These days, we all want to be a bit healthier. Almost everyone is thinking about how to improve, whether that’s about losing weight, exercising more or dropping habits like smoking or heavy drinking. What you eat is, of course, a big part of being healthy, but for many of us, it’s also a really tricky one. We eat to celebrate, commiserate, out of boredom or frustration, so sometimes trying to eat right isn’t as simple as it should be. The key is to make small, sustainable changes. To help you do just that, here are our top tips on eating well for a healthier lifestyle!
So, what is healthy?
Before you start, it is worth knowing what healthy actually means for you. That way you’ll know how you need to change or adapt your behaviour. There are lots of different ways to evaluate health, but one simple measure is your BMI, or body mass index. BMI evaluates your weight according to your height and can tell you whether you’re about the right number of kilos for your size. So what is a healthy BMI? The NHS recommends sticking to between 18.5 and 24.9. There are calculators online, so you can easily find out yours or head to your local healthcare practitioner for further advice.
Up your vegetable intake
Now that you know what is a healthy BMI, if you’ve measured yours and found that you need to shed a few pounds, where should you start? One of the best things you can do is increase your intake of fruit and vegetables (especially vegetables as fruit tends to be high in sugar). Think about your diet and consider ways you could pack in more veg. Are you having sugary cereal for breakfast? Why not swap it for toast and cherry tomatoes? Need a mid-afternoon snack? Opt for cucumber and carrot rather than a bag of crisps.
Check your sugar
Another important point is the amount of sugar you are eating. Most of us tend to consume too much of the tasty white stuff these days, and it’s in lots of different processed foods. Depending on your age you can work out the appropriate amount you should be eating. Try keeping a record for three days of the amount of sugar you consume and work out whether it’s in the acceptable limits. If not, find ways to reduce it gradually and sustainably.
Aim for lean protein
Finally, don’t forget about protein. This substance is the building-blocks of life so vital to your diet. Interestingly, experts also believe that protein helps you to feel fuller for longer so, for anyone looking to avoid hunger-pangs, it’s worth trying to get it into every meal. Choose healthy, lean proteins such as white fish, tofu, chicken and lentils. Pair with char-grilled veggies or a leafy salad for a healthy lunch or dinner.
Those are our top tips for improving your health through what you eat. Remember it’s important to know what your BMI is before you start, as this can inform you whether or how much weight you need to lose and act as a helpful motivator. Focus on vegetables, reducing sugar and eating lean protein, and you’ll be feeling fitter and healthier in no time!