Easy tips for Health Maintenance

Posted in: Lifestyle counseling    Nutrition    Weight loss    

Maintenance of good health can be easy by following a few simple tips.


1.        Focus on vegetables!

Vegetables are nutritional powerhouses that provide your body with the micronutrients needed for optimal health.  In the case of a nutritional deficiency the body may respond by increasing hunger signals in a desperate attempt to encourage the influx of the missing nutrient(s) from food.  By putting the dietary focus on vegetables, not only is the intake of vitamins and minerals maximized, but vegetables also contain fibre and fluid which encourage the feeling of satiety.  This in turn helps with portion control.

Try to include vegetables of varying colours in order to maximize the range of beneficial nutrients.  Naturally colourful meals are aesthetically pleasing as well as full of antioxidants.

Stir-fries, curries, soups, stews, and salads are all excellent meals in which veggies can predominate, with meat, fat, spices, and whole grains as flavour adjuncts.   Aim for each meal to be one half vegetables, one quarter quality protein, and one quarter whole grain.   If you find that you are filling up during the meal and do not need to finish everything on your plate in order to be satisfied, then selectively choose the vegetables and protein over the grains, or save the remainder for a later meal.

2.       Maintain hydration throughout the day.

Hunger pangs certainly may be a cry from your body for more calories or more nutrients, but it is also the natural physiological response to early dehydration.  When you feel your stomach rumble have a glass of water or a cup of herbal (non-caffeinated) tea, and then wait 20-30 minutes to determine if you still wish to eat.  Snacking on moisture- and fibre-rich foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables can go a long way to maintaining portion control when meal time comes around.

3.       Stay active.

Regular activity is not just a useful tool for maintaining a healthy weight, it is also imperative for strong cardiovascular health, muscle strength and healthy joints, stress control, beautiful skin, and a balanced endocrine system.  Regular walking is the easiest and most cost effective exercise.  How many errands are within walking distance from home?  Or walking distance from each other?

For those who have difficulty finding the time to exercise on a regular basis and use television at the end of a busy day to unwind, use commercial breaks to fit stretching, sit ups and strength training into your routine.  With nearly one third of television time dedicated to commercials there are 20 minutes each hour that can be spent toning your body and boosting metabolism.

4.       Avoid deprivation but treat treats as treats.

Very few people are able to happily maintain a restricted diet devoid of treats, so help your motivation for long term results by factoring in occasional high quality treats .  Raw cacao nibs, fresh dates, dried berries, apple sauce blends, or a square of quality dark chocolate are antioxidant-rich and may help to appease your need for a food reward while keeping you on track.  As with all treats, moderation is key.

5.       Smile!

You are making good decisions for a healthier, fitter, and more balanced you.  Enjoy the journey!