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A Practical Approach To Healthy Eating

Last updated on : October 28 2017

girl with eating healthy food

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 Shop 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 good 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 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.  

food pyramid

3. Practice the right behaviors

Watching how many calories you eat and following a diet balanced towards healthier foods are important 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 with 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 is better than a few larger ones. However, with substantial portions, you risk overeating 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. 

Get Exercise

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 is probably more than most people are getting, and a reason why we add on 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 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 completely 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. 

Practical Advice on Healthy Eating & Behaviors 

practical healthy food advice

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.    

11 Tips on How to Eat Well for Busy Women 

We are all incredibly busy on a day to day basis and our eating times 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. 

7 Easy Prep Meals to Keep You Trim

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.

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Research reveals that healthy diets incorporating fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts, costs 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. 

8 Dinner Salads You Can Eat Guilt Free

We all turn to salads when we are trying to lose weight, or feel guilty for yesterdays 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.

22 Ways to Blast Fat with Food

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.

13 Prepackaged Foods to Avoid

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.    

21 Foods That Prevent Breakouts

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 keep your skin healthy and bright.   

13 Fruits to Eat for Weight Loss

Fruit is excellent at keeping hunger pangs at bay, and 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.  

The Reality of the Paleo Diet

Diet trends are popping up every other day. From the MIND Diet to Atkins - dieting has become a chore and a hobby for many women. If you have tried dieting or have researched dieting trends, you likely have heard about the Paleo Diet—a much-discussed topic in this area.

As with any other plan, there are arguments for and against the Paleo diet. So let’s take a look at the reality of this diet plan, the good and the bad, and how you to make it work for you. 

2 Secrets to the Fountain of Youth: Eat Chocolate and Take A Daily Nap

Recently, Eunice Modlin of Boonville, Indiana made news when she celebrated her 101st birthday—that’s pretty impressive, right? 

You will be surprised to hear what she advises for achieving longevity—a nap and a couple of pieces of chocolate per day. Yes, you read that right! While she also followed a healthy lifestyle and stayed away from cigarettes and alcohol, these two little pieces of advice have us all ears! 

Summary

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. Consult with your doctor or a nutritionist to fine tune and if necessary personalize. Stick to it and see the rewards, because they will come fast.

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