It is never too late to change your lifestyle, food choices and create a healthier life.

But this isn’t necessarily a diet, food programme or diary to follow. This is for those of you who are not sure where to start, how to eat and stay healthy without high carbohydrates, sugar and takeaways.

Five rules to live by for healthier choices

Portion control

Big portion of healthy foods can cause unwanted weight gain just like unhealthy foods. Portion control is very important. A healthy portion size according to dietician Bianca Tomp from FutureLife, is plating low-GI starches no more than the size of your fist.

As for lean meat, chicken and fish, have a portion size and thickness of your palm. The rest of your plate should be filled with vegetables.

Exercise

Move. Physical activity and exercise is not only good for your physical wellbeing, many people have attested it makes them feel mentally and emotionally healthy too. Your fitness level doesn’t really matter, taking walks around your complex or gardening, to taking the stairs rather than the evaluator also provide the necessary acts of movement. The suggested amount of moderate physical activity is 150 minutes a week.

ALSO READ: Three ways to detox after a long, decadent Easter weekend

Gut care

To support our immune system and keep our gut healthy we need a balance of probiotics, the “good” microorganisms in our digestive tract. Including a probiotic supplement can assist in maintaining this balance. Greek yoghurt is also a great probiotic as well as kimchi, pickles, kombucha and sauerkraut which are all far more accessible in many food stores these days.

Include protein in every meal

Protein has largely been associated with providing the building blocks for muscle gain and make you feel fuller for longer. The logic means less cravings and snacking on unhealthy foods.

Include a protein source with each meal and snack on less saturated fat protein such as nuts, seeds, nut butters (low sugar and salt), eggs, soy, lean meat, chicken cuts, fish, beans and legumes.

Sleep

Sleep has been a beating drum in the health and wellness industry recently. A good amount of sleep is key for a healthy functioning body.

Lack of sleep can have ripple effects for blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Other potential problems include obesity, depression, impairment in immunity and can even affect your appearance.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to eight hours of sleep for people over age 64 and seven to nine hours for ages 18 to 64. Kids need more sleep. Dr Karine Scheuermaier of the University of Witwatersrand Sleep Laboratory believes people should get seven hours sleep a day.

ALSO READ: Understanding sleep and how to get more of it

 



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