How we feel and age is affected by so many different factors that it’s not possible to influence them all. But the one thing we can do for the biggest impact if nourish our bodies with healthy eating instead of constant dieting. The saying ‘you are what you eat’ is scientifically true. Despite this, most people (myself included) can develop negative eating habits whether its yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, overindulging or turning to pre-prepared meals and processed foods full of additives.
Taking care of what you eat is the first and best step to feeling younger. Since I have been on my healthy eating journey I can feel and see the difference. I have more energy, feel more positive and my skin is more hydrated – even around my eyes – which makes me happy! Consuming a healthy diet fills your body with nutrients, gets rid of toxins and reduces inflammation in your body. In fact, research has proven that healthy eating can even prevent diseases, like cancer.
It is possible to develop habits that allow you to enjoy the pleasures of food. Take small steps to a meaningful healthier journey. With small changes, they will gradually become a way of life.
Embrace High Nutrient Eating
Nutritional science in the last twenty years has shown that colourful plant foods contain a huge amount of protective compounds. Only by eating an assortment of nutrient-rich foods can we get all these benefits and help prevent the common disease.
The basic food pyramid shows low-calorie, nutrient dense food at the base and high-calorie nutient poor foods at the top. It is designed for us to focus on how much we should eat proportionally – eat the food at the bottom the most because it takes up the most room on the pyramid. The foods at the top are the ones you should eat very little of.
Make the Mediterranean Diet a Lifestyle
The Mediterranean diet has won the gold as 2019’s best overall diet in US and World reports. They analysed 21 eating plans and gave it the top spot in several subcategories including best diet for healthy eating, best plant-based diet, the best diet for diabetes and the easiest diet to follow.
This is not necessarily new or surprising, as numerous studies have found the diet can reduce the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression and breast cancer. Meals from the Mediterranean region have also been linked to stronger bones, healthier heart and longer life.
The diet features simple, plant-based cooking. The majority of each meal focused on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and seeds, with a few nuts and an emphasis on extra virgin olive oil. It mostly cuts out refined sugar and flour except for on rare occasions and any fats that aren’t olive oil, like butter, are rarely consumed.
Include Fasting in Your Life and Give Your Digestion a Rest
We tend to overload our bodies with food. One of the best things you can do to help the body run efficiently and heal itself from the inside is to include some type of fasting in your weekly or monthly eating plan. There are many different ways of including fasting in your regime, here are the most popular which you choose which suits you.
The 16/8 or 14/10 Method: Fast for 16/14 hours each day.
This method means you fast for 14 – 16 hours. You restrict your eating to 8-10 hours of the day where you can fit in 2, 3 or more meals. During the fasting period, usually overnight (with an early dinner and a later breakfast), you can drink water, coffee and other non-caloric beverages to help reduce hunger.
The 5:2 Diet: Fast for 2 days per week.
The 5:2 diet involves eating normally 5 days of the week. On the other two days, you restrict your calories to 500 for women and 600 calories for men. It was also called the fast diet and was popularized by British journalist and doctor Michael Mosley.
Alternate-Day Fasting: Fast a day after over indulging .
Sometimes its tempting to keep indulging once you start. A good habit to get into is to fast the day after you have over eaten. So if you go for a big meal one night or have a day of celebrations then fast the next day and make this a habit.
Do a 24-hour fast, once a week or month.
This method is more extreame and was popularized by fitness expert Brad Pilon. It has become more popular over the last few years. By fasting from dinner one day, to dinner the next, this amounts to a 24-hour fast. Water, coffee and other non-caloric beverages are allowed during the fast, but no solid food.
A regular 3 day fast/detox
It involves eating small amounts of fruit and vegetables for 3 days, which you can do once a month to cleanse your body. Make healthy food choices or even better juice on lots of fresh seasonal foods.
There is a lot of science and people backing up the huge benefits of adopting a healthy eating lifestyle. One approach does not suit everyone – but the one common theme eating natural colourful unprocessed fruit and vegetables is the basis of good health. Adopt these habits and you will never have to diet again!