How Does Healthy Eating Affect Physical & Mental Health?

Healthy eating isn’t necessarily about strict dietary restrictions, staying thin or depriving yourself of the foods you like. Instead, it’s about feeling great, having a balanced diet and stabilizing your mood. It’s a well-known fact that eating appropriately can help you maintain a healthy weight and evade certain health problems; however, your diet can also have a deep effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. Some nutrition experts including sports nutritionist have linked a typical western diet filled with processed meats, sugary snacks, and packaged meals with higher rates of stress, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Consumption of an unhealthy diet might even lead to the development of mental health disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD and schizophrenia.

Consuming more fresh vegetables and fruits, and lessening the consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, might help enhance mood and lower the risk for mental health problems. If you already have been diagnosed with a mental health problem then eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life. While some particular foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most vital. It means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be everything. You don’t have to entirely eliminate the foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet to make a difference you feel and think.

Healthy Eating Tips – Self-control is Key

Self-control is key to any healthy diet. But what is self-control? In essence, it means eating only as much food as your body requires. At the end of the meal, you should feel satisfied and not stuffed. Self-control is also about balance. Regardless of what fad diets contain, our body requires a balance of fat, fibre, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals to sustain a healthy body. For many, self-control also implies to eating less that they do now. However, it doesn’t mean staying away from the foods you like. For instance, eating bacon for breakfast, once a week could be considered self-control, if you follow it with a healthy lunch and dinner; and not if you follow it with donuts and a pizza. If you eat a cake comprising of 100 calories then you have to balance it out by deducting 100 calories from your evening meal. If you still feel hungry then fill up with additional vegetables.

Think of smaller portions: When dining out, opt for a starter rather than starting with main menu straightaway. Try to share a dish with your friend and refrain from ordering any heavy dish. Even at home, try to eat in small portions rather than eating everything at one go. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, add more leafy green vegetables or end the meal with a fruit.
Don’t think about certain foods: When you refrain from certain foods, it’s a natural tendency to crave more for those foods. If you cannot control your temptation then you feel like a failure. So start by lessening the portion sizes of unhealthy foods and don’t eat them as often. As you lessen your intake of unhealthy foods, you might find yourself craving less for them or thinking about them occasionally.

Take your time: Stop eating before you feel full as it actually takes few minutes for your brain to signal your body that it has had adequate food. So eat slowly.

Eating a healthy and balance diet has always had a positive effect on both the mind and body. It’s only a matter of time before you can control your temptation for unhealthy foods and get into the mould of eating only healthy foods for a healthy mind and body.

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