Friday, January 03, 2014

5-Steps To Healthy Eating

New year resolution to lose weight and be healthier? Signed up for gym and yet, failed to keep the resolution after (soon) 5 days? Perhaps what you really need is self-discipliine and stop being in denial about how you want to approach your diet and/or workout. Over the years I've shared many write ups and tips on how to be better fitness wise and health wise. Let's re-visit some of the previous sharing. Today's focus will be on the FOOD we eat, that is important and often, we end up justifying our exercises (and kcal burn) with food. I was guilty of this practice before, but has since wisen up, as the old saying of "we are what we eat" is true. If you are training for better health, there is nothing more important that eating right and eating well.

1. What To Eat More

Oldies from the 2011 write up. Relevant until today and these food has been mainstay and my constant "must eat". It supplied me with nutritions and all the needed vitamins and minerals, not just energy. Eat more of these:
Yes, chocolate are included in the food list, but be aware of what chocolate you take, for not everything in shade of chocolate brown equates to real stuff. I have included one processed food item as a "must" have too. Read the above links to find out more ;-)

2. What To Eat Less (or not eaten at all)

With all things being equal i.e. your exercise level and daily routine, we tend to start to eat about the same thing everyday - i mean, even if you ever live next to a food court with 250 stalls, you will be bound to only stick to perhaps 4 stalls and continue to eat the same thing day in and day out. Why? Because human are creature of habit. We do everything almost the same way, everyday. But, is the food you are eating everyday good for you?
It is no secret that sugar provides energy, but it will kill you. Your Teh Tarik kurang manis potentially has as much sugar, if not more than a can of soda. No kidding. Or the Nasi Lemak you love to have every morning, are they cooked with real coconut milk, which has more benefits (nutrition wise) or shortcut using transfat in form of non-dairy creamer? I made no secret (or friends) revealing most of them in the links above.

3. Utilising Fat as Energy
Fat contains 9kcal/gram, which makes it twice as much energy compared to carbs and protein. However, not all fats are created equal and when I mention fat in this context, it is the good fats which are the good oil, such as olive, grapeseeds, coconut, fish oil, oil from nuts and seeds and the "liquid" fat as energy sources. Using fat to fuel? No, I am not pulling the lard out of you.
Having said the above, this is not an excuse to binge on high fat food (fried food), because any heat treatment to oil/liquid fat will change it's property and will make it more dense, and less likely to be used immediately/readily as energy. Once you have taught your body to use fat as fuel, you be a walking furnace. 
And we all love "hot stuff".

4. Portion Your Food - Learn How 
My one plate of food may not be your one plate, size is subjective unless we have things to compare against. So, are you having "A deck of card" serving of meat? A "tennis ball" sized serving of Yoghurt? A "light bulb" sized berries? Learn here:
Now that you know better, how about doing it one level up? Learn to do it in 15-ways.
Still skeptical on why portion? Perhaps these numbers may give you a scare of just how much calories you are consuming in one seating? Here is the typical (estimated average) of typical Malaysian food. Remember, you need only the low of 1500kcal or a high of 1800kcal everyday to "live". Even myself, that exercises (hard effort) everyday do not eat more than 1800kcal. Do it wisely.

5. Eating ONE BAD meal won't hurt you and eating ONE GOOD meal won't make you healthy
Moderation, that is the keyword. I have seen, over the years how people justify their food consumption. Indeed, moderation is subjective too. Remember the story about a friend that eat a variety of different fastfood everyday and call it "moderation because I don't eat at the same fastfood(brand) everyday"? 
Same as eating healthy. One healthy meal won't benefit you in the long run. Healthy eating and healthy living is a LIFESTYLE, it is not a FAD. There are many FAD diets out there but nothing work best with a very disciplined removal of sugar food, fried food and calorie intake. When you start to see the benefit of eating right and eating healthily, you will begin to realised just how easy it is. It's January 3, 2014 today. It is NOT too late to start. Do it today and reflect on it every quarter on your personal progress. Weight loss is not the only KPI, best indication of improvement is how well you fit into your (tight) clothings and of course, the new energy level you obtained from healthy proper nutritional food.

Have a good year ahead! A lot of sharing today in the blog via this compilations of past postings specific on food. Ready to give up that Greasy Burger yet?


  1. I would love to start healthy eating but that would mean no lunch for me as restaurants serving healthy food are scarce (or none), within my office vicinity. They should have more... at KL Sentral :(