February is fast-approaching and the tone for the rest of the year has nearly been set. However it’s never too late to get back on track! Health is so important. Without it you have nothing, so it’s no secret that becoming healthy and/or losing weight is on the top of most peoples’ New Year’s Resolution list. And what better way to enhance your health by eating healthily!
Why is healthy eating important you ask? Well, with up to two out of three Aussies now classified as overweight or obese, getting into a healthy weight has become the most effective way to ensure the maintenance of good health. A healthy weight has been proven to help reduce the risk of developing long-term conditions like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, amongst other benefits such as boosting your self-esteem.
Now for the shocking truth about our New Year’s Resolutions. According to one UK-health research body, most of us ditch our best-made plans just ten days into the New Year. If this is what you’ve done, don’t fret. We all make mistakes but the most important thing is to move past these and learn from your shortcomings. How about instead of pressuring yourself to make changes at the beginning of the year, why not start a bit later on? After all, being dedicated to something and seeing it through is far more beneficial than being half-committed and giving up. Make sure you find a time that suits you and devote yourself 100 per cent to achieving your goals now!
Here are some steps to a healthier new you:
Aim to eat two fruit and five veggie portions on a daily basis – fruit and vegetables are good sources of many nutrients, particularly vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Eat a varied diet rich in wholegrains like wholemeal breads, pasta, brown rice, noodles potatoes and sweet potatoes – starchy foods contain energy in the form of carbohydrates and the whole grain varieties release energy slowly throughout the day helping you feel fuller for longer.
Cut your total amount of fat – too much saturated fat can raise your risk of developing chronic (long-term) conditions like heart disease so it is important that you try to replace foods that are high in saturated (bad) fats such as butter, pastries and cheese with foods that are rich in unsaturated (good) fats such as avocado and olive oil. Minimise your sugar intake – pumping yourself with calories without any nutritional benefit isn’t the smartest move. Restrain yourself from that sugary goodness!
Limit the amount of salt in your food – too much salt may raise your risk of high blood pressure which is linked with an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Eat lean proteins – the National Heart Foundation recommends an intake of two servings of fish (preferably oily fish with high omega-3 content), around 65-100g of cooked lean red meat three to four times a week, and legumes on regular basis. The Cancer Council also recommends that you avoid processed meats such as sausages, salami, bacon, and ham due to the fact that they are high in saturated fat, salt and nitrates which can increase your risk of a range of health conditions.
Regulate your alcohol consumption – everything in moderation as they say. It’s a much enjoyed part of Australian life but your body actually swaps to the process of breaking down alcohol instead of burning fat, and that’s why you gain weight or attain that infamous beer belly.
Supplement your nutritional needs – it is impossible to get all your nutritional needs through diet alone. The recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals isn’t sufficient enough to support optimal heath. There is a solution though. Supplementation with USANA’s CellSentials helps to fill that nutritional gap and allow your body to reach optimal wellbeing. And wait there’s more! CellSentials contains the ground-breaking InCelligence complex which helps empower your body to produce endogenous antioxidants that fight off environmental pressures from within!
Getting the right balance in your diet can help to ensure that your body gets all it needs to stay healthy. If you’re ready to make positive changes to your diet, take things slowly. Drastic changes are too difficult to keep up in the long run and can leave you feeling defeated and down. Small, day-to-day changes will have a much bigger and longer-lasting effect. If you’re having trouble making changes, or you’re worried that you’re not getting all the nutrients you need, talk to your GP. They may be able to give you some practical advice or refer you to an accredited practicing dietitian who can give you detailed and personal advice.
Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. Use only as directed. Always read the label.