Manage Your Weight with a Balanced Diet
Having the motivation to stay a healthy weight is beneficial both to your self-esteem and well-being. The more that you really understand about what you eat and drink, and how it may impact on your health and vitality, is a good thing.
You may have to reduce your calorie intake slightly and ensure that you keep active. Although it’s not a good idea to just follow ‘fad’ diets, and other miraculous weight-loss products as it can make it even harder to manage your weight over the long term.
So certainly your ‘diet’ is very important – however, as with lots of things it all depends on interpretation – and ‘diet’ can mean so many different things… it can be construed as a strictly regimented intake of regulated food, in which case it’s connotation is more related to ‘dieting’ regimes – or it can be interpreted as simply your usual food choices over time, more a way of living than a systematic daily food allowance.
Either way understanding the real facts about what you consume and what energy your body actually requires depending on your own lifestyle, really should matter to you. Food should be enjoyable and just depriving yourself of things you like isn’t always a viable long-term solution.
Top Tips for a balanced diet
- Eat at least 5 portions of fruit & veg a day
- Base meals on starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice or pasta
- Drink plenty of water
- Choose lower-fat meat, poultry and dairy foods
- Eat more fish – aim for 2 portions a week, including oily fish
- Drink less alcohol
- Eat a variety of foods to ensure you’re getting all nutrients
- Limit food & drink high in sugar, or saturated fats and look out for added sugar in foods
- Limit your salt intake to a maximum of 6g a day, don’t add it to foods and look out for added salts
- Try not to skip meals, particularly breakfast
- Cut out fizzy drinks
The majority of people slow down as they get older – and that includes their metabolism (The rate at which their body consumes calories) so, before you know it – you can find the ‘middle-age spread’ starting to appear. This is usually because a demanding, and often stressful, working and family life, leaves little time to make the right choices.When it comes to your personal diet – one size does not fit all! – Some people are extremely active and have fast metabolisms (partly as a result of being so active), and these people can often eat and drink almost anything and not become overweight. The ‘diet’ industry does not pander to these people of course, otherwise they wouldn’t sell many diets…
Many people feel too drained from the day’s work and family commitments to seek the benefits of exercise, (if anything ‘rest’ is the natural answer for most people) and eating can often become just a means to an end – you feel as though you need a quick fix to satisfy your hunger and you have multiple choices of outlets to fulfill your needs, from fast-food joints to the ready meals that just require a heat up in a microwave oven.
Links Between Diet, Exercise and Health
Increased activity is perhaps the key to weight control as you age. Eating a balanced diet, not overeating and eating the right foods is important.
Research shows, for example, a link between diet and many major diseases, like coronary heart disease and cancer. By walking regularly you cut your rate of physical decline by half.
Thirty minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is what the experts recommend. It can be all in one half-hour, or split into smaller bouts of activity throughout your day.
Remember, before changing your diet or starting an exercise regime, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.