A HEALTHY DIET FOR LIFE
that your body needs a well balanced diet,
with a good supply of carbohydrates, especially
high - fiber foods, water vitamins and minerals,
and a certain amount of protein, fat and
bacteria, you need to know how to put it
into practice. Much media attention is focused
on foods that one should not have, yet there
has been very little to tell women how they
can use food to enhance their life rather
than make it more difficult. Forget the
labels; every figure is relative and food
manufacturers are frequently very selective
about what they tell you, making your task
of deciding what is right for you an impossible
one. Instead build your choices on the following
YOUR MOUTH AND BODY: GET INTO THE HABIT
OF ONLY EATING THINGS YOU LIKE AND NEED
Before you put anything in your mouth,
ask yourself three questions: Do I want
it/ Do I like it/ Do I need it?
If you want it and like it then go ahead
and enjoy it, if you dont why bother
wasting the eating experience? Throw all
the boring, unnecessary eating out of your
The worst thing you can do with food is
to feel guilty about eating it. If you have
eaten something that you know is not the
healthier but you really fancied it or were
in a situation where you didnt have
any choice, enjoy it an forget about it.
Dont beat yourself up with guilt.
Guilt is a negative emotion, which is likely
to lead you to bingeing on comfort foods.
This can then get you into a negative sugar
or salt cycle in which you eat more of these
foods, which in turn makes you feel even
more guilty. You might then decide its
not worth continuing with you healthy eating
lifestyle. It is always worth persevering.
Remember that life is for living and food
is there to help us, not hinder us.
AIM TO EAT FIVE PORTIONS OF FRESH FRUITS
AND VEGETABLES EVERY DAY
This provides your body with a good source
of vitamins, minerals and fiber, to maintain
your body in peak condition to fight diseases.
Fiber helps your food to move effectively
through the body, keeps you feeling pleasantly
full and satisfied and in control of your
eating habits, and your energy levels steady.
EAT THREE MEALS A DAY
This is usually made up of one main meal,
a smaller snack or lunch-type meal and breakfast.
You may, however, feel that you need two
smaller snacks, such as a piece of fruit,
a small sandwich or a piece of cake, in
between two smaller meals. It all depends
on your body rhythms. Meals should be based
on carbohydrates, such as pasta, whole-meal
bread, wholegrain cereals, rice or potatoes,
along with fruits and/or vegetables. The
main meal should include a source of lean
protein, along with carbohydrate and plenty
of vegetables and fruits.
CHOOSE LEAN SOURCES OF PROTEIN
Fish, shellfish, lean red meat, game, poultry,
eggs or pulses meet your bodys protein
requirements without overloading on fats.
TRY TO GET INTO THE HABIT OF USING JUST
A SMALL AMOUNT OF FAT
You can use butter, olive oil, sesame oil
or walnut oil to enhance the flavor of your
food or for cooking, but do try to keep
the quantity low.
KEEP YOUR INTAKE OF REFINED SUGAR FOODS
Too much sugar disrupts your natural energy
balance, and can cause headaches; mood swings
and if eaten in large quantities
sugar sensitivity problems such as
hypoglycemia and diabetes mellitus. It is
much better to get into the habit of using
the natural sugars in fruits to provide
INCLUDE SOME DAIRY PRODUCTS OR ANOTHER
SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF CALCIUM IN YOUR DAILY
This has far reaching benefits for all
women of all age group .
DRINK TWO THREE LITERS (FOUR TO FIVE PINTS)
OF WATER EVERY DAY
Water helps the fiber in your food to swell
and perform its duties. It also helps to
metabolize other nutrients from your food,
keep your skin and hair healthy and prevent
your body from becoming dehydrated.
TRY NOT TO DRINK MORE THAN THREE CUPS OF
COFFEE, TEA OR COLA .
All such drinks contain caffeine, which
inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals
from the gut, causes your body to excrete
vital nutrients and interferes with the
fluid and energy balance mechanisms in your
body. Caffeine also causes your body to
be stimulated in an artificial way, which
in the long run has the opposite effect
of supressing your performance and general
feeling of well
INCLUDES SOME GOOD BACTERIA
IN YOUR DAILY DIET, IN THE FORM OF LIVE
YOGURT CONTAINING BIFIDUS AND ACIDOPHILUS
A small pot of bio yogurt a
day should help to keep a healthy balance
of good and bad bacteria in your gut. If
you dont like or are unable to eat
live yogurt, seek the advice of your dietician
TRY TO EAT REGULARLY AND IDEALLY NOT LEAVE
YOUR STOMACH EMPTY FOR MORE THAN FOUR TO
This helps to keep your gut functioning
effectively. Regular eating helps your gut
maintain a steady supply of digestive enzymes,
protects it from excess acid secretion and
enables it to metabolize food in the most
efficient way, to keep your energy level
and moods on an even keel
KEEP YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE MODERATE
Some drinks, especially young red wines
such as Beaujolais, contain anti-oxidant
vitamins and minerals, which can help to
reduce the risk of heart disease and some
cancers. Beers and Champagnes can also provide
beneficial nutrients. Drinking can be a
very pleasurable part of a healthy lifestyle,
but drinking to excess can cause liver damage,
mood and energy-balance problems. Try not
to drink on an empty stomach as this can
cause your blood sugar levels to crash.
The issue of whether you should eat proteins
and carbohydrates at the same meal is one
that regularly crops up in the media. Some
diet consultants feel strongly that proteins
and carbohydrates should be separated, and
advocate that proteins should be eaten only
with vegetables and fruit, not mixed with
carbohydrates. Many people feel that their
body functions better if they out this into
practice; it is commonly known as food combining.
From the physiological and nutritional viewpoint,
proteins (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese,
nuts, pulses) provide the body with amino
acids, used as building blocks within muscles
and other tissues. Carbohydrates provide
energy and fiber. If you eat proteins on
their own, without carbohydrate present,
the protein can be broken down into energy,
rather than used for building body tissue.
Proteins also have other important functions
to perform in maintaining body health and
carbohydrates protect proteins, enabling
them to fulfill these functions.
The choice is yours, but there is no physiological
reasoning behind food combining. I believe
that food is there to be enjoyed. Women
should not have to agonize over whether
they are allowed to eat certain
things at certain times.
Ms Namita Nayyar , is president of www.womenfitness.net
,a complete online guide for women to achieve
healthy weight & optimum fitness . She
is post graduate in Child Development (gold
medalist) & a fitness trainer .