In Nutrition and Fitness

Lifetime Journey To Healthy Diet

Healthy diet, gawing habit -- FOR LIFE.

This year's theme for the nutrition month is a slogan to live by. It helps me meditate and relive what mom and grandma want for me, to live a healthy lifestyle along with a balanced diet.

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According to Science Daily, healthy diet is a practice of making choices about what and/or how much one eats to maintain or improve overall health. It may vary widely according to an individual's genetic make up, environment, and health; hence the need to follow recommended controlled portions. Having a balanced diet provides essential vitamins and nutrients that our body needs to function properly. It also reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes as well as obesity.

With emphasis on improving overall health, I grew up seeing two nutritional posters on our dining wall almost round the clock. These posters illustrate Go, Glow and Grow foods; and the other one shows the food pyramid - a pictorial grid of what to eat the more/least. Grandma said I need to be mindful of the foods I eat if I want to live longer. I have been taught that maintaining a healthy diet means to eat more on substantial foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, less on meats, lesser on fats and dairy products. With that being said, I jot down on a piece of paper things to do and foods to eat that would fit my lifestyle to which I followed consistently for years. Yet like anyone else, I, too, fell prey with todays eating disorder - the one which I thought is a shortcut to achieving a flat belly. Going to university in a city means more access to industrial/processed foods. I went through yoyo diet following the no breakfast, half cup of rice on lunch, oat on dinner kind of diet. Also, if it's not to sleep or cry over academic stress and life dramas, stress eating is the norm. Though it took me years to get back on track, I would have to agree that 'healthy behaviors that starts in adolescence make healthy adults' is indeed true.

I could still be munching on chips everyday if I want to but I don't need empty calories to ruin my lifelong goals for healthy diet and active lifestyle. Like me, it's never too late to start your healthy diet journey. Start building healthy habits now!

HOW TO BUILD HEALTHY HABITS

  • Ask yourself what you want to change. Be specific. As for me, I want to get back in shape and eventually maintain a weight and so I worked for that goal.
  • Reflect on the negative habit and think of its positive opposite. Mine is skipping on breakfasts and eating less throughout the day which led me to binging whenever opportunity knocks - weekends or chat time with friends. Instead of skipping meals, I get back to eating proper diet. I make sure to eat three times a day with heavy breakfast and light dinner. Later when I started running, I've been eating five times a day to partition meals to help sustain my energy.
  • Be honest about limitations. It's okay not to make drastic change in your diet but as much as possible, incorporate healthy foods every meal and exercise regularly. As they say, small is good.
    • Plan. Make things in your schedule. "If you want to achieve something, you have to make it a part of your routine." Says Erwan Heussaff on his weight loss journey. 
    • Commit to the change and ask help from loved ones if needed.
    • Reward yourself each week with a treat. This will help you motivate to hit your weekly target.

    Ditch your unhealthy eating pattern one step at a time. It may not be easy from the beginning but bad habits aren't hard to break either. All it takes is determination, perseverance, and commitment to change. A mindset to improve your life by nourishing your body. For more healthy diet tips, follow #RadyoMoSaNutrisyonYr8 on Facebook.



    This post contains main photo and some texts/healthy habits guideline from National Nutrition Council Region X. However, rest assured, that opinions expressed herein are based on my personal experience.

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