Healthy eating for Every Body Shape
What you eat and drink, coupled with your
exercise routine, affects your body
condition. Regardless of your basic
proportions and your scale, you will look your best when you take care of your
body from within as well as from out, and learn to view food and drink as fuel
for your health and beauty.
The Eight Essentials
Eat five portions of fresh fruit and/or vegetables a day. This will get you
the essential nutrients (vitamins and
minerals ) you need to keep
fit, keep cool
and fight disease. Plus the fibre from the freshies helps you clear out waste
and absorb the benefits from other
Keep the refrigerator and fruit bowl stocked. Either eat them as
discipline yourself to eating one meal a day of just
veggies or fruit.
Drink at least 1 litre of water a day.
Water is beneficial to your health and
to your looks. It flushes the system of
toxins and waste by preventing
constipation, and it therefore helps protect against bowel cancer too. Plus,
water moisturizes the
skin from the inside out. You can cut down on expensive
creams by upping your intake of water. Guzzle your litres for a week and you’ll
see the difference in your
skin. You’ll notice it not only on your face but also
on your legs!
Get fat wise. Fat is essential to your daily diet but we eat fat too much,
often without even knowing it (it’s hidden in lots of processed food, for
example). You know the damage it does, including clogging your arteries and
cutting your life short. Be aware of when you are adding fat into your diet via
cooking, spreads and dressings. We can get what fat we need from lean meat and
fish, whole grain starches and vegetables. Limit
saturated animal fats (butter,
cheese, cream) and opt for vegetable oils in cooking such as olive, sunflower,
linseed, soya and hazelnut.
However, fat restrictions taken to extremes will jeopardize your health and
beauty. If you have gone overboard with ‘fat-freeness’, ask yourself if your
hair is as shiny as it used to be. Is your skin noticeably drier? If so,
introduce some natural fats (preferably
unsaturated) back into your diet.
Stock up on antioxidants. These are the super-vitamins of our age, known to
gobble up nasty free radicals (internal pollutants) in our bodies. Free
radicals, if left unchecked, can weaken our DNA and cause heart disease and
By eating your daily fruit and vegetables you are getting what you need. But if you are
bombarded with added external pollution from smoking, bad air, radiation and
stress, consider a supplement. Beta-carotene in the form of vitamins
and the mineral
selenium, are the prime antioxidants. Red wines (especially
young ones) are also a good source of antioxidants, but a glass or two is all
you can justify as medicinal!
Limit caffeine to the morning and to three cups max. Caffeine is found
in coffee, tea and many cola drinks. It makes you jittery, inhibits the flushing
out of toxins (allowing cellulite to build up) and causes headaches.
As with most dietary dangers, it comes down to discipline and learning to enjoy
it in moderation. If you haven’t discovered the delights of herbal teas
(peppermint after a meal, chamomile after a hard day and lemon and ginger to
cleanse the system any time). Why not try them now?
Restrict alcohol to four days a week, max. For those of us who love a drink,
it is all too easy to find ourselves in the routine of drinking daily. This is
when the alcohol can control you, not the other way round. The limit for women
is 21 units a week (a small glass of wine being a unit), but women of slight
build should aim lower before signs of
liver damage set in.
Like caffeine, alcohol is a toxin, but alcohol is also a source of unwanted,
often uncounted, calories. So those sprawling
hips or jelly
thighs might be down
to drink rather than food. Dependency can creep in unwittingly, resulting in
mood swings, plunging energy levels and a weaker
By all means, relax and enjoy a drink. Just keep it in control and detox your
system three or four days a week with other beverages.
Graze! If you suffer from energy highs and lows or have an irregular system,
eating small meals throughout the day will help you to metabolize food more
effectively and keep you feeling energized all day long. High-energy natural
snacks, such as dried apricots and prunes, bananas, fruit breads (e.g. date and
walnut) and oatcakes, are filling and clear the head faster than anything. Even
if you have a big, night out planed, better
eat something beforehand rather
than gorging yourself all at once later. Overstuffing your gut means a restless
night and days of trying to get back on an even keel.
Know your Body Mass Index (BMI) and keep it in check. Your
BMI accounts for
your weight (in kilos) in relation to your height. The ideal index is between 20 and 25. Below 20 could be
worryingly underweight and should be watched. If your index is over 35 you need
to do something about the excess kilos before you develop serious health
Try abiding by these eight essential rules for good health, an alert mind and
a beautiful body.
Dated 19 February 2014