Nutrition tips that will sustain you in 2023
Incorporating healthier choices into your diet does not have to be a chore with these quick and easy suggestions from an expert.
It is common for many to incorporate wellness-related goals into their annual list of resolutions. If you have picked up any undesirable lifestyle habits during the past couple of years, especially on the diet front, this could be a good opportunity to turn the page and reframe your approach to nutrition.
Indeed, according to the results of Herbalife Nutrition’s recently released Asia Pacific Personal Habits Survey, seven out of 10 consumers in Asia Pacific adopted unhealthy dietary or nutrition habits over the course of the pandemic, including incessant snacking. The most prevalent negative effects of these habits include excess weight gain, poorer stamina or fitness levels and a weaker immune system.
Some may believe that eating better means having to utterly transform their diet or follow restrictive and tedious nutrition regimes. But according to Ms Susan Bowerman, senior director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition, it does not have to be that hard. Here, she shares how consumers can make small and simple tweaks to improve their eating or nutrition habits in the year ahead.
PRIORITISE GREENS AND PROTEINS
An easy change you can make is to eat more vegetables and proteins, while cutting back on carbohydrates and fats. This allows you to feel fuller for longer, which will help you resist the urge to consume empty calories in the form of unhealthy snacks.
According to Ms Bowerman, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard and bok choy are some of the most nutrient-dense foods around. Besides being packed with fibre, these vegetables boost your intake of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and folate, as well as Vitamin K to support bone health and Vitamin C to strengthen immunity.
Protein is vital to a healthy diet. “Protein helps satisfy your hunger, which can keep you from overeating. Having adequate protein in your diet also helps you maintain good muscle mass and keeps skin, hair and nails healthy,” said Ms Bowerman. Protein-rich foods – think meat, poultry, eggs and legumes – supply your body with essential nutrients including B vitamins, Vitamin E, iron, zinc and magnesium.
WATCH YOUR PORTIONS
As the trite but true saying goes, you should strive to do things in moderation – including the amount of food you consume. A simple way to improve your eating habits is to keep your portion sizes in check. You can put this into practice by avoiding buffet spreads except for special occasions, putting less food on your plate and saving extra food as leftovers rather than forcing yourself to finish everything.
Ms Bowerman also recommends constructing a nutritious meal by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with healthy proteins and the other quarter with whole grains.
Water makes up 50 per cent to 70 per cent of the average human’s body weight, and nearly all our systems rely on water to function well. “Water helps regulate body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, serves as a lubricant for our joints and moistens the tissues in our eyes, nose and mouth,” Ms Bowerman said.
While you may have heard that you need as many as eight glasses of water a day, this can vary depending on an individual’s age and activity level. Up your daily water intake by carrying a water bottle around with you, having a large water pitcher at your workstation and setting reminders to hydrate throughout the day.
Given most people’s hectic lifestyles and time-crunched schedules, it can be challenging to eat well consistently or obtain all your nutrients from food alone. Even with a healthy diet, many consumers can benefit from the nutritional boost that supplements provide.
Ms Bowerman said that supplements can play a crucial role in filling in the gaps, particularly for nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, fibre and Vitamins A, C, D and E. She added that these nutrients – often lacking in the average diet – can target specific needs, such as supporting brain, heart and digestive health.
PLAN AHEAD AND MEAL PREP
After a long day at work, it can be tempting to grab a quick bite at the hawker centre or order dinner using a delivery app. While these are convenient options, they may not be the best approach if you are monitoring your diet.
To avoid this, plan ahead and prepare your meals for the week. This can not only improve your nutrient intake and save you time in the kitchen on weeknights, but also help you save money on food expenses amid concerns about rising inflation. “Keep a few go-to recipes on hand, and stock your kitchen and pantry with versatile ingredients and staples. When grocery shopping, stretch your dollar by purchasing nutrient-rich items,” added Ms Bowerman.
If you fell off the wellness wagon during the pandemic, rest assured that you are not alone. Consider adopting these nutrition strategies to help you hop back on – the stress-free way.
Learn more about how Herbalife Nutrition can help supplement your nutritional needs.