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The purpose of eating is for energy. All the different nutrients have important functions in our body that help us get through the day and have energy. Instead of thinking about food negatively, try to think about the positive effects of foods. Think about what the food you are about to eat will do for you; for example, a breakfast of oatmeal and fruit will give me energy to start my day and has fiber to make me feel satiated. Eating the proper foods and the amount you eat at a time can affect your day and how you feel.
Tips To Start Eating Healthier
- Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. You haven’t eaten for more than 8 hours and your body has burned or stored the calories you ate from the day before already. Breakfast is that first meal that can set the tone for the rest of the day. Try to make breakfast healthy by having a whole grain food with a fruit or vegetable and some protein and fat. For example, oatmeal with nuts and berries and a hard boiled egg or whole grain toast with peanut butter and an apple.
- Don’t let more than 4-6 hours go by without eating a meal or snack. If you wait until you’re starving, you will risk the chance of overeating or making an unhealthy choice.
- Portion control your food; this will help balance out your nutrients and make sure you get enough of what your body needs to feel satiated.
- Avoid too many processed foods; these foods can be very salty, which can dehydrate you, and your body breaks down and uses real and fresh food most efficiently.
- Read labels, more importantly, the ingredient label. If there is a long list of ingredients that look foreign to you, do you really want to put that food in your body?
- Go for color when preparing your meals and snacks; variety will ensure that you get the proper nutrients to get you through the day.
- Aim to eat a fruit or vegetable at each meal. The FDA recommends at least 5 servings of fruits and/or veggies a day. This is hard to do if you wait until dinner to eat all your nutrients.
- Dining out less and cooking at home more will help you to control what you are eating and how much. Planning ahead as much as you can will help you get through a busy week. You need to grocery shop and plan your week in order to eat healthfully. Bring healthy snacks with you so you won’t be stuck at the vending machine or starving at your next meal.
- Keep a food journal; this will make you more aware of what’s going in your mouth. You may think twice if you have to write it down.
Eating healthy takes effort and discipline. If these suggestions seem overwhelming, do one change at a time. This will help to keep your healthy changes a habit and will eventually lead to a long-term lifestyle.