In South Africa, there is a huge ‘order-in’ or ‘eating-out’ culture. This is great for aspiring restauranteurs and small businesses! However, when it comes to fast food and being healthy; sometimes the two seem to butt heads.
The first part of eating healthily is making changes habitual. One can easily have a healthy meal one day and fall back into poor eating patterns the next. Being able to stay committed to and happy with the current change is key.
One good method of beginning with a healthy eating plan would be, to begin with only one meaningful change. Zoning in on one element you feel can change will allow for heightened levels of focus. This too will allow you to create a sense of confidence in yourself once you have reached these first goals. After successive changes; and a well-founded self-esteem in your ability; it will be easier to make and stick to more bold changes.
Another strategy to remember is maintaining portion control. This can be difficult when eating out. There are various methods to avoid over-eating when eating out including asking for a doggy-bag or sharing a meal with a friend.
Remember that this also doesn’t mean one should starve themselves. If you think or know that smaller portions than what you usually consume will be provided, there is nothing wrong with eating a piece of fruit beforehand.
Stemming from portion control is prioritising of food types. Through science, we have come to understand that red meat is not vital in terms of daily consumption. In fact, one should try to consume red meat only twice a week if possible. There is no need to cut off meat consumption entirely. However, it would be wise to try to reduce the amount of meat consumed and prioritise vegetables where possible. Seafood can be a great substitute for red meat however, it should not be consumed in excess either.
Do not deprive yourself of anything. Rather use these items to treat yourself occasionally.
Another strategy is to not skip meals. There is enough research done to conclude that multiple small meals a day can result in healthier living as one does not starve themselves and end up over-eating – giving your body sustained nutrients rather than spikes of nutrients.
Prioritising vegetables can help with this as vegetables are much easier to digest and as such, your body will metabolise them faster – leading to feelings of hunger occurring more often.
South Africa is a great hub for a variety of delicious and healthy foods. We challenge you to find some amazing foods that are new to you and try out something different!