Amidst the global pandemic, we realised that South Africans need to relearn what and how to eat well for optimum health and longevity, at a time when our wellbeing is of utmost importance.
Friday 4 March 2022 is World Obesity Day, and registered dietician Kim Hofmann, Virgin Active’s expert advisor on all things nutrition, shares five dietary tips to a healthier lifestyle, eating behaviours and overall wellbeing.
TIP 1: Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – so give your body the energy it needs to fuel it for the day ahead. Eat balanced meals with nutritious snacks throughout the day, to avoid energy dips and cravings.
TIP 2: Balance and portion control. Balance is where most people struggle – but it’s vital to eat enough in moderation throughout the day as the metabolism does not work with the logic of ‘eat less, lose more’. People often eat far less than their body requires to function optimally because they are trying to lose weight, but when we don’t eat enough, not only are we slowing down the processes of our metabolism, but we also have the tendency to overeat later, as a result.
TIP 3: Spend time with your food. We eat for two reasons: because we need the nutrients and also as a form of nurture because we like the way certain foods taste or their texture. The way to truly enjoy and taste our meals mindfully is to savour them slowly. Practise mindful eating by engaging all the senses in the process – look at your food, smell it, touch it on your tongue, feel the texture in your mouth and be deliberate with your chewing to truly taste it.
TIP 4: The answer is preparedness. The secret to healthy living and maintaining a balanced weight is always being prepared no matter the circumstances, understanding yourself and knowing your habits. Planning nutritious weekly meals and shopping accordingly will make you less likely to order take-aways or eat out at the spur of the moment. And the more you practise meal prep the better and more creative you become.
TIP 5: Apply common sense. The cornerstone of healthy eating behaviours is to find balance through common sense. Listen to your body, eat mindfully and aim for moderation. Do away with fad diets with extreme rules that are difficult to fit around your lifestyle – listen to when your body is physiologically hungry, and your blood sugar levels drop.