Healthy Eating - How To Do It
Last updated on : October 16 2021
Eating healthy is about more than looking good in a bandage dress. It's about looking after your health and wellbeing too.
At The Kewl Blog, we're not nutritionists, but we're full of common sense and can make rational decisions about what is healthy for us or not. We've spent a long time researching foods and eating behaviors because we're curious about eating healthy. We want to understand how to improve our eating habits and to feel good about our bodies.
In short, we've decided to take responsibility for what we eat.
In this article, we share healthy eating knowledge from our research and common sense eating habits. We aim to inspire you to feel right about your shape and improve the way you eat.
The Basics of Healthy Eating
1. Balance your calorie intake with your activity and weight loss goals
To lose weight, eat fewer calories than your body needs (a calorie deficit). To gain weight, eat more calories than your body needs (a calorie excess). And to maintain your weight eat the same amount of calories that your body consumes.
Think of calories as fuel for your body. When you eat more fuel than your body needs, the excess gets stored for future use, and you get fatter. When you begin to consume less fuel than your body needs, it starts to draw on your stored fuel reserves, and you get thinner.
Men should eat around 2500 calories a day and women 2000. These levels are a lot easier to achieve than you think, meaning that most of us overeat. Watching what you eat is essential to make sure you don't!
2. Eat good calories
Different foods have different impacts on your body. Healthy calories from fruit and vegetables or fish will make you feel fuller for longer. They are also nutritious in helping your body grow and fight diseases. However, the same amount of calories from sugar won't fill you up. Sugar won't provide the nutrition your body needs and will leave you hungry for more food. Plus, it can be harmful to you.
If you fill up on sweets or fast food, you'll be adding calories, but you won't be adding nutrients. Your body will cry out for nutrients forcing you to eat until it gets them. The result is that you eat more calories than your body needs, and you gain weight because the sugary and fatty foods get stored as fat.
Eat a variety of foods to get the energy, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need for good health.
The Food Pyramid
The food pyramid is a quick and easy way to understand what foods to eat and in what quantities. At the top of the pyramid are fats, oils, and sweets, things to eat sparingly. At the lower end are vegetables, fruits, and healthy grains, all foods that are good to eat more often.
We love the food pyramid pictured below because it incorporates exercise and sleep, both important, and alcohol, which is something to avoid.
If in any doubt, the USDA has published an official food pyramid and health booklet that contains research-based food guidance and is supported by the Department of Health.
3. Practice the right behaviors
Watching how many calories you eat and following a diet balanced towards healthier foods are essential considerations, but not the only ones. Other factors, including how often and when you eat, can quickly undermine your good intentions.
Let's look at the most important here.
Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This statement is hard to dispute for most, even though research findings are inconclusive. A robust and well-balanced meal at the start of your day will set you up for the energy boost you need. Plus, it will help you avoid snacking.
If you've never eaten breakfast or just don't feel hungry in the morning, examine your eating habits later in the day. If you are bingeing over lunch or taking on excess calories to compensate for a missed breakfast, consider having one instead. Understand how your calorie intake differs with our without eating morning food and decide on what is best for you.
Watch Your Portion Sizes
If you do not actively measure calories, then be careful not to overeat at any one sitting. The best way to do this is to eat smaller portion sizes and, if necessary, eat more times a day.
There is no science that states many small meals are better than a few larger ones. However, with substantial portions, you risk over-eating again and again. So the advice is to watch your portion sizes over the day. Whether you are eating many times or only a few times is less relevant.
Drink Plenty of Water
The advice is that we drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Water makes up 98% of our bodies, so this information makes sense. However, be guided by your thirst for water and don't over drink. Our bodies are perfectly capable of letting us know when we need to drink.
Your body needs exercise. It's a healthy way to burn calories, allowing you to lose weight and to eat more. So get regular exercise to complement your balanced diet and reduced calorie intake.
The Department of Health advises between 75 to 150 mins a week of aerobic exercises and strength training for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. This amount of activity doesn't sound like much, but it is probably more than most people are getting and a reason why we add weight so quickly.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
You don't have to abstain completely. But bear in mind that alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and is both unhealthy and addictive. Binge drinking is particularly harmful, and it can add massive amounts of calories to your daily intake.
The CDC has a fantastic page on alcohol FAQ. They define moderate drinking as one drink a day for women and two for men. Note this is per day and not an average over many days. So you can't have two glasses of wine today because you didn't have any yesterday! A glass of wine is 5 ounces in size according to their definition.
Get Enough Sleep
Your body needs sleep to recover from its day's work. If you don't sleep well, your mental and physical health is under threat, including your weight.
Most of us sleep around 7 hours a night, which, according to studies, is far too little and a recipe for long-term sleep deprivation. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to function their best over the long-term. If you're not getting that amount of sleep at night, you can fill the gap with daytime naps.
Sleep deprivation also has a direct link to overeating and weight gain. When you don't get the sleep you need, your body is stimulated to eat more. And it wants high energy sugary foods for quick energy boosts, the worst of all!
Read Food Labels
We're not sure food labels can be wholly trusted; however, with today's foods, it pays to check them. Wholewheat bread often is only 30% whole wheat, and fat-free or sugar-free usually hide other quantities of unhealthy preservatives or flavorings.
Additionally, food labels can be informative and help you get the balance of nutrients you need.
Healthy Eating Guides
We know it's hard to watch your calorie intake and follow the right behaviors, so we set off to gather practical advice to help out. The following articles are jam-packed with efficient solutions to the bad eating habits we busy women face every day.
We get the theory, but how best to put it into practice. Here's a unique take on healthy eating - click on the titles to view the full articles.
This article looks at both the direct and indirect impact that exercise has on our immune system. It concludes that exercise positively boosts our immune responses, reduces our risk to disease and infection, and improves our mental and emotional health.
Water is the source of life. We know the importance of water for our lives because a person can survive on water alone for 3-5 weeks, but a person receiving neither food nor water can last only a few days. Find out how much to drink and more.
Understand the 13 healthiest leafy greens and how best to eat them. Try them in a salad, or ten other ways, if you are tired of salads. Experiment on your own, because as you know, when it comes to veggies, you can never go too far wrong.
Your immune system leads the vital task of defending your body against infection. It is in charge of guarding your body against harmful elements such as bacteria and viruses. Ensuring you eat a nourishing diet with sufficient micronutrients is an excellent way to support your immune system.
Clean eating is a diet based on eating whole food fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Supplementing with lean proteins and healthy fats and avoiding processed foods like snacks, sweets, and other packaged foods. Start it today!
Knowing that you are not alone if you are feeling anxious or depressed is undoubtedly helpful. However, this fact alone can’t do much to relieve your symptoms and make your life a little better. Something that can help, though, is food.
Should I drink Water Before Bed? - The answer is not to wait until bedtime to drink your water needs but to stay hydrated during the day. And if you do need to drink water before bedtime, to consume just enough to hydrate you but not wake you up to urinate.
Taking care of yourself during your pregnancy is extremely important, mainly thanks to the rising maternal mortality rate in the U.S. The top cause of this rise is insufficient care or lack of care coordination.
Rich in fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acid, and many other nutrients and vitamins, chia seeds help cure various illnesses and also aids your weight loss journey. Learn the health benefits of chia seeds here.
Green juice has plenty of health benefits, but it is not a replacement for a good diet. The juice is a good way to stay hydrated and maintain nutrients when you are on the go. Make sure to heed our advice and try our recipes, and you'll be enjoying refreshing, healthy green juices in no time.
There are several healthy reasons to stock biltong in your kitchen cupboards. Biltong is excellent for everyone and comes in many different flavors and varieties. And it makes a healthy snack free of preservatives, low in calories, packed with nutrients, easy to store with a long shelf life, and fun to eat and enjoy.
Flowers aren't just pretty to look at; they are also full of vitamins and nutrients integral to human health. While you can use many flowers in cooking, some will taste better than others. So let's take a look at the tastiest flowers and how to incorporate them into dishes.
Oral health is not only about brushing our teeth, even though it is one of the most vital factors. Many other considerations are needed to ensure you achieve top-notch oral hygiene and improve your dental and overall health.
We're all very aware of the connection between our physical health and the foods we eat. We know that to stay healthy and avoid all kinds of preventable diseases, we need to enjoy a balanced diet, filled with all the macro- and micro-nutrients our bodies need.
However, there is now evidence that the foods we eat also have an incredible impact on our mental health and our daily mood.
If you're passionate about your health and fitness, then it's essential to understand that your rest and recovery days are just as important as the days you spend in the gym, going on a long run, or doing any strenuous exercise.
Without recovery days, your body can burn out quickly. You also might be less motivated to push yourself during exercise because you're so mentally and physically exhausted.
So, if you want to make steady progress with your fitness regimen, understanding what you should do, eat, and avoid during your rest days can make a big difference.
The trouble with wearing a tight dress is that it can either look like a complete success or a complete failure, depending on how you pull it off. If you want to look like you're walking down the red carpet, you should prepare your body for the occasion a couple of weeks in advance.
Feeling stunning in a tight dress doesn't have to be impossible, or even hard if you follow the dieting methods in this article in the run-up to your occasion. Aside from looking gorgeous, you'll also avoid low self-esteem issues when feeling perfectly shapely in your dress.
Exercising and nutrition are not two separate things, and you can't do one without the other. They are two sides of the same coin. Work on both. Develop competent, healthy habits, and understand the importance it has on your performance, and you'll soon see yourself taking off in ways you could never expect.
It is insane how much money you can save if you stop buying twelve packs of soda and the party-sized bags of chips. If you spend less money on food that isn't good for you, then you will have more for healthier eating.
Overall you have to start thinking about the choices you are making.
If you are genuinely willing to plan and prep your meals, then this life change won't be so bad. It is incredibly easy to succeed in adding healthier habits to your college life without completely breaking the bank.
The Oxford Dictionary defines "Nutrition" as "the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth." While eating a healthy diet is always a good idea, proper nutrition can benefit other aspects of our lives as well.
We live in a society that emphasizes outer beauty. However, what many of us fail to realize is that what we fuel our bodies directly affects our physical appearance.
In this article, we review foods that are good for our beauty and health. First, let's focus on building the foundation with skin health.
Showing off a great silhouette in a fabulous outfit is one of the top reasons women want to shed excess tummy fat.
There are many different ways to achieve the goal, including techniques like non-invasive fat-reduction, tummy tucks, or just plain old watching what you eat and exercising.
If you want to try a more natural approach to a flat belly, a healthy diet and plenty of exercises is the most obvious way to go.
To help you with the challenges of losing extra inches from your waistline, we've got some fantastic advice about the relationship between your breakfast habits and the pursuit of a perfect abdomen.
We each have our way of preparing for bed at night. Some read or take a warm bath, while others work at their computers until they can no longer keep their eyes open.
Remember, however, that what we do during the day contributes in some way to how well we sleep, including what we eat.
According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating healthy carbs four hours before bed can shorten sleep onset - that is, they can help you fall asleep faster.
Let's understand why.
The consumption of caffeine in coffee increases our metabolism and our (resting) calorie consumption. It also stimulants the release of fat into the bloodstream, making it available for energy conversion.
These two factors provide an increased opportunity for losing weight; however, they will not cause you to lose weight alone. You must also eat appropriately and get enough exercise so that you burn more calories than you consume.
Maximize the opportunity coffee gives you by entering into a negative energy balance. In this state, you attempt to burn more calories than you are consuming by either eating less or exercising more, or both - leading to weight loss.
We love all kinds of diet programs because of the promise they bring - of lost weight, a trim figure, improved health, and feeling better in our clothes. We're also always starting our diets "tomorrow" or "on Monday," and after a few days, we are looking for cheats that we can justify. Oh, for one that lets us eat cake!
Yes, diets are exciting and challenging to keep going. The jury is also out about whether they work, or whether we are doomed to fail through our DNA makeup or the habits we can never break.
But we don't care, and we love the excitement (and trepidation) of starting a new diet and are fascinated by alternative diet theories we can try.
For your gratification, we summarized 12 of our favorite diets for you below. Enjoy, and we wish you a quick and healthy weight loss.
Instagram stories and celebrity anecdotes have made the Keto diet famous all over the internet. While Hollywood fame like Halle Berry and Kim Kardashian swear by it, health experts have raised a brow.
A ketogenic diet is an extremely low-carb diet which accelerates the fat burning process in our body. It is somewhat similar to Atkins and works on the 'low carb-high fat' mechanism. High fat! Sounds scary? Here's how it works.
We all dream about reducing our body weight, but so many of us are unable to go the distance.
Not everyone has the time or the energy to exercise regularly and to monitor their diet to lose weight consistently.
If you struggle to lose weight, and can't focus on exercise or diets, then try these practical tips to help you keep your weight down. They are all exercise and heavy-duty diet free.
The fruit is excellent at keeping hunger pangs at bay and makes a healthy snack food. Certain fruits, when included in your diet, may help with your weight loss goals too. Some of these fruits are natural fat burners, while others are rich in pectin and fiber.
Eating a piece of fruit instead of a candy snack is a vast improvement in your diet, especially when it's a fat blaster or a high fiber variety. Try these 13 fruits on their own or as substitutes for your unhealthy snack habits.
Yes, you read that right. Did you know that you can eat to lose weight? Simply changing or adding a few things to a balanced and healthy diet can help you fight fat, get lean faster, and give you a boost of much-needed energy.
Certain foods help you lose those unwanted pounds as they eliminate toxins, boost your metabolism, and trigger the right hormones. Add a few to your shopping list today.
Eating antioxidants might be the solution to many diseases, even aging.
From preventing heart disease to slowing down degenerative conditions, to stopping cancer, to reducing blood pressure - it all points back to antioxidants and their ability to fight free radicals.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole-grain products are rich in antioxidant nutrients. Adding these foods to your diet helps prevent the accumulation of free radicals, improves your cellular activity, and might just let you live longer.
Breakouts occur when we need them the least. Unexpectedly on a date night or before an important job interview. The fact is that breakouts can be prevented by the foods we eat.
We've compiled a list of the top 21 foods that keep your skin healthy and bright.
Estrogen is the sex hormone responsible for the development of female characteristics in the body. It exists in higher quantities in females than men.
Features such as more beautiful hair and a small voice box in women are due to the high presence of estrogen in their bodies.
Estrogen provides the embryo with a healthy environment after the process of fertilization. And it helps women throughout the menstrual cycle.
The hormone plays a vital role in the lives of women, and so it's essential that it stays in balance. An imbalance can be detrimental to our wellbeing.
Are all low-fat, multigrain, vegan, and gluten-free foods healthy? When it comes to "healthy foods," the lines almost always become blurred and largely depend on who you ask.
With our reliance on social media for insights into the latest "eat clean" movement, it is easy to get caught up in protein shakes, fruit bowls, and smoothies.
However, not all so-called healthy foods are good for your body and, in reality - are not beneficial to eat at all.
In our crazy, hectic lives, we look for shortcuts everywhere—even when it comes to food. We know prepackaged, processed foods are not healthy eating options, yet we grab them for the sheer convenience of it.
Often delicious and convenient to eat, many of these foods contain unhealthy ingredients directly or sometimes indirectly in the packaging they use. Chemical flavors, preservatives, and high levels of sugars and salts are the key risks, as is our want to turn to them in a crisis or for comfort. Avoid them at all costs.
We are all incredibly busy on a day to day basis, and our eating times are relegated to second priority. Often we barely have time to eat, and when we do, it's either available fast food or an opportunistic unhealthy option. It doesn't need to be like this if you take out some time to plan.
Research reveals that healthy diets incorporating fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts, cost more than unhealthy diets (for example, those rich in processed foods, meats, and refined grains). According to the study by the Department of Epidemiology at HSPH, a day's worth of healthy meals cost approximately $1.50 more than the least healthy ones.
We aim to turn this equation around. Eating well doesn't have to be expensive. There are many ways to keep the health quotient high in the foods we eat and still have enough cash left over for some fun.
With our jam-packed schedules finding the time to prepare and cook meals is difficult. Fitness and health experts push meal preps as an alternative. If you don't have time at hand, making meals to eat later in the week is a great way to keep trim on the go.
We cover simple and fast meals that are quickly prepared using less than five ingredients. The prep process is quick, and results are what you need to keep your diet on track without snacking and rushed choices.
We all turn to salads when we are trying to lose weight or feel guilty for yesterday's sugary treats and cupcakes! And so often, it just doesn't fill the gap.
What we need are salads that we turn to regularly, that we look forward to eating at all times, not only when we need to ease our guilt trips. Stock up your pantry with salad toppings that make your mouth drool, and enjoy the best guilt-free salads in town.
If ever there was a time to test your healthy eating determination or to maintain your feminine proportions, it is the holiday season.
Great food, splendid company, and relaxed conversations with loved ones make it the most challenging time to keep off the pounds, to stick to your regular workout routine, and to diet.
Most people gain 2 to 5 pounds during the holiday season. After a few years, these pounds add up to unhealthy weight gain and can contribute to a negative body image.
However, there are ways to enjoy the holiday season without the dreaded weight gain.
Winter is time spent curled up on the couch, being warm in bed, playing in the snow, seasonal parties, and lots more. It's also a time for enjoying delicious food and invariably packing on extra pounds.
Knowing what your body craves during the winter and how to combat this is the key to losing weight, or not putting it on in the first place.
Here are a few ideas to help you out. They include better and healthier food choices, some good behaviors to adopt, and inspiration to get exercise.
Did you know that nighttime plays a pivotal role in helping you meet your weight loss goals? There is an intrinsic connection between your weight and how well you sleep, and vice versa.
Getting more or less sleep than the recommended amount may lead to weight gain, according to a Brigham Young University study. The study suggests that heading to bed consistently at the same time every night may help keep your body fat under control.
The right amount of sleep matters too. Most of us need between 6.5 to 8.5 hours of sleep every single night for our bodies to recover from our daily activities.
If you are struggling to lose the extra pounds or want a more defined waistline, then simple adjustments to your bedtime routine may jumpstart your goals.
There are now so many studies proving dark chocolate contains minerals that can work wonders for your health. However, avoid the sugary, milky, and versions filled with filler as those will only load up the calories.
Go for quality, organic dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of at least 70 percent. Also, keep a watch on the quantity—a piece or two after dinner is the ideal amount of everyday consumption.
Healthy eating and the rewards of a slimmer figure are within our reach. Like most things in life, success comes from determination, planning, and a real need to change. In many instances, it requires grit and perseverance too.
But the fact is that we can change habits and quickly replace bad habits with good ones. Focus on the healthy aspects of eating and create a positive mindset ready for a change.
Use our practical advice to develop a healthy eating plan of your own. However, always consult with your doctor or a nutritionist when making changes to your diet or activity levels.
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The Kewl Shop
The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. Important stuff that every modern woman or man needs to know.
Editor: Charles Fitzgerald