Time to start those New Year’s Resolutions and put in action your health and fitness plan for 2018.
For many that might include lose weight, exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet, but often we make resolutions like that every year and don’t follow through.
Dr. Anita Das Gupta, Clinical Dietitian at Burjeel Hospital, shares her top 10 tips for a happy and a healthy 2018.
Balance it out: The easiest way to maintain an ideal weight is to balance the calories we consume with our workout. Balancing calories means following a healthy diet that contains all the food groups, making sure it is colorful and varied to avoid losing interest, and also giving your body all the important nutritional elements, such as vitamins and minerals.
Eat light and eat right: Start your day with a minimum of a glass of water or warm water with lemon and honey. 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 include steamed, grilled, baked, roasted or sauteed dishes. Dinner should begin with a light soup (no cream) or lentil soup and should always be a light dinner that has carbohydrates, protein and good fats.
Snack it out: Eating a snack between your main meals can prevent you from overeating in the next meal. Therefore, you should make sure you eat some snacks during the day. The healthy snacks should be small meals, containing the nutritional elements that may be lacking in the rest of the meals. Examples are fresh or dried fruits, vegetable slices, such as carrots or cucumbers, raw nuts (unsalted – a handful) or milk (low-fat), and some dairy products or a dark chocolate (30 grams). Always remember that even if your options are healthy, do not take excess.
Eat slowly: Take time to savour every mouthful of your food – opt for smaller bites and chewing slowly. The brain takes around 15-20 minutes to realize that your stomach is full, meaning by dessert time you are likely to overeat.
Eat the ‘good for you’ options first: Starting your meal with a bowl of clear broth or green salad will mean that you are fuller by the time you progress to the stuffed turkey and mashed potatoes and finally dessert.
Shop smart: It is easy to get distracted by the unhealthy options available when you shop for groceries, especially if you shop on an empty stomach. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables. Low fat dairy or whole grains are a healthier alternative so fill your shopping cart with these. Also, use a natural sweetener that tastes just as good as refined, processed sugar.
Plan wisely: When organising a get together do not plan your menu around choices that are heavy in cream sauces or empty calories like in a casserole. 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, try grilled chicken with a side dish of fresh vegetable salad.
Hang out with friends at the park: Do not kill time in front of the TV after a large meal, put on your running shoes and head to the park with a friend. Play a game of badminton or just take a walk around inhaling some fresh air while catching up.
Be mindful of sugary beverages: Drink at least six-eight glasses of water every day. You can flavor the water with cut up fruits, mint and lemon or preferred veggies.
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