Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give an individual all the nutrients their body needs to maintain or improve their health.
This includes having the right amount of calories per day to support their daily needs, prevent illness, and maintain a healthy body weight.
The finer details of getting an individual’s nutrition correct involve looking at each person’s macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Depending on a person’s job, activity level, age, gender, height, and health, will determine where these macronutrient levels should be.
Healthy eating should become a lifestyle rather than a temporary fix. It should be incorporated into their daily life, be practical and realistic.
The advice for healthy eating should be ‘evidence-based’, this mean following government guidelines which are based on years of scientific research and any passing fad diets should be avoided and not encouraged.
Obvious clues for unhealthiness can be seen in a few areas. The main clues are those to do with how someone is functioning. Are they lacking energy to get through the day? Are they ill frequently? Are they overweight? Are there issues with their hair, skin, and nails? Do they have digestive problems?
Some other clues might be, what are they shopping for at the supermarket? Do they eat in-between main meals? Do they eat through the evening? Do they drink alcohol frequently? Do they consume enough water? Is their sleep poor? Does high stress feature in their life?
Looking after health long-term is important. Most changes will take time to implement and maintain, for example changing how frequently food is eaten, or how much is drunk in a day. Making small changes, rather than drastic ones means that each area can be addressed with enough care and thought, giving it a much better chance of sticking long term, and also reduce the chance of rejection. Engaging in a total healthier lifestyle is best. Consider how it fits in, does it mean more thought goes into lunch? Or perhaps what is chosen when dining out?
There are some excellent quick changes one can make which is highly likely to make a big difference:
- Drink more water.
- Write down a food diary. Even for self-reflection. Obvious habits will show up.
- Set a cut off time of eating in the evening to prevent grazing.
- Consider how much alcohol one has per week.
- Aim to eat more than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
- Choose real whole food first.
Think ahead to plan recipes or meals.
This copy was kindly written by Kit Chamier of Kit Chamier True Food