Let’s face it: Nobody is perfect. Most of us wish we could either lose a few pounds, add a little definition to our arms or just keep that number on the scale from inching higher, but more often than not, we make these goals the be-all and end-all of our existence and cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of failure if we do not achieve them.
Well, today, we are here to tell you two things — you can do it and eating healthfully (not starving yourself) is the key. Ditch your too-strict New Year’s diet and keep on reading to discover the easy nutrition tips and detailed suggestions we have in store for you.
Choose the Right Diet
As a start, you should aim for a diet that is relatively high in complex carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat. Translated into numbers, this means that approximately 55% of your calories should derive from carbohydrates, 20% from protein and the remaining 25% from fat every day. despite the years of contradictory views, this is still the best method of increasing muscle mass, maximising energy, enhancing performance and promoting health.
Fruits and Vegetables
Ideally, you should be striving for five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Your body needs the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that only these food sources can provide. Furthermore, scientists investigating fruits, vegetables and whole grains have uncovered new compounds called phytonutrients, which are important for health but are not available in other foods or even health store shelves. So how exactly can you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables?
Always remember that a serving is only half a cup of mixed veggies, such as broccoli or zucchini, or one cup of the leafy stuff like red leaf or Boston lettuce. The small bowl of veggies you get with a restaurant meal is about half a cup of serving. Have a huge, colourful salad with most of your dinners. More colours on your plate essentially mean that you are getting a variety of nutrients. Additionally, you can snack on fruits to keep you satiated an energised between meals. They are way better than a candy bar or soda at providing short- as well as long-term energy. Here is a pro hack for you: always carry mini carrots, dried fruits or grapes with you at all times. Just a quarter-cup of these foods count as one serving.
Start your day with a high fibre cereal (more than 3 grams of fibre) and milk. You should also strive to drink or eat two cups of skim or 1% milk or yoghurt for protein and calcium during the day. You can choose to enjoy a cup of yoghurt or string cheese as a snack in between your meals. And if you happen to have a sweet tooth, you can get for yourself frozen yoghurt instead of ice cream.
There are several ways for you to consume whole grains to make sure that you take in adequate carbs to fuel hard workouts. Have oatmeal or ready-to-eat high fibre cereal for breakfast. Come lunch, whip up a sandwich on whole-wheat or whole-grain bread instead of white. You can also request for brown rice instead of white rice when you dine out.
If you know that you will be away from home for several hours, bring non-perishable snacks with you so you do not resort to the vending machine at the office or the food court at the nearest mall. More importantly, ensure that you do not go more than four to six hours without eating. This is because you are more likely to make poor nutritional choices like reaching for a chocolate bar or a packet of chips when you are starving.
Regardless of how hectic or busy your day is going to be, start it right with a proper breakfast meal. This does not mean that you must have a huge breakfast consisting of toast, cereal, juice, pancakes and fruits. On the contrary, even a small bowl cereal and skim milk or a piece of fruit and yoghurt is a good way to increase the likelihood that you will eat and feel energised throughout the morning.
Fuel Your Body When It Needs the Most
Instead of having a super-sized dinner which also translates into consuming most of your calories at night, you should try balancing out your calorie intake throughout the day when you are more active and require a good amount of calories.
Use the same weighing scale and weigh yourself just once a week at the same time every day. It is recommended that you step of the weighing scale first thing in the morning after taking a leak for the most accurate reflection of your weight. If you weigh yourself every now and then, chances are you will end up feeling frustrated as your weight tend to fluctuate daily as a result of digestion and water intake, among others.