How does our diet effect our lifestyle?
Most of us have pretty active lifestyles. Whether it’s working every day, looking after children, exercising daily, or even all of the above, most of us are on our feet regularly. When we’re constantly on the move, our bodies need fuel in order to keep us going. That fuel comes from the food and drinks we consume.
In this article, we are going to look at different foods and their effects on the body. This isn’t to say you should cut out certain foods and drinks altogether, as we all need to eat what we enjoy, but eating and drinking in moderation are recommended.
Let’s start with the positives.
When we have an active lifestyle, we need constant fuelling. Our body gets that fuel from most carbohydrates which contain sugar. The body processes sugar and turns it into glucose. The glucose then forms insulin which runs through our bloodstream and makes us feel energized. Carbohydrates are in an enormous amount of food, even food you wouldn’t imagine having carbs in. Commonly known carb sources are rice, potatoes, and pasta, but you can also find carbs in vegetables, yogurts, chocolate, and even coffee. Most foods contain carbs.
Having a healthy portion of carbs per day is ideal. Some people like to have a small amount at each meal to give them a steady carb intake over the day, others like to have a big carb portion in the morning to prepare them for the whole day. As long as the body is getting the carbs it needs, it doesn’t really matter where they’re coming from. Ideal carb sources could brown rice, baked potatoes, white or sweet, and even brown bread. White rice and bread are also a great source of carbs but do usually have a higher sugar content, so not as much needs to be eaten. Many people think that by cutting out carbs they can live a healthier lifestyle, but that’s not the case. We must eat carbs in order to fuel ourselves and keep our bodies happy. Eating in moderation is what’s key.
Another key aspect of a balanced diet is a good protein source. This usually comes from lean meat, such as chicken, although there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan alternatives. By eating a lean protein source, has great benefits to our lifestyle. Not only is the protein providing necessary nutrients to the body, but it also keeps us full for longer. This ideal for those who are constantly on the go. Plus, when we’re fuller for longer on the right foods, our body can work for longer too and doesn’t require many snacks.
With every meal, we should also be drinking plenty of water as well as drinking throughout the day. Different drinks can also be consumed but water should be a priority as it can flush out toxins in the body. This is great for the body and has an incredibly positive impact on our lifestyle. Plus, there are no calories in the water!
Now, for some not so positive effects.
Eating snacks and junk food in moderation is fine. Our bodies can digest the food well and it all goes down the same way. However, if we are eating unhealthy carbs and poor protein choices daily, our bodies can get bogged down.
By not having the right amount of carbs or protein, our bodies can feel constantly lethargic. Whether it’s too much of these resources or too little, the body will struggle to function, and we’ll feel constantly tired and grouchy. Not to mention, we could also gain weight. If we eat too many calories compared to what we burn in a day, the body will store the extra weight as it hasn’t had the opportunity to burn it off. This can make daily tasks difficult if we gain too much weight, but it can also affect our mental health too. On the other hand, if we don’t eat enough carbs and protein, the body will hold onto as much as possible as it doesn’t know when it will get another dose of nutrition. That’s why it’s vital to have a balanced lifestyle.
One of the biggest concerns nowadays is that because everyone is on the move, fast food, and pre-made meals are often a popular choice. After all, not everyone has the time to stand and cook every day. Eating these meals is absolutely fine, but again, it needs to be done in moderation. The amount of sugar and fats that are in fast food and pre-made meals is far greater than most meals that can be cooked at home. If these are consumed every day, arteries could get clogged up, appetite can be disrupted, and hunger can drastically change as most of these foods don’t contain enough protein to keep you full.
The same theory applies to drinks that are not water. Every drink besides water has some kind of additive, preservative, coloring, sweetener, sugar, or some other ingredient. Although these are fine in moderation, drinking a sugary drink or smoothie every day is not ideal and your body will not thank you.
If you have any concerns about your diet or feel as though you’re struggling to maintain a balanced diet, speak to a dietitian. They will be able to create a meal plan with you that includes lots of healthy food choices but still allows you to eat the food you love too.