How to start eating right if you haven’t done it before: simple instructions
Proper nutrition is not a temporary diet that destroys the body. It is a way of life and a basic principle of wellness. When you are hungry, you have a choice: take a green salad or your favorite cream cake. Many people choose the second option: favorite, tasty, and familiar. But dessert will simply fill the void in your stomach and fill your body with less-than-healthy sugars, trans fats, oils, and additives. If you choose a salad, you will fill yourself with a lot of vitamins and fiber, not only get rid of hunger, but you will be full for several hours.
Health, well-being, the amount of strength and internal energy, as well as the condition of the skin, hair, bones, and nails, comfortable weight, and emotional state depending on what we put in our mouth. A complete diet, a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, the presence of necessary vitamins and nutrients is called proper nutrition. Together with Elena Selina, nutritionist, and expert of the largest international marketplace iHerb, we talk about the basic principles of PP and share recommendations on how to understand what you need.
What is proper nutrition?
Proper nutrition is a balanced diet that provides the human body with the necessary vitamins and elements. Correct, or healthy nutrition contributes to the life support of the body and the establishment of all its functions, regulates the cardiovascular system, provides us with intellectual and physical energy, and also allows us to reach a perfectly comfortable weight without rigid diets. Such food assumes a variety of products and tastes, includes the necessary amount of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for a person to live and function fully.
Before choosing a specific diet for yourself, you need to understand: what you want to achieve, what result you expect. The diet depends on it. The goals are different: to lose weight, develop or change eating habits, switch to a healthy diet, eliminate certain foods, and much more.
Proper or healthy eating is not a diet at all, but a way of life. You define your individual program, which is tuned to the body and needs. A diet “one for all” does not take into account individual characteristics and can harm the body. And most importantly: a diet is a temporary limitation, a correct and competent approach to nutrition becomes a healthy habit throughout your life.
Proper nutrition: how to start
Analyze your daily diet and listen to your body. Well-being and self-awareness provide a better clue than recommendations on the Internet. Stomach boiling after yoghurt – maybe dairy products should be avoided, heaviness after pasta or rice – experiment with the amount and quality of carbohydrates, think better after sweets – add healthy cereal and dried fruit bars, ditching sweets. If you introduce new products to the menu, observe how you feel and react to them. Everything that you do must take root, otherwise, you will again go into the regime of dieting and self-restraint.
Assess your current diet. If you realize that you cannot do this on your own, consult a nutritionist. Think about what you dislike about the diet? What does not suit you and why do you want to change it? Perhaps you do not need global changes, but rather change the time of meals, increase or decrease the intervals between meals, or change the way food is prepared. The most effective is conscious change. Therefore, before you change something, you need to understand: why?
Choose what suits you personally. Proper nutrition is only your way to support the body. You should not chase trends, they change every year, and taking care of yourself and supporting your own body is for life.
If you are used to having breakfast and cannot imagine your life without a full breakfast, you should not choose intermittent fasting with the first meal at 13:00. Adjust only for yourself, otherwise, you will experience breakdowns, overeating, frustration, and anger with yourself. You don’t like vegetables, but you understand the importance for the body – look for the foods that you like the most, or learn how to cook them deliciously. Do not be lazy and think over an individual nutrition scheme, adjusting it to your schedule, budget and lifestyle. Only in this way will you form your own rules and an individual nutritional program. You should like everything that you do, then there will be no desire to give up everything.
Proper nutrition: a list of foods
Leafy and fresh greens, avocado, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomatoes, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, beans, apples, lemons, oranges, whole grain bread, durum pasta, bulgur, Greek yogurt, vegetable milk, cottage cheese 5-9%, soft and hard cheeses with a reduced fat content, such as tofu, feta, mozzarella and Adyghe, unrefined olive oil, chickpeas, lentils, asparagus, beans, nuts, pumpkin seeds, fish, seafood, meat, eggs, cereals, bread.
How to make a menu for the week
Plan your menu to include enough vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cereals, legumes, and dairy products. Try to avoid fast food, as well as various flavor enhancers. Replace the various “cubes” with natural herbs and spices – your meals will benefit from this.
Try to reduce the amount of sugar you eat; if you can’t give up bread, substitute for healthy and wholesome alternatives. Eat only whole grain baked goods. Swap white rice for brown or quinoa. If you can’t imagine your morning without sweets, go for protein bars or baking mix.
Drink plenty of water. This does not mean that you need to pour liters into yourself against your will. Often we do not listen to the body or forget to drink during the day. Drink every time you think about it, or set an alarm every one and a half to two hours for 8 glasses of water a day.
Discard semi-finished products. Do-it-yourself meals are much healthier, you can independently determine the portion size and not overeat.
Take care of yourself and your body. A sudden change in diet can be stressful for your digestive system and emotional state, and you will want to give up everything and return to your usual meals. Give yourself time, agree with yourself that once a week you allow yourself a favorite not the healthiest dish, on the other days – stick to a healthy alternative. If desired, talk to an endocrinologist and provide the body with additional vitamins and nutrients.