So much has been said during the last years about the best diets, the best ways to lose weight, how to stay in shape… It is all so confusing and at times misleading, no wonder people have absolutely no idea about what to do and how to eat.
The first thing you must keep in mind is that how you eat really depends on where you live, what is available, how much money you can spend on your grocery shopping and TIME! So, the first thing you must keep in mind is that not all diets are designed on the basis of “one size fits all”. We all have different metabolisms, different lifestyles, level of activity and body types. And most of all, stop counting calories! It is not all about how much you eat, it is what you eat that really makes a difference.
I will give you a few tips on how to stay healthy without really following a certain diet by the book. I believe that the way you eat should be varied, not following devotedly any diet (unless you have some disease that needs to be treated) and always eat as clean as you can.
- Clean eating: This means you should leave aside all the packs of chips, sodas (even more if they are diet sodas!), supermarket prepacked meals, sugary treats, processed and simple carbohydrates (white bread, white paste, pastries).
- Eat a lot of vegetables: This means that you need to introduce more veggies into your plate, at least 50% of your plate should be composed of this wonderful source of energy. There are so many varieties, and ways of making them that I can assure you that it will not get boring.
- Incorporate more fats into your diet: There was a trend to eat low fat in the recent years and it has led to weight gain, blood sugar problems and heart disease. Try to eat more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as avocado, nuts, almonds and olives.
- Avoid fat free products: Big companies have set a trend for fat free products, advocating that it will help you lose weight and keep in shape. This is usually a fad, and what they don’t tell you is that those “wonder” products are usually filled with sugar to enhance the flavour lost from all the processing.
- Avoid sodium and table salt: Foods very high in salt can make you retain fluid in your body and this may be one of the reasons you are not losing weight. Furthermore, you may not know what kind of salt they are using. Most of the salt used in packaged foods is chemically made and is not very healthy. Always buy rock salt, there are many in the market and are easily available.
- Learn to read food labels and ingredients list: The only person accountable for your health is yourself! Even if you go to a dietitian, health coach or a doctor, nobody is going to tell you what to buy every single day. Empower yourself and try to understand the information that is given with the food you buy to make good choices. Just remember, always look for products with few ingredients, names you can pronounce, low sugar levels and good types of fat (always avoid trans fats!).
You don’t need a 180º lifestyle change to be able to improve your diet. You just need some common sense, a change of habits, good sources of information and some willpower. And remember: You are accountable for your own health. And yes, you can do it.