Despite the willingness to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the reality is that will power fails many in healthy eating, and they remain stuck in old unhealthy habits.
Even nutritionists agree that changing old habits can be difficult, but it’s doable.
Louii Engelbrecht, a health coach and dietitian says to make an easy transition to a more healthy and clean-eating plan, one should start with portion size control and meal planning.
“It’s unplanned events and impulse purchases that make people fail to stick to their diet plans. Planning five days of eating can, including consumption of veggies, result in you being healthy for five days. When doing so keep portion control in mind,” said Engelbrecht.
Healthy eating is topical across the globe this week as April 7 marked World Health Day. This year’s theme is: Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.
Engelbrecht said coffee is a big no-no: “It’s a health risk that people need to do away with, especially those who tend to replace breakfast with it.”
Although we are told about the benefits of getting our five fruits and veggies a day, some new research suggests that in some circumstances, certain fruits and vegetables may actually be bad for our health.
Dr Mark Vanderpump, a consultant endocrinologist at The Physicians Clinic in London, told the Daily Mail that grapefruit juice, for example, can interfere with statins, increasing the risk of side effects.
“Raw cabbage, along with cauliflower and kale, contains goitrogens - substances that can affect thyroid function by blocking the production of the hormone thyroxine,” he said.
The same cross-reactivity can happen with kiwi fruit, says Professor Jean Emberlin, scientific director of Allergy UK.
“The proteins are very similar in latex and the fruit, so they can trigger similar reactions,” said Emberlin.
Letshego Zulu, a fitness fanatic and a health advocate, says there are many ways to keep our bodies healthy.
Top of her list is drinking lots of water. This, she says, has a long list of benefits but for her specifically, it keeps her skin hydrated and it helps with detoxing.
Secondly, she said a healthy, filling breakfast is very important.
“Many people underestimate the importance of breakfast. The reason behind it is that it simply breaks the fast from last night’s dinner and it helps to kickstart your metabolism,” said Zulu.
To keep fit, Burpees - a physical exercise consisting of a squat thrust made from and ending in a standing position.
“Many people don’t realise the benefits of even just 10 minutes of functional training versus basic cardio,” said Zulu.
“ Functional training burns calories, tones and strengthens your body in a shorter period.”
For having healthy skin, she says a good sunscreen with a high SPF level. “We spent most of our time in the great outdoors. Your face specifically is your reception on a daily basis. Take care of your skin by applying sunscreen on a daily,” advice Zulu.