2018 plan for healthy living… in 5 simple steps
New Year’s resolutions are easy to make but harder to keep. The key is to set out a plan for healthy living. After all, is there anything more important than your health? And since good health is all about healthy eating, here are five quick and easy tips to make you feel much better. All you have to do is tweak your habits and use a bit of common sense, which is always welcome.
1- Eat five times a day
The trick is to eat less but more regularly. Instead of stuffing yourself twice a day (if you’re one of those who skip breakfast), eat something between meals to take the pressure off your digestive system. And pay heed to the saying: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper.” Obviously, make sure you follow a balanced diet: it’s no good eating five times a day with your hand in a bag of crisps.
2- Buy organic
Organic food isn’t only more flavoursome, but also healthier, since it is free of additives such as antibiotics (in meat) or herbicides and pesticides (in fruit, pulses and vegetables). The healthier, the better: your body and your taste buds will thank you for it. More expensive? Yes, but what price would you put on your health?
3- Drink water
Keeping yourself hydrated is key. Experts recommend drinking a couple of litres of water a day (including the water in the food you eat, mind you): about 30–40 ml for every kilogram of body weight. So if you weigh 70 kg, you should drink 2.1–2.8 litres of water a day. A good tip is to drink a glass of water in the morning as soon as you get up, to get you firing on all cylinders for the day ahead.
4- Keep the extra-virgin olive oil and nuts flowing
Extra-virgin olive oil is the healthiest thing in your kitchen. It helps prevent cancer, keeps cholesterol under control, boosts the immune system, works as an anti-inflammatory… the list is endless. It works wonders with any salad (you won’t find a healthier dish). And nuts aren’t far behind: they’re packed with minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron) and trace metals (antioxidant selenium and zinc), among others. How about eating them instead of snacks like pork scratchings or if you’re feeling peckish between meals?
5- Do some sport, for God’s sake!
Get your body moving. You don’t have to slog it out at the gym or get in training for a marathon. Simply spend half an hour a day going for a gentle walk, climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift, or walking rather than taking the bus, for example. You can eat as healthily as you like, but if you don’t do any exercise, you might be healthy, but you’ll have a dad/mum bod all the same.