Health: You Are What You Eat

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Choosing the right foods to include in your diet can be a bewildering business. luckily, owner of SlimGourmet Jocelyn Halim is on hand to explain the basics


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While the secret to successful dieting combines a number of factors, such as controlling one’s food portion sizes appropriately, choosing the right foods is by far the most important. For many people, bad habits begin when they prioritize convenience over the nutritional value of the food they are eating. Grabbing snacks on the go or constantly eating out mean one can quickly find themselves tipping the scales at a weight they aren’t happy with. In this day and age, people are also liable to overeat because they continuously override their body’s initial hunger cues as temptation lurks around every corner. Eventually their body adjusts and consistently demands larger portions and unhealthy foods that it has gotten used to. On the opposite side of things, people also make the mistake of being overly restrictive with their food portions and choices when they choose to diet. The danger of this, other than not being able to reach their nutritional requirements, is that it is not sustainable and will lead to yo-yo dieting. The key is to eat in moderation, not deprivation. It’s OK to indulge in a little treat a day, but only if the rest of your diet is nutritious, balanced and portioncontrolled. The end goal is to reach a sustainable balance in which you are eating the right food, at the right time, in the right quantities. Though this may seem initially daunting, a bit of forward planning can make it much more manageable. Here are a few tips to get you started:


According to research, those following a high protein diet may have more success in losing weight compared to those who eat less protein and more carbohydrates. This is largely because it is easier to incorporate healthy sources of protein into ones diet than healthy sources of carbohydrate which increasingly contain the wrong sugars. Protein helps you maintain or lose weight because it increases food satiety. It also helps build and retain muscle mass when eaten alongside a regular exercise program. Recommended sources include lean meat, fish, eggs and low fat dairy.


“Essential fatty acids and antioxidants are important dietary components that keep us looking young by stimulating collagen production”



Eating a lot of fruit while on a diet program can be effective for weight loss because, along with being nutritious, it is low calorie and contains lots of dietary fiber. While fruits do contain a form of sugar called fructose, it is naturally derived as opposed being an “added sugar.” The type of sugar that should be restricted from one’s diet is sucrose, commonly known as table sugar and consisting of 50-percent fructose and 50-percent glucose. One can quite easily reduce such intake by limiting their intake of foods such as desserts, candies and soft drinks.


Essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants are important dietary components that keep us looking young by stimulating collagen production, which generally slows down as we age. Other benefits of essential fatty acids include decreasing inflammation within the body and assisting the skins ability to retain moisture. While more exotic “superfoods” such as acai berries, goji berries, brazil nut and chlorella can be hard to come by, a balanced diet which includes essential fatty acid and antioxidants from fish, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, blueberries and strawberries will do the trick.


Fact: Healthy snacking does exist. However,it has to be the right kind with snacks onlybeing eaten when you feel genuine hunger cuesbetween main meals. The real aim of snacking isto prevent yourself from feeling starved and thenovereating once meal time comes around. Assuch, snacks should be 100 calories or less whenyou are trying to lose weight. The best choicesshould be nutritious, low fat and contain dietaryfiber or protein to help keep hunger at bay.Examples include fruits, vegetables and low-fatdairy, particularly milk, yoghurt and cheese.


Jocelyn Halim is the director of SlimGourmet, a premium catering service.
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