Healthy Eating

Eating healthy is not about going on a two week-long diet. It is about making a conscious decision to change your regular eating habits to healthier ones. Contrary to what most people think, it isn’t just what you eat that makes a difference. When you eat and how you eat it matters too!

If you’d like to start eating healthy, here are some things you need to keep in mind about the food you eat:

What?

  • Balanced – Having a balanced diet is important. You do not need to completely avoid certain types of food, or stick to certain others. What you should aim for, instead, is an overall diet that includes lots of healthy choices and an occasional few not-so-healthy ones for when you feel like it.
  • Wholesome – There is whole wheat bread and there is white bread. You have white rice and brown rice, refined sugar and unrefined sugar, white flour and wheat flour. Make informed choices, and look for healthy sources of carbohydrates and fiber.
  • Nutritious – There are some nutrients that our bodies just can not do without. Ensure you get enough calcium, protein and fats from the right sources, and eat plenty of varied fresh fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Water – Drinking lots of water is extremely important for the human body. Keep a bottle of water handy and drink from it regularly. This practice will also help reduce the size of meals and the frequency of unhealthy snacking.

When?

  • Early in the morning – The earlier you have your breakfast, the sooner your body will begin its metabolism. This in turn will ensure that more calories are being burned through the day.
  • Early at night – The later it gets at night, the less active we are and the rate of our metabolism slows down. Therefore, it is best to try and have dinner as early as possible.
  • Only when you are hungry – Instead of the traditional three big meals, try to have food in smaller quantities and more frequently. This will prevent you from having too much at once, and will also keep the body energetic and nourished throughout the day.

How?

  • Smaller portions – No matter what you are eating, over-eating is bad for the body. Stop eating before you feel full; it takes a while for your brain to register the stomach’s message that it is full! If you’re used to eating large portions, try replacing some of the food with a bowl of fruit or vegetable salad at least once a day.
  • Eat consciously – If you are sitting with a bag of chips in one hand and the TV remote or an engrossing novel in the other, you are not likely to be paying attention to what you are eating, or how much you have eaten. Avoid eating unless you are hungry, and then do so consciously, savouring and enjoying your food.

Some of these changes may be easier for you to implement than others. Don’t try to transform your eating habits overnight – this is only setting yourself up for failure. Let the change be slow and gradual, before you know it, you will be well on your way to achieving the healthy eating goals you set for yourself!

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