Are you hooked on fast food? Think again! Although fast food can be delicious, it is also loaded with carbs and sugar, putting you at an increased risk of chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes and obesity. After all, as the famous saying goes, “you’re what you eat,” so it’s essential to watch the food you consume as it influences your well-being and lifestyle.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle starts with good nutrition. Exercise and good nutrition can help you maintain weight, lower your likelihood of developing chronic illnesses, and improve your quality of life.
How to maintain a healthy diet?
It’s not that hard to develop healthy eating habits. You can quickly build and maintain a healthier lifestyle by gradually adjusting your routine. Small steps lead to bigger ones; the important thing is to take the first step toward your goal.
Once you’ve made up your mind, you can significantly improve your eating habits and establish new, healthy routines that will last. For example, you can start your journey towards a healthier life by counting the calories you consume.
You can use this tool to calculate your calorie intake, see how much you consume per serving, and lower the count to lose weight.
With that said, today we bring you four practical tips for maintaining a healthy diet and making healthier eating choices. Keep scrolling to find out.
Four tips for maintaining a healthy diet
- Make sure you eat lots of high-fiber starchy carbs
When it comes to maintaining a nutritious diet, you don’t have to be too hard on yourself; make smarter food choices that can satiate your hunger for longer with high-fiber starchy carbs compared to refined or white carbs.
Only a little more than a third of your daily caloric intake should come from starchy carbs. Go for higher-fiber options like wholegrain varieties of bread and cereals, potato skins, and brown rice, among others.
Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, the carb content in starchy food is low in calories as it doesn’t even have half of the calories found in fat. Try to include at least one starchy dish in your meals and watch how much fat you consume.
Fats like oils, cheese, butter, and cream that you consume as an add-on to your regular meals always add extra kgs to your weight.
- Fad diets are a big No-No
Before starting any diet plan, ask yourself, “is this lifestyle sustainable in the long run?” If the answer’s No, then that diet plan is what you call a fad diet. Extreme calorie restriction is the hallmark of fad diets, which promise rapid weight reduction with no other efforts.
Contrary to what popular media would have you believe, fad diets do more harm than good to your health. If you keep them up long enough, they can wreak havoc on your mental and physical well-being.
Fad diets can help you lose weight, but you’ll gain back that weight just as quickly once you stop. It’s not viable for the long term as the results never last.
Therefore, it’s best not to emphasize weight reduction when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Maintaining the good eating habits you develop while dieting is often more essential than the weight you drop.
- Get help from a professional
Choosing a diet and sticking to it can be challenging, and with so many different diet plans, it can be overwhelming to pick one. Furthermore, everyone and their mother has a theory about the dos and don’ts of dieting. And there’s no surety that what works for someone else will also work for you. After all, diets are not one-size-fits-all.
Our bodies are unique and so are their needs. Different factors, such as our genes, health, family, job, etc., shape our lifestyle. So, it’s a no-brainer that a single diet can’t work for everyone.
To get your desired results, it’s best to lean on professional help. A licensed dietitian can help you figure out what you should eat, how much of each food type you should eat, how many calories you need each day, and what kind of diet is healthy for your condition or illness.
If you need assistance changing your behavior, you can get the help of a psychologist or other trained professional to work through it. Having a professional’s aid might be like having a shoulder to rely on. It guarantees the best guidance on healthy eating and maintaining your new eating habits.
- Surround yourself with healthy, filling snacks
Feeling puckish when starting on a healthy eating journey is normal. Furthermore, it can be hard to resist the temptation of delicious food and abandon your diet for a day. A craving now and then is fine, but studies have shown that cravings intensify when you feel unsatiated.
One way to counter cravings is stocking up on healthy, nutritious snacks and keeping them on hand to keep cravings away until mealtime.
Preventing unhealthy food choices when hunger hits is easier if you always have some healthy, hearty snacks on hand. Foods rich in fiber and protein can help satiate your hunger until the next meal. It’s best to refrigerate freshly prepared food such as sliced oranges, carrots, and other fruits and vegs and use them as snacks when hunger strikes.
Examples of healthy snacks include wholegrain cereal, hummus, Greek yogurt, smoothies, etc.
Change is difficult to implement, mainly when it involves the things you’ve consumed your entire life. Multiple factors, including those in our genetics, our minds, and our social environments, all play a role in shaping our dietary habits.
However, building healthier eating habits and maintaining them doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start small and take baby steps daily as long as you make consistent progress. You can follow the above-discussed tips to begin your journey towards a healthier lifestyle by including these tips in your routine.
With constant efforts, you can successfully navigate your challenges and maintain a balanced diet over time.