Affinity Health Explains Healthy Eating for A Healthy Weight
Losing weight is a mind game. Change your mind. Change your body, says Affinity Health.
The intention to “eat better” is the first step in eating healthy for a healthy weight. Wrapping your head around healthy eating, however, can be challenging.
“We all know a healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. However, making major changes to your diet can sometimes seem very overwhelming. Instead of making big changes, it may be better to start with a few smaller ones,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.
“Diet fads come and go. Some are harder to stick to than others are. Some work. Some don’t. Some results are long-lasting, others are just short-term fixes. Most diets, however, only work for the duration of the diet itself, and as soon as you go back to your normal way of eating, the weight returns. It is far easier eating for a healthy weight if you steer away from thinking of food choices as tools for weight loss. Instead, focus on food choices as a lifestyle.”
Reducing animal fats helps to improve our insulin functioning and helps our body to be able to burn carbohydrates, which means more energy, and fewer sugar highs and lows, and less storage of fat. By now, most of us have heard of Meatless Monday. Every week, you forgo your usual meaty dishes in favour of veggies. Vegetables have risen in popularity from side dishes to meats and starches to main dishes and there are many easy recipes online that feature veggies as the main course.
Meat lovers are also encouraged to choose leaner cuts of meat and include more fresh fish in their diet. When cooking meat at home consider using an air fryer instead of a deep fryer, stove, and even the oven. An air fryer is a nifty kitchen appliance that uses hot air to cook, roast, and even bake food with minimal to no oil without compromising on flavour, texture, or taste.
Breakfast should always remain the most important meal of the day but instead of fried eggs, sausages, and mushrooms, for example, choose healthier alternatives like boiled eggs, grilled bacon, and steamed mushrooms.
Make take-outs an indulgence, not an everyday occurrence, and be mindful of your sugar and sodium intake. Trade processed foods for fresh foods whenever possible and avoid snacking in between meals.
Along with healthy eating, exercise plays an important role in controlling your weight and preventing obesity. It also strengthens your heart, bones, and muscles, improves your circulation, and improves your mental health and mood.
If the thought of hitting the gym makes you break out in a hot sweat (and not in a good way), find a way of being active that doesn’t feel like hard work. There are an assortment of different physical activities you can do that are enjoyable and fun, from walking the dog to joining a yoga class.
Interestingly, food choices and exercise aside, research shows that not getting enough sleep can alter your appetite and insulin control by increasing the hunger hormone, ghrelin, and decreasing leptin – the hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied.
“Leptin is a key weight hormone because it can raise resting metabolism and ramp up fat breakdown – both essential for shedding extra weight. Since our bodies thrive on having a predictable daily rhythm, set a regular bedtime, and stick to it. Sleep seven to eight hours every night, and try to get up at the same time most days,” says Hewlett.
There is a growing demand by South Africans to eat and exercise in their version of healthy. It’s easy to adopt healthy eating for a healthy weight if you become more mindful of your eating habits, find an exercise routine you enjoy, and aim to get a good night’s sleep. After all, if you don’t take care of your body, your body won’t take care of you.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.