Prioritise a Healthy Lifestyle this Year
Leading a healthy lifestyle should be a priority at any stage of life. However, many people are not properly educated about nutrition, calorie consumption, and the importance of exercise. The secret is to not overcomplicate things. By cutting out unhealthy habits and investing in lifestyle changes that you will commit to in the long run, you will start to notice an improvement in your energy levels, immune system and mental wellbeing. A healthier lifestyle will also protect your family unit against diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
What are calories, and how do they differ according to the foods we eat?
A calorie is a unit that measures energy. Calories specifically measure the amount of energy that is released when the body digests and absorbs food. The more calories a food contains, the more energy it provides to your body. When we eat more calories than our bodies require, our bodies store the excess calories as fat.
It is therefore important to not eat an excess number of calories and prioritise a balanced diet that consists of nutrient-dense foods. Our bodies use nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins to ensure it functions at an optimal level. Nutrient-dense foods also tend to be lower in calories and will assist you with maintaining a healthy weight.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, eggs, beans and lentils, unsalted nuts and seeds, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, lean meats and poultry
Low-nutrient or empty-calorie foods refer to foods that consist of few or no healthy nutrients. These foods typically contain sodium, added sugars and saturated fats. Although these foods can give you some energy, you will not feel full for long. Eating too much low-nutrient or empty-calorie foods can lead to fatigue, weight gain and obesity, nutritional deficiencies, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Try to cut out or limit these low-nutrient/empty-calories foods from your diet:
Sugary drinks and energy drinks, baked goods (cakes, cookies), chocolates and candies, processed oils (soy and canola), processed or high-fat meats (bacon, corned beef, hot dogs), fast foods.
What is the recommended average calorie consumption for a child, teen, and an adult?
The energy needs in a normal individual are equivalent to the amount of dietary energy that compensates for their total energy expenditure, depending on their size, organic composition and degree of physical activity. In children these needs include those associated with tissue formation for growth.
|Age (Years)||Weight (kg.)||Height (cm.)||Basal metabolism (kcal./day)||Average ration (kcal./kg.)||Average ration (kcal./día)|
|Pregnancy||1er trimester||+ 0|
|2º trimester||+ 300|
|3er trimester||+ 300|
|Lactating mothers||1er semester||+ 500|
|2º semester||+ 500|
Why is exercise so important?
Regular exercise is extremely important for both your physical and mental wellbeing. Exercising for at least 150 minutes per week will assist you with maintaining a healthy weight, boosting your energy levels and improving your mood. Most importantly, regular exercise is key to preventing and managing health problems like strokes, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety and metabolic syndrome.
If you dread the thought of exercising, try to make it fun and social by exercising with a friend or family member or join a gym class.
Aerobic exercises to include in your weekly routine:
Walking, running, crossfit, cycling, swimming, jumping rope, Zumba, TRX, Kickboxing, among others.
It is possible to prevent diseases or nutritional deficiencies and their long-term negative consequences. The implementation of preventive strategies must be incorporated from the beginning of the life cycle. Early nutrition should be optimized, not only to eradicate nutritional deficiencies, but also to reduce the adverse effects manifested in adulthood.
For more information please contact:
Disclaimer: Any information contained here is merely a guideline. Always visit your healthcare practitioner for any health-related advice or diagnosis.