It is that time of the year again. Many new years have come and gone and how many of us can put our hand on our heart and say that we have kept our New Year resolutions to become healthier. In fact, if we had all stuck to our resolutions, we would all be a lot healthier than we are now.
Dr. Anita Das Gupta, Clinical Dietitian at Burjeel Hospital has shared a few health tips that might just make it easier to become healthy and stay healthy in 2018
• The key is balance: We have a tendency to overdo things, whether it is gorging ourselves on foods we love or starving ourselves to follow a fad diet. Dr. Gupta says the key is balance -we should balance the calories we consume with our workout. This means following a healthy diet comprising foods from all the major food groups, making sure we eat plenty of colored foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and thus give our body all the nutritional content it needs. Such a varied diet will also keep us from getting bored.
• Organize your meals: Planning and organizing our daily meals is another important element. Most of the time, we resort to fast food when there is nothing to eat in the house and we are in a hurry. Skipping meals can make you feel starved and you might end up bingeing later on. Hence, it is recommended that you eat controlled quantities in all the 3 main meals. Light snacks (2-3 snacks) can be taken between the main meals every day.
• Eat light and eat right: It is good to start your day with at least one glass of water, warm water with lemon and honey will be good. Breakfast should include a bowl of oatmeal with nuts and a spoonful of flaxseeds; scrambled eggs with a piece of wholegrain toast, or muesli with yoghurt and berries. Lunch should comprise steamed, grilled, baked, roasted or sautéed dishes. Dinner should not be heavy, preferably beginning with a light soup and should have carbohydrates, protein and good fats.
• Snacking can prevent overeating: Snacking between meals can keep you from overeating, providing the snacks are light and healthy and have elements that are lacking in the main meals. Examples of good snacks include fresh or dried fruits, vegetable slices, like carrot sticks, raw nuts, low-fat milk and yes, even dark chocolate though only 30 grams is allowed per person per day.
• Eat slowly: Enjoy your food and eat slowly. Taking smaller bites and chewing slowly is important as our brain takes around 15-20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full.
• Eat the ‘healthy’ options first: Starting your meal healthy foods like soup and salad will keep you from overindulging in French fries and deserts by the time you get around to having them.
• Shop smart: When you shopping for groceries, do not be distracted by the chocolates at the checkout. Ensure you never shop on an empty stomach, as that is when temptation beckons. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. Low fat dairy or whole grains are a good choice too. When it comes to deserts, use a natural sweetener that tastes just as good as refined, processed sugar in desserts.
• Plan wisely: When going out for a meal, or organizing a get together, keep away from cream based sauces or empty calories. Instead of the usual mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes grilled with a drizzle of olive oil is a yummier, healthier option. Rather than a deep fried chicken breast slathered in mushroom cream, grilled chicken with a side dish of fresh vegetable salad is a better choice.
• Ensure you get adequate exercise: Instead of being a couch potato, put on your sneakers and go for a run. Play tennis or just play in the park with your kids to keep burning the calories.
• Be mindful of beverages: It is not just what you eat, but what you drink also. The sugar in your tea and coffee adds up. Try to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day. You can flavor the water with cut up fruits, mint and lemon or preferred veggies.
So, this New Year, make your resolutions and stick to them to shed those added pounds.
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