When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, besides healthy eating, we also need to make sure we are being physically active every day, getting an adequate amount of sleep, staying well hydrated, and setting aside time to engage in activities we enjoy that will help alleviate stress.
Having a healthy balance of all of these lifestyle components will help to contribute to a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained, not just for a few weeks or a couple of months, but for a lifetime.
Today we are going to share with you some tips to healthy eating for a long-term healthy lifestyle and discuss some of the negative implications associated with dieting. While dieting may help you drop quick pounds, in the end there are many downfalls that come along with dieting over a long duration of time.
Dieting: The Cycle of Restricting vs. Healthy Eating Patterns
Spending a long period of time restricting overall calories and avoiding certain food groups can end up being detrimental to your overall health long-term.
Tips to Making Healthy Swaps Instead of Extreme Dieting
- Include more fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, and healthy in your diet to improve your satiety levels.
- Remember to stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Eat intuitively and allow yourself some small sweets or cheat days every once in a while to avoid overeating a certain food item later on.
It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mentality – that is often what gets us into the Diet and Restricting cycle that can cause excess weight gain, and altered metabolism. If you can find freedom around food and be able to have things in moderation, you will be able find more enjoyment around food.
Tips to Adopting a Healthy Eating Patterns1. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Try adding some fresh or frozen fruits or vegetable to smoothies, add vegetables to a stir-fry, and even add cauliflower or shredded zucchini to your oatmeal in the morning to get a fruit and vegetable serving as well as increase your micronutrient intake!
2. Include healthy fat sources in your diet
- Cook with olive or avocado oil, add olive oil or avocado oil to a homemade salad dressing, add avocado to your salads or smoothies, include nut butters as a healthy fat and protein source, or sprinkle chia or flax seeds on top of some fresh fruit and yogurt
3. Remember to stay hydrated
- Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to do; it is what helps deliver all of the healthy nutrients you consume to your cells! Looking for ways to increase your water intake? Try adding some fresh fruits or vegetables to make different flavors!
4. Try and include more plant-based foods into your diet
- There are many different types of healthy eating patterns, but eating any version of plant-based diets which are naturally high in fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and lean protein sources will help improve your nutrient intake
Making small changes that you know you can maintain throughout your life, will help you transition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long-term because in the end, food should be something that should be enjoyed and cherished for all of the nutrients it provides to fuel life’s many adventures.
Author: Karli McCarthy
Cal Poly, SLO Nutrition Student