What would a perfect rainy day ritual be? A jar of Nutella and your favourite rom-com on Netflix; or perhaps a large pepperoni pizza, garlic bread and cheese dips of course. It is sacrilegious to gorge on garlic bread and leave the cheese dip alone. So, there it is; the perfect recipe for a gloomy rainy day ritual. Stay in your pyjamas, dig into some high-calorie cheese dip or Nutella, and savour the flavours of pepperoni while binge-watching a series. However, what after that? What after the rain-spell is broken and all you are left with is a sluggish feeling, bloated stomach, and zero will to work? All the flavours and fats that enriched your taste buds will torment you for the rest of your day, and probably the rest of your life. Every calorie counts! Therefore, it is the need of the hour to change your eating habits and cut down on your intake of calories, to live a life agile and smart.
Before we talk foods, it is necessary that we know about the elements that make up our food pyramid, and how the elements contribute to keeping our body together. Only knowledge can help to make an informed decision and change the eating habits for the better.
Jog Your Memory And Revisit The Food Pyramid:
Jog your memory and go back to your school days. You must remember a certain page from your science book that graphically described and explained the food pyramid. To put it in simpler words, a food pyramid is made up of carbohydrate, fat, protein, fibre, calcium, and several other minerals which are required for our body to function normally. A perfect balance of all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is essential to get the act together. Too much to one side could tip the scales and have enormous ramifications. The minute you start gorging on those king-sized French fries from Burger King and give up on eating at least one fruit every day, your health could come crashing down.
Proteins are the body’s source of energy. An appropriate quantity of protein is required by our body to carry on functions that require energy to be expended. However, you must be careful of your protein intake, as too much of protein can result in kidney damage. Animals are the best source of proteins, but vegans and vegetarians need not worry. Plant-based food items are also rich sources of proteins.
Carbohydrates also fuel your body’s requirement for energy. Carbohydrates work the best for your body when obtained from fruits and vegetables. Complex sugars and refined carbs usually do more harm to your body than good. Thus, you must be careful about the source of your carbohydrate intake.
There are two kinds of fat-the good ones and the bad ones. While it is supremely important that you cut down on the bad ones, it is also crucial that you up your intake of the good ones. Good fats like omega-3s elevate your mood, take care of that expanding waistline and protects your brain and heart. However, bad fats add to your cholesterol, increase your weight, and put you at risk of several cardiovascular diseases.
While you take care of your heart and brain by adding the required amount of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, you must also tend to your bones and skin by dosing up on the calcium intake. Calcium strengthens your bones and prevents osteoporosis, which affects women more than men. Generous amounts of calcium alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and various other mental health disorders.
Fibre is crucial to maintain the balance of the food pyramid. Fibre ensures that your heart and brain is protected from several diseases, and also keeps your blood cholesterol in check. It helps in lowering the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other brain damages that usually rear its ugly head with the progression of age, and keeps you fit as long as you walk on the surface of the planet.
Now that the essential elements that make up a healthy food pyramid are laid out for you, we shall move on to analysing how you could rewire your eating habits one step at a time.
Switching To A Healthier Eating Lifestyle:
For a person who can barely stay away from curly fries and sweet treats, the decision to switch over to a healthier lifestyle could be challenging. However, it is not about ditching all that your heart craves for overnight, but about ticking those unhealthy calories off your list one at a time. It is not about switching over to a vegan diet plan and forcing out meat from your food habit. Though, if vegan diet piques your interest, you could check this link – http://theinscribermag.com/how-to-identify-fully-vegetarian-bread-products/
Another myth that needs to be debunked while you are on a mission to eating healthy is that your body size has got nothing to do with your health. You could be curvy, and on a bulkier side, yet have your heart at the zenith of its health. Similarly, you could be slender and petite, and yet be prone to heart attacks and high cholesterol.
Let Us Start With Water-
It is albeit unconventional to enlist water as the numero uno way to start eating right, but do not underestimate the miracle prowess of water. Water is known as the elixir of life and not for no reason. Your body requires a minimum of 3 litres of water each day to carry on the vital life activities like transporting minerals and vitamins throughout the body and tending to the optimal blood density. There is no way you can hope to move over to the healthier side of life without upping your water intake. Water flushes toxins out of your body and keeps your system pure and free of toxicity.
Read While You Shop-
We are not talking about reading a book or a magazine while you indulge in some shopping spree. We are merely imploring you to read the labels of the food products while you buy them. The labels shall divulge all the nutritional facts about the food product, especially if they are canned ones, and help you make a better decision. Ditch the ones which have more preservatives and artificial colours. They might taste like ambrosia but will put you in a health hell sooner or later. There is no gaining heaven (for those who might want to believe in the idea) with synthetic flavours. Load your shopping cart with yoghurts, fruits, veggies, and probably some dark chocolate. They work like wonders. You could even shop for tuna, salmon, soy product, and the like. The health benefits are more than one, and shall never fail to cater to your healthy eating ritual.
The Word Is Balance-
It is not possible to ditch pizzas and peanut butter and move over to carrots and apples. Healthy eating does not work that way. You can find yourself giving in to the temptations of your taste buds once in a while, which is when you have to start balancing it out with healthy alternatives. Fix up on cheat day and balance it out with the right food items over the next few days. You shall be fine.
Crash Diet Does Not Do The Trick-
It would be puerile to equate a healthy diet with a crash diet. Crash diet has never worked for the best. It only sabotages your entire health, and sometimes beyond reparations. You must not skip meals, especially your breakfast in a bid to lose weight, or force the junk out of your system. It is only going to make things worse. Instead, consider eating smaller portions at regular intervals, say for instance, once every 4 hours. This ensures that digestion is done right and your body is fuelled. There is no glory in starving your body!
Do Away With Stress Eating-
If you are stressed out, you need to bust the stress by stepping out into nature, taking a social media sabbatical or merely resting. You do not need to eat to beat stress or any deluge of emotions. Emotional eating is an obnoxious habit and must be done away with. It neither adds to a healthy weight nor does it elevate your mood. It is just a myth that needs to be busted. Emotional eating will only make you feel sluggish in the long run and lead to an unhealthy habit formation.
In a nutshell, you must be cautious of your eating habits even before you can attempt to make a switch to a healthier lifestyle. Acknowledging that your eating habits have gone south is the first step to making a change. Keep calm, stay determined, and take baby steps towards your eating goals.