Tips for a healthy summer

2. July 2015

It is said that the best diet is one that a person is able to stick to in the long term and that is not kept for a set term only. People often forget that real success flows from everyday habits. Whether your summer will be a healthy one or not depends on your habits. Keep in mind the following five tips.

1)         Start your meal with a healthy snack. Research shows that people tend to eat in proportion to most of the food they start a meal with. Thus, start your dinner with grilled meat and vegetables, or a raw salad, for example. These combinations are rich in nutrients and very filling. If there is no way to steer clear of fast food and dessert, leave them for last.

2)         Eat slowly and chew each bite well. Research data indicates that those who chew their food longer have higher levels of satiety hormones. This, in turn, helps to control the number of calories consumed. So, do not pay attention when others rush to light a bonfire while still bolting down their food.  Eat slowly and enjoy the taste of the food.

3)         Do not miss a meal. At first sight, it may seem a good idea to skip an occasional meal before a big feast because the daily amount of energy received from food is reduced by its caloric value. However, this has an effect on hunger and stress hormones which drive you to eat significantly more later in the day. What is more, this also plays a role in your choice of food later on. That is, people tend to reward themselves with food that is not very healthy.

4)         Take responsibility for your food choices. On the dinner table often overflows with the choicest of foods. At an abundant table, it tends to slip people's mind that it is them who decides what and how much to eat. Plan your meals in advance. Think ahead and select foods that are in harmony with your goals. This way, you will be able to avoid later regretting that you consumed unhealthy foods, beverages or drinks.

5)         In addition to eating a healthy diet, stay physically active. Being physically active boosts one’s mood, improves sleep quality and reduces stress. Isn’t it what we expect most from summer? Luckily, summer is an ideal opportunity to be physically active instead of simply sitting at a table. For example, enjoy gardening, a game of tug of war with the neighbours or dancing, just to name a few.

All who would like to create and maintain a healthy diet, but are at a loss for how to do it, are welcome to consult a dietitian at East-Tallinn Central Hospital. To make an appointment or receive additional information, contact us by phone at 620 7987 or e-mail us at terviseaudit[A] Our dietitian can also help with weight and other nutrition-related health problems.