One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthier and live a better and healthier lifestyle. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have put this on their journals and planners to motivate them into living healthier and protecting themselves more from the virus.
But admittedly, it can be hard to start a healthier lifestyle if you don’t know where to begin. While there are so many resources on the Internet, the legitimacy and safety of these are not proven. That’s why My Pope enlisted the expertise of Gabriel Paulo Cardenas, a registered nutritionist-dietitian, to help you with eating healthier this 2021. (Read: 5 Powerful Prayers for Good Health)
Take note, however, that despite Cardenas’s expertise on the topic, people’s bodies are still different— so it’s best to personally consult with your doctor and nutritionist as well!
Can meal planning help with eating healthier?
Meal planning definitely helps with eating healthier, but it can only be so if done right. Ultimately, meal planning is merely a plan. It still has to be translated into action and action into results. These are the only reliable measures of how effective a plan is.
Curate the amount, type, kind, time, cooking method, and frequency of food being eaten. This can help tailor what you eat to fit your health-related goals. (Read: 3 Easy Steps for Meal Prepping at Home)
What are the basics of starting on a weight-loss diet plan?
In general, eat fewer calories than your body uses to lose weight. At most, you should not lose more than two pounds per week. Shedding off two pounds per week does not burn off your stored fat but simply makes you lose your water weight and lean muscle mass.
What meals are considered healthy if we plan to lose weight?
Eating fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean eating less food. In general, it is recommended to eat meals at least three times a day (heavy breakfast, average lunch, light dinner) with Go (energy-giving), Glow (protective-giving) and Grow (body-building) foods to achieve the amount of nutrients needed per day. (LOOK: These 2021 Planners Can Jumpstart Your Healthy Diet!)
You should also drink at least 1-2 glasses of water before meals as this may reduce your food intake. You can add in-between meals (morning, afternoon, and midnight snack) as long as these are still intact to your recommended calorie per day.
Who should we ask about our recommended calorie intake and diet?
Consult a nutritionist-dietitian. They are likely to be aware of the importance of setting achievable diet goals. Also, diets prescribed by health professionals are easy to follow and less likely to lead to weight regain or dietary imbalance. (Read: We Asked a Fitness Coach: What’s the Best Way to Stay Fit at Home?)
With the pandemic still ongoing, how can one stay healthy?
In a peculiar and challenging time where we need to stay healthy, strong, and efficient, one needs to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Pair your diet with everyday exercise and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Wash hands throughout the day, and as much as possible, avoid smoking to free yourself from pollution and exposure to harmful chemicals.
You can also read the 10 KUMAINMENTS of the National Nutrition Council to know more about how you can protect yourself from the virus.