Eating Healthy During the Holidays

Healthy eating does not end during the holidays.

Temptation is never as great as it is during the holidays. From the week before Christmas through New Year’s Day people binge, load up on carbohydrates and indulge themselves with Yorkshire puddings and Pecan pies. There’s a reason that weight loss becomes a frequent goal folded into New Year’s resolutions. While most of us feel that dieting means, by necessity, denial and frustration, you can eat what you like without gaining 20 pounds.

Prioritizing your choices while standing before a holiday buffet spread or sitting at the family feast makes the difference. Scan the table for leafy green salads and/or foods you eat the rest of the year, and get them on your plate before you get anything else. Once you have your healthier foods in place, fill the rest of the plate with tiny tastes of foods that are rich, creamy and sweet. What’s a tiny taste? About 1/4 of the size of your palm, or around 1 mouthful.

Eat slowly. It takes a while, about 20 minutes, for your brain to realize that your stomach is full, so eating slowly makes overeating less likely. Thoroughly chewing your food and devoting attention to its flavor makes less food more satisfying.

If you make these changes you are more likely to end the holidays wearing the same pants size you wore 3 weeks before they started!

Eating well as a Vegetarian

So we’ve talked in previous posts about the perils of not eating correctly and what it can do to your energy and physical capabilities. I think it’s important to reflect on a style of eating that has been around for thousands of years and yet still remains an option to combat obesity and other diseases such as heart disease. I’ve mentioned before reducing your intake of meat but what about reducing it to zero? I’ve read an article recently about the best ways to eat as a vegetarian for children and adults and how one might go about doing so. What are the nutrients that a vegetarian has to consider in their diet?

Protein, whole grains, vegetables, seeds and nuts, soy protein, iron, vitamin b12, vitamin d, calcium, and zinc.

These are the main things you need to maintain in order to stay healthy and also avoid other junk food because it is definitely easy to get into the habit of eating junk food in replace of meat protein. I think it is important to avoid unhealthy food if you are going to be vegetarian you need to realize why you are doing it as a health benefit partially regardless of your real motivations. Keep this in mind if you do attempt to become vegetarian and please check out this website for more information good diet habits. Especially in the UK where some of the food can be particularly meat heavy. But also a good selection of organic vegetables is available.

vegetarian as a healthy diet

Eating Healthily

Healthy eating the way forward

We have already discussed the type of food we should be eating and in what portions, I wanted here to look more at how we eat and the times we eat, in fact looking at our eating habits in general and how we can improve them.

We should all have had it hammered home to us over the past few years that skipping breakfast is bad. It is the essential start to the day, in European cultures there is alot more focus on it than we have in the UK. Eating cereal on the run or a slice of toast in the car equates to a bad habit.

Bad eating habits are hard to change, one way to do this is keep a food journal for a week. Note down not just what you ate but why and how you were feeling or doing at the time of eating e.g. being bored so getting a snack from vending machine. At the end of the week review the journal and identify the good and bad eating habits and the ones you want to change.

To help you on your way I have listed a few healthy eating habits:-

Try eating whole grains with fresh fruit, include some honey and yoghurt and you have a sustaining but healthy breakfast.

Eating small frequent meals is much better for you than heavy duty ones. This way is less taxing on your digestive system. Recipes like these can help.

Snack between meals to stop you feeling starved and then over eating at your next meal, and no I don’t mean a bar of chocolate, fruit or nuts are the healthier option.

Drink water before a meal or a small bowl of soup to again curb excessive intake at the meal. Drinking plenty of water also has the added effect of helping to flush toxins from your body.

Savor your food, no joking, enjoy it, chew it thoroughly don’t bolt, this again is so bad for your digestive system.

For a cheaper and healthy way to obtain protein try using beans, legumes, grains and sprouts. Try buckwheat, millet and barley.

Buy fish, wild preferably, or chicken as a lighter protein source to red meat.

To create healthy harmony in your meal try combining more vegetables and grains to your protein (remember the plate plan) Look to using fruit or vegetables that have strong colours,,eg orange carrots.

Use a smaller plate and cultivate smaller potions.

Use sea salt which is a far healthier option than normal salt which increases fluid retention and blood pressure.

Eliminate processed foods as much as you can, going for the organic to avoid chemical exposure and foods that have been changed that your body finds difficult to cope with. Especially avoid processed sugars.

Eat at least one meal a day with your family to encourage their eating habits and try and maintain a positive approach. There are no failures just pauses – like for that odd bar of chocolate.

If any of these points hit home with you take some time out and make a realistic plan to assist you, one that you will be able to maintain, keep your eye on long term goals. We are not talking about diets here but long term good eating habits.

Stong coloured fruit and veg

Goodbye, food pyramid. Hello, plate.

The UK has long instilled the food pyramid in the minds of young children. At a young age, the NHS has enforced a healthy diet in an effort to battle obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The first food pyramid was developed in 1974 by Swedish nutritionists. America quickly followed suit when its Department of Agriculture marketed it in 1992, then reinventing it in 2005.

The reinvented food pyramid
The reinvented food pyramid

However, by 2010, nutritionists decided that the food pyramid was in fact contributing to health issues, particularly in young children. For example, instead of daily plentiful servings of fruits and vegetables, the pyramid suggested more carbohydrates such as rice, bread and pasta. As the body breaks carbohydrates down into sugars, doctors and nutritionists felt like this was misleading.

UK nutritionists are following suit and have modified the food pyramid to reflect a dinner plate. The plate encourages portion control and decreases the amount of carbohydrates to be consumed in a day. For example, fruits and vegetables now have the lion’s share of meals. The amount of dairy has slightly increased, while the amount of red meats has decreased.

Following new plate guidelines will help with weight control and give people the proper nutrition that their body needs.

eatwell-plate-for-web

Best diet apps for the health conscious

There are thousands of diet and nutrition related apps in the App Store and the Android Market. However, there are a few apps that are a notch above the rest when it comes to usefulness and practicality. Here are some of the best diet apps for those who want to keep track of what they are eating and how much they are burning.

1. MyFitnessPal

Any diet app list would be incomplete without MyFitnessPal. The app calculates your age, gender, height, weight and your weight-loss goal, and determines how many calories you can consume in a day. You can keep track of exactly how much you are eating and how much you are working out. This app makes it rather easy for one to find a weight loss goal and stick to it.

2. Nutrino

Nutrino is yet another amazing app that does what MyFitnessPal does. However, Nutrino also provides diet suggestions and tells you what you might want to eat if you want to meet your long-term weight loss goal. The app can even prepare a shopping list for you so you can change your diet plan right side up.

nut2

3. Low Fat Recipes

This is one amazing app for people who want to stick to their diet, but cannot think of what to cook with the ingredients in the fridge. This app has a large collection of diets and low-fat recipes, and you will be able to browse through their catalogue on the basis of what you currently have at home!

 

How to eat clean?

The concept of “clean eating” has become rather popular, especially among the working population. Awareness regarding the harmful nature of processed food and the desire to lead a longer and fruitful life is the reason behind the same.

It’s not too difficult to eat clean- as long as one is willing to put in the necessary effort. First of all, one must restrict the amount of processed food consumed, for packaged and processed food is highly unnatural and terrible for long-term health. One should also start consuming higher amount of fresh vegetables and fruits as a part of their meal. As the saying goes- the more colourful your plate is during a meal, the healthier you are eating. Make sure there are enough greens on the plate, as well.

health-benefits-of-fruits-and-vegetablescathe-friedrich---the-benefits-of-colorful-fruits-and-vegetables-dfhs1g7q

People who want to jump on to the clean eating bandwagon must make sure that they cut down their consumption of saturated fats. Alcohol consumption should be limited, especially as one grows older. It will be good for people to reduce their salt and sugar intake right at the beginning. One should also reduce the portion of meat consumed during every meal, so that they get a balanced diet, without ignoring the other nutrients.

These are some of the simplest concepts that will help those who want to start eating healthy. These steps are not too difficult- so it will be easier for people to adapt to this lifestyle.