Balance and variety that are vital to good health

2 Eat regularly

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don’t eat so much as to substitute for proper meals. Don’t forget to count your snacks as part of your total calorie intake.

Drink plenty of fluids

Adults need to drink at least 1.5 litres of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Plain tap water is obviously a good source of liquid but variety can be both pleasant and healthy. Alternative choices are juices, soft drinks, tea, coffee, milk etc.

Get on the move

As we have seen, too many calories and not enough activity can result in weight gain. Moderately physical activity helps burn off those extra calories. It is also good for the heart and circulatory system and for general health and well-being. So, make physical activity part of your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the liftelevator (up and down!). Go for a walk in your lunch break. You don’t have to be an athlete to get on the move!

Start now! – and make changes gradually

Gradual changes in your lifestyle are much easier to make than major changes all at once. For three days, write down the foods and drinks you consume at meals and as snacks – Do you have too few fruits andor portions of vegetables? To start with, try to eat just one extra piece of fruit and vegetables a day. Are your favourite foods high in fat and making you gain weight? Don’t eliminate those foods and feel miserable, but try to choose low fat options or eat smaller portions. And start using the stairs at work!

Remember, it is all about balance

There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, only good or bad diets. Don’t feel guilty about the foods you love, rather eat them in moderation and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.

Healthy eating tip 2: Moderation is key

16Key to any healthy diet is moderation. But what is moderation? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body needs. You should feel satisfied at the end of a meal, but not stuffed. Moderation is also about balance. Despite what fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.

For many of us, moderation also means eating less than we do now. But it doesn’t mean eliminating the foods you love. Eating bacon for breakfast once a week, for example, could be considered moderation if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner—but not if you follow it with a box of donuts and a sausage pizza. If you eat 100 calories of chocolate one afternoon, balance it out by deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you’re still hungry, fill up with extra vegetables.

Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. Start by reducing portion sizes of unhealthy foods and not eating them as often. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, visual cues can help with portion sizes–your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy green vegetables or round off the meal with fruit.
Take your time. Stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
Eat with others whenever possible. As well as the emotional benefits, this allows you to model healthy eating habits for your kids. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.

Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

7To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.
Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled fish) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.
Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Tips to healthy eating

11. Eat a Variety of Foods

You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health and no single food can supply them all. Today’s food supply makes it easy to eat a wide variety of foods whether or not you are buying fresh foods to cook, taking advantage of ready-prepared dishes and meals or buying “take-away” foods. Balance your choice over time! If you have a high-fat lunch, have a low-fat dinner. If you eat a large serving of meat at dinner one day, perhaps choose fish the next day.

2. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates

Most people do not eat enough of foods such as bread, pasta, rice, other cereals and potatoes. More than half the calories in your diet should come from these foods. Try wholegrain bread, pasta and other wholegrain cereals, too, to increase your fibre intake.

3. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables

Most of us do not eat enough of these foods either although they provide important protective nutrients. Try to eat at least five servings a day and if you do not enjoy them at first – try some new recipes or see what ready prepared dishes are available in the supermarket.

4. Maintain a healthy body weight and feel good

The weight that is right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Being overweight increases your risk of a wide range of diseases including heart disease and cancer. Excess body fat results when you eat more calories than you need. These extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrate or alcohol- but fat is the most concentrated source of calories. Physical activity is a good way of increasing the energy (calories) you expend each day and it can make you feel good. The message is simple: if you are gaining weight, you need to eat less and be more active.

5. Eat moderate portions – reduce, don’t eliminate foods

If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it’s easier to eat all the foods you enjoy without having to eliminate any. For example, some reasonable serving sizes are: 100g of meat; one medium piece of fruit, half a cup of raw pasta and 50ml of ice-cream. Ready-prepared meals can offer a handy means of portion control and they often have the calorie values on the pack to help those who are counting. If you are eating out, you could share a portion with a friend.

Healthy Eating

6Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

“Instead of emphasizing one nutrient, we need to move to food-based recommendations. What we eat should be whole, minimally processed, nutritious food—food that is in many cases as close to its natural form as possible.”

–Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University

How does healthy eating affect mental and emotional health?

We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people.

Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems. If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.

While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important. That means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel.

5 MUST-TRY BCAA SUMMER MOCKTAILS!

5Your summer menu isn’t complete without one of these cold, delicious drinks served over ice in a glass (or shaker bottle). Doll up your aminos with fresh fruit and herbs, and prepare to have your mind blown!
Mocktails using branched-chain amino acids as a mixer are one of the great “why didn’t I think of that?” treats of the fitness world. After all, what could be better than your favorite cold, sweet amino drink? The same flavor, only garnished with fresh fruit, fizzed up with soda water, and turned up to 11!

This summer, don’t feel left out drinking plain water while others indulge in a crisp, refreshing beverage. Join the fun and whip up one of these easy-to-make creations for an invigorating burst of muscle-building flavor.

FRUIT PUNCH SANGRIA
Sangria is a popular summer party drink not only for its alcohol content, but also for the way it packs a one-two punch of flavor and texture. It’s a sweet cocktail bursting with tons of little surprises—real fruit! This version is a dead ringer for the drink you’d find yourself sipping—and refilling—at a pool party. Shell out for a fancy ginger ale or ginger beer (both are non-alcoholic) made with real ginger to add even more tang to your new favorite drink!

Healthy eating tip 4: Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables

18Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Focus on eating the recommended daily minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables and it will naturally fill you up and help you cut back on unhealthy foods. A serving is half a cup of raw fruit or veg or a small apple or banana, for example. Most of us need to double the amount we currently eat.

Try to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day as deeply colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Add berries to breakfast cereals, eat fruit for dessert, and snack on vegetables such as carrots, snow peas, or cherry tomatoes instead of processed snack foods.

Greens. Branch out beyond lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for added sugars.
Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.

NUTRIENT-RICH, YET CUSTOMIZABLE BY CALORIE

4While there’s a great case for sometimes taking whey or casein alone—usually post-workout or before bed, respectively—milk-based products offer both proteins, making them a great addition to a recovery snack or meal at any time during the day. Plus, protein powder in milk or yogurt beats the same powder in water every time.

NUTRIENT-RICH, YET CUSTOMIZABLE BY CALORIE
Beyond the protein-packed goodness of dairy, it’s also rich in calcium and vitamin D, both of which are beneficial for your exercise endeavors. Calcium plays a major role in bone health and muscle contraction, whereas vitamin D plays a major role in bone health, strength, and immune function.1-3 Furthermore, dairy is rich in immune-boosting proteins, such as beta-Lactoglobulin and alpha-lactalbumin.4,5

Looking to boost your probiotic intake? Try kefir, yogurt, labneh (a thick, delicious middle-eastern strained yogurt), or quark. And if you’re looking to get lots of nutrition without lots of calories, you can choose lower-fat varieties of almost every dairy product out there.

BOLSTERS FAT-LOSS EFFORTS
Dairy has been shown to have a major impact on weight loss, too. One reason is related to the fact that dairy is an excellent source of calcium, and there has been an established link between low calcium levels among obese populations.6

A study published in Obesity split overweight subjects into two groups: One group consumed one serving (about 8 ounces) of dairy per day, while the other group consumed three servings. During the first phase of the study, subjects maintained their usual exercise and diet habits. During the second phase, each was placed in a 500-calorie deficit to promote weight loss.

ADEQUATE CALCIUM INTAKE HAS BEEN SHOWN TO HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON BODY COMPOSITION.
Subjects eating three servings of dairy per day lost significantly more weight during both the first and second phase of the study. They also lost significantly less lean body mass (muscle) compared to the low-dairy group throughout both phases.

Researchers suggested that the increase in daily calcium played a major role at mitigating weight gain, and that vitamin D played a potential cortisol-suppressant role, which helps to further reduce body fat. Additionally, they attributed the minimal muscle-mass loss to the high branched-chain amino acid content that dairy contains.

THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Lactose intolerant? Try a lactose-free milk or yogurt to still reap the benefits dairy products have to offer. There are a growing number of brands to choose from. Consider trying regular Greek yogurt, too, as it contains less lactose that many types of milk or cheese.

And if you’d prefer to skip dairy products altogether, don’t have a cow. There are multiple cow’s milk alternatives readily available!

Healthy eating tip 3: Reduce sugar

17Aside from portion size, perhaps the single biggest problem with the modern Western diet is the amount of added sugar in our food. As well as creating weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes and has been linked to diabetes, depression, and even an increase in suicidal behaviors in young people. Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution as sugar is also hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup. Your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food so all this added sugar just means a lot of empty calories.

Tips for cutting down on sugar

Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving.
Avoid sugary drinks. Try drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice instead.
Don’t replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us make the mistake of replacing healthy sources of saturated fat, such as whole milk dairy, with refined carbs or sugary foods, thinking we’re making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, especially when the fat has been replaced by added sugar to make up for loss of taste.
Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.
Be careful when eating out. Most gravy, dressings and sauces are also packed with salt and sugar, so ask for it to be served on the side.
Eat healthier snacks. Cut down on sweet snacks such as candy, chocolate, and cakes. Instead, eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Check labels and choose low-sugar products.

4 Reasons Dairy Belongs In Your Nutrition Plan!

3If your daily doses of dairy mostly come in the form of a scoop in your shaker bottle, you’re missing out on some serious benefits. Here’s why you should head into your grocery store’s cooler and stock up!
Whether you’re training to gain, lose, or improve strength and performance, you’ve got allies in the dairy section of the grocery store. And unlike 20 or so years ago, there are plenty more options than just milk and cheese. The modern dairy case also usually contains a wealth of flavors and choices like:

Greek yogurt
Cottage cheese
Ricotta cheese
Goat milk and cheese
Lactose-free milk and yogurt
Quark
Kefir
Each of these—and the old standbys of milk and cheese, of course—offer serious benefits to the hard-training athlete or aspiring lifter.

PROTEIN BY THE CUP
Sure, your whey shake has a lot going for it, but it works best when you already have a sound nutritional foundation in place. Dairy products can help lacto-ovo vegetarians and meat-eaters alike hit their protein numbers without breaking the bank.

There’s a good reason why so many dairy products made our Ultimate List of 40 High-Protein Foods. One cup of cow’s milk contains 8 grams of protein, and one cup of Greek yogurt contains anywhere from 16-25 grams. Ricotta and cottage cheese also offer a wallop, which is why they’ve been the secret weapons of athletes since time immemorial.