There is extensive talk all over the world about pursuing a healthy lifestyle. This mostly stems from a worldwide cry to improve well-being and quality of life of the people.
Many nutrition experts and health practitioners seem to preach the same goal of starting small, in that compliance is steadily increased as compared to trying to change everything at once.
The big question is; what can you do to start a healthy lifestyle journey? The short answer is to start small! But the long answer is that it depends on your health goals, affordability, food preferences and many other factors. So choose your ‘must win’ battles.
A much longer answer is as seen in some of these top tips below, that I pulled together from vast scientific studies:
1. Start drinking more water
- Water requirements for adults is about 6 – 8 glasses a day, but start with quantities you can manage and increase slowly.
- Kids’ water or fluid requirements are very much dependent on many factors such as age, body size and physical activity.
- Water can be flavoured using sugar free concentrates, adding fruit or herbs or serving it cold to make it more palatable.
2. Choose foods that nourish your body – basically try to follow the health guidelines given by our Department of Health
- One of the main guides available is the plate guide. The plate guide advises that we eat half a plate of vegetables, ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate starch/wholegrains and healthy fats binding it all.
- If we can try to stick to such national eating guidelines, it would improve our health and reduce our risks of diseases of lifestyle.
- The best way to start is to halve current portions of total food, salt intake or sugar amongst other things.
- Not only does this benefit our health, but also the environment and can help us save money through reduced food waste.
3. Colourful plates
- Vegetables and fruits are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals, and many antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.
- Start with adding a vegetable with every Lunch or Dinner and adding a fruit to your breakfast and or snack time.
4. Use alcohol and tobacco in moderation
- High alcohol and tobacco use without a doubt reduces the quality of life.
- The recommendation is one drink for a lady and 2 drinks for a gentleman and binge drinking is more debilitating.
- It is strongly recommended that we avoid tobacco use.
- Rome was not built in a day, start small e.g. reduce from a 12 pack of beer to a 6 pack or reduce from drinking Friday to Sunday, to once a weekend.
5. Responsible use of health supplements
- Health supplements have an important role to play in our health.
- They are a perfect way to help close any nutritional gaps that we might have.
- As part of a healthy eating plan, taking the right quantity and quality of health supplements is important as their misuse can impair health.
The main thing to understand is that nutrition in the 21st century has become very complicated due to many opinions, pseudoscience among other things.
Keep your life simple by keeping it all simple and easy.
Yours in health