Nutrition

The importance of a healthy diet cannot be over emphasised for a healthy life.

The importance of a healthy diet cannot be over emphasised for a healthy life.

The importance of a healthy diet cannot be over emphasised for a healthy life.

Include high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, in your diet. They take longer to digest, so they make you feel full longer. In addition, many fruits and vegetables contain water, which provides volume but not calories.

Healthy eating is the key to weight management and good health. Crash dieting, or following the latest celebrity fad, may result in a fast weight loss initially, but the weight is likely to pile back on again once regular eating habits are established.

To lose weight the body must burn up more fuel than it consumes, which is obviously more difficult for people who have mobility problems. Everyone has days when they feel bored and turn to food for comfort. If you are in the house a lot it is easy to eat more than you should.

The gold standard for life extension is calorie restriction. Scientists have known for many decades now that, across species, life is extended when animals are put on a severe calorie restricted but nutritionally balanced diet.

Eating smaller portions is a good way to start. If you have too much food on your plate to begin with, it is easy to eat it all, even though half the helping would have been enough to fill you up.

A good guide for main courses is to fill half the plate with vegetables, which are full of vitamins and, providing they aren''t cooked in fat, are low in calories.

A quarter of the plate should have protein foods, which the body needs for growth and repair. Choose lean meat, fish, eggs, quorn or tofu.

The remaining quarter of the plate should have a carbohydrate food, such as potato or pasta, again, not prepared with calorie-laden fats. Carbohydrates provide a slow release of energy which will help stop between-meals snacking.

Give up that spoonful of sugar in your tea or coffee. One teaspoon of sugar has around 20 calories. That isn''t a lot, but if you have five cups of tea a day, that means 100 calories. In a week that adds up to 700 calories. The drink might taste foul for the first couple of weeks, but after a couple of weeks your taste buds adjust and the chances are you won''t want to take sugar again.

Set yourself small targets and you''re more likely to be successful. For example, cut out sugar for the first couple of weeks. Then try eating smaller portions.

Don''t set yourself unrealistic and impossible targets. You cannot loose all your weight at the end of the week. That would doom you to failure and be disastrous to your healthy lifestyle and weight plans.

Do things gradually and you''ll develop good eating habits that will last a lifetime and eating will continue to be a pleasurable experience.