2023 is upon us, which means you’ve probably been considering a few new year’s resolutions. This is the time of year when we think about our lives until this point and mull over changes that can help us to be happier, healthier and lead a better quality of life in general. One major element of our lifestyles that the majority of us will focus on during this time is our diet. We need food to fuel ourselves through each day, but all too often, we will reach out for unhealthy options, packed with saturated fat, salt and sugar, while also containing little of genuine nutritional value. Instead, we need to make better decisions. Here’s some advice that should help you to plan a better diet for the year ahead.
Say No to Fad Diets
First, you need to make sure that you avoid fad diets at all costs. Fad diets are designed to target those who are looking to lose weight, but they really aren’t all they’re made out to be. It really is important to remember that the only way to eat well and maintain a healthy weight is to stick to your recommended calorie count and make sure that your diet is balanced. Fad diets tend to encourage poor eating habits or even problematic eating habits that won’t actually help you maintain a healthier weight. They see you drop a lot of weight fast in an unsustainable manner. They almost always cause more harm than good. Healthy, balanced diet really is the way to go.
Eat Three Meals a Day
Skipping meals is poor for your health and well-being. It really is important that you do what you can to make sure you really don’t skip meals. In fact, skipping meals can result in you missing out on essential nutrients that you would usually get from a healthy, balanced meal. Instead, eating three meals a day, ideally at regular times, can actually help your body to better manage food and can help you to burn calories at a faster rate. This can be as easy as porridge for breakfast, chicken veggie soup for lunch and a roast for dinner. Eating regular meals can also reduce your chances of snacking on unhealthy foods in place of, or between, meals to tide yourself over.
Know Your Recommended Calorie Count
Different people should eat different amounts of calories based on factors including sex, age and what your activity levels are like. Generally, the recommended daily calorie intake is 2,000 calories a day for women and 2,500 calories a day for men. Again, spread these evenly throughout the day. If in doubt, consult your doctor or a nutritionist who will be able to give you more tailored recommendations.
There’s a lot of salt in many prepared foods and convenience foods. Instead, try to track what salt you’re consuming or make all of your meals and snacks yourself – this will give you more control over the amount of salt that you eat. It’s recommended that the average adult gets no more than 6g of salt per day in their regular diet.
Sugar can also pose a problem to your health. Sugar is particularly bad for your teeth. Where possible, limit sugar consumption too. If you have a sweet tooth, you should try to get your sweetness from natural sources, such as fruit. This is slower release and less processed. The sugar generally releases once it’s already hit your stomach, rather than on the way.
A healthy and balanced diet is important, but many of us find that we have occasional gaps in our diet too. This is where supplements can help. Supplements are great for the areas that you might miss. They’re particularly important if you have a limited or restricted diet, such as gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and more.
You need to remember to stay hydrated too. All too many people forget the importance of liquids in their diet. Drinking roughly two litres of water a day can help your body to regulate its core temperature. It can also keep your joints lubricated, strengthen your body against infections, deliver nutrients to cells and keep your organs functioning properly. Two litres is roughly eight glasses, but you could try carrying a one-litre or two-litre bottle to monitor your hydration. Hydrating foods are positive too – melons, berries, lettuce, cucumber and more.
A balanced diet takes knowledge, preparation and planning. Each of the pieces of information above should guide you on your journey to healthier eating. Give them a try as we step into 2023!