General rules of diet planning
There are plenty of different diets out there. Diets may help you lose some pounds but they are not the best solution for maintaining healthy weight. If your aim is to stay healthy and fit not just for a couple of months but for the whole life, you should stick to these general diet rules.
1. Eat regularly
Eating regularly (it means every 3-4 hours) will help to keep your blood sugar levels constant, which in turn will ensure that you have constant energy, no cravings, stable mood, plus, it increases your metabolism.
2. Eat small portions
When you start eating more often throughout the day, your meals and snacks should be relatively small. For main meals itwill be good to have 2 units plus the protein or fat and snacks can be 1 to 2 units (for example, a fruit and a yogurt).
3. Don’t skip breakfast and eat most of your calories in the morning
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – it gives you the energy for the long time, so try not to skip it. And try to eat most of your food in the first half of the day – this way you won’t feel too hungry in the evenings and won’t overeat at lunch or dinner. Your healthy breakfast should mostly consist of protein and good carbs.
4. Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating means that you pay all your attention to what you eat, how much and when. Try to avoid all the distraction factors such as TV, computer, reading, etc., while eating. Be present in this moment, chew slowly, enjoy every bite of food, feel all its flavors and aromas. This method will help you not to overeat and make the right food choices.
5. Always listen to your body’s signals
Try to understand what your body wants at that particular moment. Actually, we are not that hungry all the time as we might think. Don’t confuse stomach hunger with mouth hunger. Eat only when you really feel hungry. People often confuse hunger with dehydration, and it’s enough to drink a glass or two of water to feel satiated. Learn to understand what your body wants to tell you. It’s designed wisely and knows its needs perfectly well.
6. Eat more fiber
Fiber helps keep you satiated much longer, so you will not overeat. Eat at least 20 grams of fiber per day from high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
7. Choose whole grains
Eat whole grains and minimize your consumption of white flour.
8. Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits
They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, as well as with fiber. But try to limit your intake of too sugary fruits, like bananas or grapes.
9. Eat enough protein
Protein is an essential nutrient, which also helps keep you feeling full longer. Aim for three servings of lean protein (such as fish,white meat of chicken and turkey, or lean beef sirloin) per day. If you’re a vegetarian, aim for vegetable protein found in legumes, tofu, tempeh, kale, broccoli, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, artichokes, spinach, collard greens, avocado, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.
10. Consume enough good fats
Good fats include monounsaturated fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oils, nuts, avocados,oily fish, such as salmon, sardines or herring.Good fats are good for your heart, plus, they help you feel fuller longer after meals. Aim for 3-4 servings daily.
11. Make sure you have enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet
These essential nutrients work together primarily to strengthen the bones in your body. Dairy foods are the best source of calcium and vitamin D in the diet. Plus, vitamin D by itself plays a role in weight control. Extra body fat holds on to vitamin D so that the body can’t use it. This perceived deficiency interferes with the action of leptin– thehormone, which tells your brain that you’re full. And if you can’t recognize when you’re satiated, you’re more likely to overeat. Getting enough of vitamin D can help protect you from heart disease to memory loss and even chronic pain. Eat 3 servings of calcium- and vitamin D-rich foods a day. Specialists recommend about 200-600 IU of vitamin D daily intake and 1,000-1,200milligrams of calcium daily intake.
12. Avoid foods high in sodium, all processed foods, fast food, trans fats, foods filled with refined sugar and artificial sweeteners
This rule is simple to understand, yet not so easy to follow. Just do your best. If you’re motivated enough to have a healthy, strong, young, lean body and be healthy both inside and outside, you’ll find this goal quite achievable.
13. Drink enough water
It’s very important to drink enough pure plain water throughout the day. It washes out the toxins out of the body, hydrate us from the inside out (and hydration is vital for good health), helps avoid overeating, because we often confuse hunger with dehydration. Specialists recommend drinking about 1-2 liters of water per day, but you should listen to your body and define for yourself how much you need to drink. Remember, that you need more water after intense exercising.
14. Consistency is key
The longer you continue with this style of eating the better your body will respond to food in the long run.This is because your metabolism will be improving and your body is then able to burn off extra calories short term. The main thing is to start, and once you get into this healthy eating routine, it will be easy to continue with every day.