This article was published on January 9th, 2021
2020 was a year where, perhaps, most people threw healthy eating out of the window. With all the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, people opted for “stress eating” as a coping mechanism.
Remember the countless times you walked to the fridge and gobbled up just about any food or beverage? Or those late orders you made to McDonald’s because cooking at home was never an option?
With 2021 now upon us, getting back to a healthier diet should be top of your priority list. The New Year is a great time to set new goals. From cleanses and targeted diets to weight loss and dry drinking months, you can do this. What you put into your body impacts your look and performance now and in the future. If you’re thinking of travelling this summer, diet comprises almost 80 percent of your success in getting the perfect summer beach body.
Therefore, set yourself up for success in 2021 with these six simple yet practical tips on healthy eating:
1. Consume less saturated fats
Cut down on saturated fats as much as possible. When consumed in plenty, saturated fats raise cholesterol in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease. Therefore, go easy on foods such as fatty beef, lamb, butter or cheese.
Even though the body requires fats to function properly, it is recommended that you cut down on saturated fats and opt for mono or polyunsaturated fats. Examples include fats found in nuts, fish, avocado and vegetable oils such as canola.
2. Eat the rainbow
Eat fruits and veggies in plenty! Simple. They are essential to boosting your body’s immunity. Make it a habit to fill your diet with foods rich in different colours such as oranges, apples, grapes or leafy greens.
Each colour comes with unique health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are, in fact, ideal for keeping your weight in check, minimizing calorie intake and boosting immunity. So next time you are making your grocery shopping list, include a variety of rainbow foods.
3. Try plant-based proteins
Who said you can only get proteins from animal products? Sure, these products are rich in proteins, but that’s not reason enough to rule out veggies.
Interestingly, plenty of vegetables provide adequate amounts of protein. The amount depends on the plant-based sources. For anyone looking to go vegan in 2021, try chickpeas, lentils, green peas, peanuts or quinoa to keep your proteins in check.
4. Pay attention to the foods that work for your body.
Not all foods work to your body’s advantage. Some negatively affect your body by triggering allergic reactions or giving you stomach upsets. It is, therefore, important to pay attention to how your body feels after eating particular foods.
Feel bloated after eating bread or certain cheeses? Consider removing them from your diet and replacing them with healthier alternatives. Narrow down the foods that work best for you.
5. Drink more fluids
Consume an adequate amount of fluids to stay hydrated. By fluids, we mean water, healthy beverages such as milk, herbal milk, teas, and water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends about 3.7 litres(15.5 cups) a day for men and 2.7 litres (11.5 cups) for women.
6. Try out new recipes
Occasionally try out new recipes in 2021 and explore the world through your taste buds from the comfort and safety of your kitchen.
For starters, there are plenty of videos and books with simple yet delicious recipes to try out. It is an excellent way to challenge your culinary skills and ensure you consume nutritious foods.
You can spice it up further by sharing the recipes you’ve learned with friends and family via video.
Healthy eating should be fun and straightforward. Start by understanding your needs and eating habits. It helps you make informed decisions on a diet that matches your desired lifestyle. You can even join forces with a friend or family member to act as your accountability partner on your healthy eating journey.
Regardless of your goals for 2021, let healthy eating be top of the list.