5 Simple Steps to Healthy Nutrition
You have probably heard the common saying: “We are what we eat.” And this is true. The choice of foods directly affects our health. Food is the source of building materials for our cells, tissues and organs. It provides the vital activity of the body, gives us energy and even affects our mood. That is why proper nutrition is one of the most important conditions for a healthy lifestyle.
Who should think about switching to proper nutrition?
- Those who want to lose weight;
- Those who decided to switch to a healthy lifestyle;
- Those who play sports and want to keep fit;
- Those who want to avoid possible health problems caused by improper diet;
- Those who already have health problems caused by malnutrition and should follow a diet (gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular diseases, etc.);
- Those who want to get healthy habits.
The most common reason for switching to proper nutrition is the desire to lose weight. According to statistics, 54% of men and 59% of women in the USA are overweight. Most often, overweight is the result of poor eating habits, eating disorders, unlimited consumption of high-calorie foods, low physical activity. Moreover, overweight is not just a matter of aesthetics and beauty. This is a matter of health and normal functioning of all organs of our body.
Of course, proper nutrition is a very broad concept that includes many aspects and points of view. We give only general universal rules – they are suitable for almost everyone (with rare cases when there is a need to exclude a separate group of ). In the future, you can always correct your diet based on the characteristics of your body and the experience of eating certain foods.
Five easy steps to proper nutrition
The first stage includes five simple tips that will help you take a serious step towards proper nutrition. Following these simple rules, you can lose extra pounds, cleanse your diet and get used to a reasonable consumption of food.
Step 1: Remove the “food garbage”
The very first step that you need to take on the path to proper nutrition is to exclude the so-called “food garbage” from your menu:
- sugar and sugar products;
- white pastries and white flour products;
- sausage, semi-finished meat;
- fast food (french fries, hamburgers, chips, snacks, etc.);
- sweet juices, soda and soft drinks;
- mayonnaise, ketchup and non-natural sauces.
These are products with low nutritional value that do not actually bring any benefit to the body. Besides, these are high-calorie foods that are very quickly stored in fat. Most of these foods do not saturate the body, so you will constantly feel hunger and eat an excess rate of food. When you clear your diet from this group of products, you will take a huge step towards proper nutrition and weight loss.
Step 2: Exclude alcohol beverages
The second step involves the exclusion of another group of less useful products – alcoholic beverages. We will not now discuss the possible positive properties of red wine. When switching to proper nutrition, we recommend giving up alcohol completely, at least for the period of weight loss. Why you should give up alcohol:
- According to studies, alcoholic beverages affect neurons that control appetite, which makes the body feel very hungry;
- Even a small dose of alcohol often provokes a food breakdown when due to loss of control you begin to eat unhealthy products in large quantities;
- Alcohol retains water, so the next day you are guaranteed to see a “weight gain” on the scales, which is very demotivating;
- Alcohol slows down the metabolism, so the process of losing weight in your body will take place at a lower speed;
- Alcoholic drinks very often come with snacks that will add extra calories.
By the way, weak alcoholic beverages can not be attributed to high-calorie foods. 100 ml of dry red wine contains 80 kcal, 100 ml of beer – 45 kcal. Therefore, there are people who allow themselves a glass of dry wine or a glass of beer once a week without sacrificing weight loss.
However, remember that you are most vulnerable in the first months of proper nutrition. Eating habits have not yet settled and the risk of breakdown is very high, so you’d better avoid provocative foods that “dampen” and relax. And alcohol is just one of those.
Step 3: Establish a drinking regime
The third step on the way to proper nutrition is to establish a drinking regime – start drinking water. This step is very simple and at the same time is very effective for losing weight. Water is involved in almost all biochemical processes in the body, including the breakdown of fat. Besides, water suppresses appetite and does not allow to eat excess. The benefits of water in the process of losing weight are invaluable, while its energy value is 0 calories.
Start drinking 1.5-2 liters of water per day (about 6-8 glasses of 250 ml). At first it will seem that you cannot drink such an amount of water but gradually you will be able to make it your good habit.
- Drink one glass of water after waking up;
- Drink one glass of water before meals (for 20-30 minutes);
- Drink one glass of water before and after exercise;
- Drink one glass of water 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
In order not to forget to drink water, you can use a reminder on the phone. There are so many convenient mobile applications that remind you of drinking mode. Also try to always keep a bottle of water with you (at work and at home).
Step 4: Change your eating habits
The fourth step will be the most difficult and the most important at the same time. You will have to make up a healthy diet. It is important to eat the right amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. So, the proper diet will look like this:
- Full breakfast (7 am)
- Snack №1 (10 am)
- Lunch (1 pm)
- Snack №2 (4 pm)
- Dinner (7 pm)
- Light snack 1 hour before bedtime: kefir, cottage cheese (9 pm)
This time is approximate. It will suit you if you wake up at 6 am and go to bed at 10 pm. If you get up later or earlier, then adjust the time to your schedule.
The main basis for proper nutrition: eat every 3 hours in small portions (200-250 g). This means that you do not take long breaks between meals. You do not forget about breakfast (within an hour after waking up). Do not starve between meals and make nutritious snacks. Forget about the rule “I do not eat after 6 pm” and always have dinner. Skipping breakfasts, lunches and dinners will slow down your metabolism and with a 99% chance will lead you to a breakdown.
At the same time, your breakfast, lunch and dinner should be proper, and not just “coffee with cookies” or “kefir with an apple”. At the first stage of the transition to proper nutrition, accustom yourself at least to a proper and balanced diet about every 3 hours. The interval between meals should not exceed 4 hours.
Such nutrition increases metabolism and accelerates the process of losing weight, and also provides the body with the necessary energy and nutrients. You will cease to be constantly hungry and stop living with the feeling that you are on a diet.
Step 5: Tune in to a lifestyle change
If you want to not only lose weight but to save the result and maintain it throughout your life, then you need to remember one more important principle of proper nutrition. Healthy nutrition should be part of your life, not a short-term step for losing weight. Tune in to change eating habits forever. Your body will thank you not only with a slim figure but also with good health.
Many people argue in this way: “Now I’ll switch to proper nutrition, get rid of excess weight, and then I will continue eating whatever I want.” But this is a wrong aproach. Weight may not be static – it varies depending on your diet. If you balance between proper nutrition and erratic nutrition, you will get a weight swing. Pounds will go away and then re-accumulate when you return to the previous diet.
The situation with diets is similar but here everything will be much worse. Typically, a diet involves low calorie content, so it is very difficult to maintain it for more than three to four weeks. During this period, you may lose 3-5 kg, but most of this lost volume is not fat but water, which goes away with a decrease in the intake of carbohydrates, sweets and salinity. At the same time, the body adapts to a low-calorie diet, slows down the metabolism, and it accumulates fat heavily after returning to the usual diet. As a result, after a diet you gain even more weight than you lost before.
Universal advice for losing weight: even if some kind of fast diet seems effective to you and even if it has already worked more than once, postpone it right now. Sooner or later, you will still come to the right diet, but by that time you will already have health problems, a poor metabolism and disappointment from the endless swing of weight loss and weight gain. Start changing your lifestyle and eating behavior right now!