Should we focus on calories, protein or our carbohydrate intake? To be honest, the constantly changing trends, along with our need to stay healthy and maintain our nutrition, make it quite difficult to follow anyone process – whether it’s a diet, or an exercise regime or simply eating right.
Nutrition today is about much more than following the latest trend on your Instagram or Facebook feed - this is purely because a certain eating method may suit a person you know, but that does not mean it may suit your needs in the same way. The only person that can determine what is right for you – is yourself!
The food we eat on a daily basis has major effects on our health and quality of living. Whether you are new to the world of nutrition, or just need a refresher to your pre-existing strong nutritive diets, here are my two bits on how to ease into a regime of nutritious eating.
Nutrition is purely about balance
Each day, our bodies need a balance of three essential macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats and protein. These three components are what form our calorie intake. And it is important to remember, that each body requires a certain number of calories – this depends on your weight, your metabolism and your genetic history. Like we say, all five fingers are different; neither one is like the other!
Eating plans? Do they work?
Many of us today follow a regime when it comes to the nutrition for the day – sometimes a heavy breakfast, a moderate lunch and a light dinner; some of us go for the “bulletproof” coffee, a king-style lunch and a pauper’s dinner. Today’s newest trends are – KETO, Intermittent Fasting and Vegan diets.
They may sound fancy, and oh too difficult to manage – but there is one common aspect to all these diet types – a balance and a schedule. With Keto diets, people opt for a proper three meals a day plan, with certain cutbacks on ingredients. Similarly, in Intermittent Fasting, most people tend to skip breakfast and eat a moderate lunch & dinner with some light snacking in between to make up for their mighty 16-hour fast. With a vegan diet, we see people consuming a wholesome meal but with the right kind of ingredients.
My two bits here are – follow a healthy eating plan; depending on your body’s need for nutrition, fats, and quantity. For some, intermittent fasting is a hop-skip and jump activity. For some, it may be the most fatal trend to follow – specifically if you have acidity issues. A healthy eating plan could involve 3 or 6 meals a day, however, you prefer – you can have 3 heavy meals or 6 smaller meals; consisting of nutritious, not-too-processed (because come on, ideally everything we truly consume is at least 10% processed, if not more!). These can be fruits, vegetables, your choice of lentils and pulses, low-fat dairy, meats and seafood (if you fancy non-vegetarian diets). In no time, your body will respond to each kind of food, and you will know what works for you and what does not. You will tend to lean towards a more nutritious set of foods automatically. Wholesome is the new black!
Slow and steady wins the race!
Just with our regular relationships, or like learning a new activity, even a nutritional change requires your whole attention and patience. Baby steps is the way to go! Overhauling on your diet changes: like overeating nutritious food, or undermining certain components or deciding too fast what is good for you and what isn’t, may not be the best idea. A swift change in eating patterns affects many of our bodily functions – the acid levels, the bowel movements and the basic metabolism.
The best way to do this is to stock your cupboards and kitchen units with healthy foods of different kinds, and picking and choosing what to eat when. A balance in portions and ingredients is essential to a proper diet regime. Over time, these portions can be realised and worked upon, to fixate the number of foods your body needs on a daily basis.
I cannot stress this enough. There is so much information on the worldwide web, that it baffles me at times! A cookbook, a nutrition magazine, a food blog – pick your past-time and get started. Trial and error are the gateways to a perfect life – we are not born perfect; we learn to become it. Whether socially, professionally or nutritionally.
Get a buddy!
Every time we go out or hit the gym, or head out for an evening of bowling and beers, we need a few friends – or just one. Similarly, it is easier to “get healthy” when you have someone doing it with you – a small little support system of your own. Do not be afraid to ask a friend or a relative/parent to join in your changes – it is never a bad idea to clean up your eating lifestyle. In the wise words of Bob Harper, ‘You need a good support system when you’re trying to make positive lifestyle changes. If everyone is eating burgers and fries while you’re having fish and salad, it’s easy to lose your willpower’.
Yes, a good workout is always a good idea. It is generally true that weight loss is less workout and more diet – however, a good workout, for example, an hour’s walkout in the sun, or a run along the beachside, or simply some yoga in the day is exponentially beneficial to your health along with a healthy eating regime. Cutting calories and eating healthier is only part of the formula for a well-balanced life – physical activity is the other portion.
All in all, there are several ways to ease yourself into a healthier eating regime – you just need to start somewhere and it will take its own course. Every journey has its bumps and speed-breakers, but with a good eating plan, a support system, a stronger and fitter metabolism and a positive mindset, there is nothing you cannot achieve!