our case and stick to it. What matters as well is to include some more challenging activities, like physical exercises, into your routine. Humanfitness.net, as well as many other wellness centers, offer their own nutrition plans, so you might even get some extra piece of advice apart from shaping your body.
What does ‘eating healthy’ mean?
Although it seems quite easy to explain, we can still learn something new about this every day. However, certain things are constant and it’s always advisable to stick to them.
Primarily, the main rule would be to replace most of the processed foods you use with natural ones. This can be quite a challenge since nowadays we turn to quick solutions that often include processed products, but without that, we can hardly say that we’re eating in the right way.
And now, let’s deal with a few major groups of nutrients, which our diet should contain and their recommended amount.
Proteins. The aspect they’re responsible for is energy, movement, muscle mobility and general strength. If you’ve ever watched people who workout or are dedicated to fitness, you probably didn’t miss the fact that they constantly emphasize this matter. Absolutely not strange, having in mind these beneficial effects.
What’s great is that it’s delicious food that doesn’t necessarily contain a huge amount of calories, while tending to satiate. You’ll find them primarily in meat (especially chicken, turkey, beef and beef), eggs, and fish. As for eggs, if you want to reduce calories even more, you can always eat only egg whites, without yolks. Legumes are also a great idea and can always be combined with other types of food.
Healthy carbohydrates. Just like proteins, they give our body extra energy and it’s quite noteworthy that you should get them from natural foods, and not from refined products and sugar – it’s desirable that they also contain fibers. This means that it would also be great to give up the dough, croissants, sweets, white flour pasta and starch in general. Instead, we can eat whole grain bread, potatoes and sweet potatoes, wholemeal pasta and rice, lentils, quinoa, etc.
Cereals are another extraordinary example of the food we need since they’re a natural source of healthy carbs that our body needs. These magnificent granular products such as oats, rye, barley, millet, spelled and corn grits also contain a lot of proteins and unsaturated fatty acids.
Healthy fats. First thing – not all fats are harmful for your organism. Just as the bad ones might endanger our diet and health and make certain diseases and obesity a more probable scenario, these healthier ones can improve and enrich them. They help remove fat deposits and absorb certain vitamins in our body.
We’ll find them in nuts, olives and olive oil, various seeds and flax, as well as in some types of fish, such as salmon and tuna, and whole milk products. If you’re a fan of peanut butter and similar products, you’ll be happy with the fact that you can eat them, but it’s best to make them yourself, just to ensure that everything’s natural.
In addition to these main groups, there are also fiber, minerals and a huge range of vitamins found in fruits, vegetables, meat, and even natural spices. What should definitely be avoided, in addition to the already mentioned, are alcohol and cigarettes, refined sugar, classic salt (you should use Himalayan), as well as snacks of all kinds. Water is a must, and it needs to be consumed more than anything else – eight full glasses are an optimal amount, but some more cups of this life-giving liquid don’t hurt.
That ‘calories’ thing and portions
So, basically, we now need to explain how these calories are essential for a healthy diet.
The calorie intake that’s acceptable during the day is determined depending on your weight and height. You may have noticed that your friends or family members have those powerful calorie counting apps on their smartphones, and believe it or not, once you start doing that, you become a little addicted to that routine!
Here we come to the main parameter – do you want to lose weight, gain weight or just maintain the weight you have with healthy foods? If your plan is to lose weight, you need to burn more calories during the day than you take in. This is called creating a calorie deficit and is quite effective if you stick to it. However, if your goal is to gain a few pounds, you need to increase your intake so that it exceeds the number of calories burned. Simple and easy. When maintaining your weight, eat within your regular intake.
According to experts, a single meal should contain two portions of vegetables, a portion of healthy fats, one to two portions of protein and a portion of healthy carbohydrates. That way, you can get the number of nutrients your body needs in just one meal. Of course, this is average information – it all depends on your weight. Additional vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients will only improve it.
There’s so much to tell about this topic, but for the ones who are just starting, this could be a set of quite clear and applicable rules. Remember – decision and determination are the biggest part of this adventure, and when they’re strong, the road to perfect health and great shape doesn’t have to be so bumpy.