Are you unhappy about your weight or your body shape? Whether you are thin, or plump, or untoned, or just simply not feeling your best even by putting on your best outfit, do take some time to read on. This article might just help you find back your ideal self!
Born and spent all my life in Singapore, I am shamefaced at how bad we Singaporeans eat. 80% of our food choices consist of more unhealthy (simple) carbohydrates than healthy proteins or vegetables. Not to even mention the oily, salty, lots of gravy, lots of seasoning added food out there to whet our appetite and probably resulting in us eating more than what we should actually consume.
Nutrition is a complex subject. Here, a picture probably speaks a thousand words in explaining what makes up a healthy meal portion.
*Image Courtesy of Harvard School of Public Health
This is an ideal Plate Portion diagram. The biggest mistake commonly made with our diet is having too much of carbohydrates (stated as ‘Whole Grains’ in the chart), and too little of vegetables and fruits.
Replace starchy processed complex carbohydrates for natural ones :
Instead of having white bread, white rice, white pasta, cakes etc; opt for wholemeal bread, oats, nuts, brown rice, potatoes, beans etc.
Obtain natural simple carbohydrates from fruits :
Simple carbs are also known as sugar. Our body requires sugar (in the form of glucose) for readily available fuel for our brain and muscles. Having sweets, chocolates, cakes, pastries etc is very unhealthy. Choose from fruits and vegetables. They not only provide sugars but other important vitamins as well.
Find the ‘greenest’ vegetables :
We have heard of ‘color plating’, and choose vegetables that are really green or colorful. The really colorful ones do contain more vitamins, minerals and fibres. Choose from vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, capsicum etc. Mix them with slight starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkins, root vegetables. Best to eat some of the greeny vegetables raw.
Good protein source for muscle building :
Protein sources are aplenty. We have animal protein (your regular meat, fish, eggs, dairy products) and plant protein (peas, beans, tofu, grains, nuts, cereals etc.) In healthy eating terms, you should aim to have more plant protein than meat protein. The latter is usually high in fat and cooked with lots of oil. Plant-based proteins are easier to digest and are low in fat and high in fibre.
Our body needs all the right nutrients to function at its optimum. 3 meals a day is essential. The more you wish to lose (or gain) weight, the more important it is for you to have your 3 meals a day. Instead of cutting out a meal, go for a smaller plate instead, bearing in mind to still keep the portions right.
Many of you may ask : Why do we need to eat especially to lose weight?
Regardless of whether you eat or not, your body still carries on functioning. The body is like a machine that does its work round the clock. Because we need food to burn to give us energy, starving yourself make your body work harder finding the ‘fuel’ to burn. It is important to keep your metabolism fired up with the right food at certain times of the day. Skipping meals make you hungrier later and that sets your body off to crave for sugary and fatty food as these provide a faster energy boost as compared to a steady energy releasing protein.
Skipping meals gave you an uneven distribution of calories.
When your body skips a meal, it results in a downtime where your body is not getting its ‘fuel’ supply to burn for energy. No one meal should be so insignificant that you skip it, because without calories to provide energy, your body starts to react badly by feeling fatigue, stress, mood swings etc.
Your body is not getting the energy it needs to function properly.
Because your body is not able to function properly, your daily activities suffer. Your productivity and output will decrease because your body reacts badly in any possible way you can think of. When you are working, you might not be able to focus. When you are engaging in any physical activity, you feel tired and lack of energy.
Create cravings which will foster bad eating habits.
Sugary or starchy foods are known to give you a quick energy boost. These includes biscults, chocolates, pizzas, noodles, rice, cakes, pastries etc. These carbohydrates give you a quick perk-me-up, but it dips really fast making you feel depleted and craving for more sweets. You probably end up feeling ‘full’ from all the unhealthy snacks and junk food.
Causes overeating without realizing it.
Your guilt may get to you after having all the snacks before, and when it comes to meal times you try to ingest a usual portion of your meal. In turn, you end up overeating and what the body does not absorbed properly turns into fats. Yuck!
Now, if you know you have been eating unhealthy all these while, isn’t it a good time to start making a change? If you have a choice between fat, unhealthy, and feeling sickly all the time vs healthy, radiant, having bountiful energy, which would you choose?
Your health (and how you look) is ALWAYS your choice. Don’t give in to laziness or convenience.Let me know how you kickstart a good dieting habit!