Smart Eating is all about making conscious food choices. It is about a chosen lifestyle, not a penalty. It is about awareness. Whether you eat a fresh home cooked meal or eat out at a restaurant, it is all about understanding your health goals and needs and then making wise food choices. Smart eating is about trying to eat a wholesome diet – one with all the necessary nutrients in appropriate proportions; whether eating at home or eating out.
Some key habits and tricks to incorporate smart eating in one’s diet are:
1. Ensure each meal has a source of protein (dals/pulses/legumes/milk products/lean meats), fiber (fruits/veggies) and carbohydrates (whole grains).
2. Weekly meal planning and preparation of ingredients ahead of time can come handy for busy days.
3. Freezing your homemade meals to be eaten later during the week. Remember, any homemade frozen food must be eaten immediately upon thawing. Risk of growth of bad microbes increases more and more with each hour of non-consumption of the food after thawing.
4. Keep at least 2 fruits with you as your go-to snacks. Raw fruits & vegetables make for amazing snacks.
5. Consume water throughout the day at periodic frequency. A minimum of 2 liters of water must be consumed each day.
6. It’s a good idea to plan your meals in advance and to ensure a good workout is included on the day of eating at a restaurant.
7. Stop eating once you are full & don’t shy away from asking the waiter for a to-go box for your leftovers.
8. Share a large dish with a friend or an associate to limit portions intake.
Smart eating can be practiced irrespective of whether you cook at home or eat out. Watching what you eat based on your body needs and life goals is the key to staying healthy and fit. If it is too much of a change for you, outsource your diet planning to experts. Talk to a nutritionist to help you inculcate smart eating habits. It can be a life changing experience!