Research has shown that 34% of Nigerians suffer from High blood pressure before the age of 50 and a whopping 150,000 Nigerians die every year from heart disease as revealed by the Minister of Health, Prof, Isaac Folorunso Adewale in 2017. These alarming figures call for a change in the lives of many Nigerians.
Changing your lifestyle is not an easy process but with little EFFORT, CONSISTENCY and GRADUAL TRANSITION – your body could adjust before you realize it.
Here are a few steps that will lead you on a journey to living healthy:
MINIMIZE YOUR SUGAR AND SALT INTAKE
Eliminating these elements in your diet is one way to slowly but effectively kick start your healthy living by maintaining the current portion you consume. That way, your taste buds can be readjusted and you won’t feel starved. In one week of consistency, you will see the effect.
One way to hack this is increasing your intake of spice (Pepper) in your foods; it aids your metabolism and proper digestion of food.
Reducing your sugar intake also means reducing your carbohydrates intake since its final form is sugar. According to health sources, the adequate amount of sugar to take per day is 50grams(g).
Also, it would include reducing how much alcohol and Soda you take. Scratch out beer totally. A glass of wine or one shot of spirit per day would do. Good for you if you do not consume alcohol at all.
EAT MORE VEGETABLES
About 20% of Vegetables contain carbohydrates and the remaining 80% contains water. Incorporating vegetables into your diet will make up for the 50g of carbohydrates needed in your diet while leaving you filled up. This is because the portion of food containing 50g of rice will definitely be smaller than that containing 50g of vegetable salad. If your meal doesn’t have at least five colors of the rainbow, then you’re doing something wrong.
If you’ve been having large amounts of food on your plate, this is the time to stop! As mentioned earlier, healthy living is a gradual process so don’t take this action drastically because you will leave your body starved.
Using a smaller size of plate, especially a bowl plate, has been said to help portion control because it gives the illusion that you have more food in your plate therefore convincing your mind that you’re satisfied.
Drinking at least 3litres of water daily not only keeps your skin glowing, it also keeps all your organs functioning properly. It aids easy digestion of food and cleans out toxins in the body. Staying hydrated also keeps you energized enough to stay active, bringing us to the final point.
Stay active! It makes a lot of difference even though it makes up just 20% of healthy living; it makes your body stronger. Exercising for at least 1 hour in a day is advisable. Also, avoid sitting in one spot for a long time especially in the office. Stand up and move around! This aspect of healthy living helps to turn fats in the body to muscles, improving the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is the amount of body weight appropriate for an individual depending on their height and age.
In conclusion, changing your diet can drastically improve your health and lifestyle because it is the most important aspect. In the long run you will feel better energetically and able stay active!