Forget breakfast and leave your water bottle at home. Six non-obvious dietary tips

Perhaps no other area is surrounded by as much conflicting data as nutrition. To eat or not to eat gluten, is milk dangerous, what are the benefits of vegetarianism, should we cut out saturated fats – there are many studies devoted to these topics. Last year, our publishing house published several books at once, where the topic of healthy eating is touched upon in one way or another. We chose six tips from them, which, perhaps, will surprise you a lot.

Skip breakfast

From the book “Diet Myths”

In modern culture, compulsory breakfast to maintain a healthy metabolism and prevent overeating is practically the eleventh commandment. Meanwhile, notes Tim Spector, author of the book “Myths about Diet”, more than a third of the inhabitants of Spain, France and Italy never eat breakfast at all and do not have health problems and overweight.

Three meals a day is actually a Victorian invention. With the growth of well-being and the availability of food, the number of meals also increased.

In fact, there are no reliable studies that prove that eating breakfast regularly contributes to obesity. But there are experiments showing the opposite.

In one of them, volunteers received food of the same composition and calorie content either in one meal or in three. There were no significant differences in heart rate, body temperature, and blood counts. But those who ate once a day felt more hungry, lost more fat, and had significantly decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Measure a serving in handfuls

From the book “Energy value”

You’ve probably heard about the principle of a “healthy plate”: in it, one third should be occupied by proteins, a third – carbohydrates and another third – vegetables. In addition, each person should eat a portion of fruit per day and add healthy fats to the diet. But how do you calculate these correct portions? After all, no one usually has time to weigh products, and each person has his own norms.

Sports nutritionist James Collins, in his book “Energy”, gives universal advice – measure the amount of food with your own handfuls. For example, one serving of protein is the amount that fits in the palm of your hand. One serving of fruits and carbs is equal to your handful, but two handfuls of vegetables are best. Finally, the amount of healthy fats you need is the size of your thumb.

In such a simple way, you can measure the required amount of vegetables in the diet.

Rethink intolerances and stop avoiding food

From the book “Immunity”

People often confuse product allergy with food intolerance. And they change their diet to avoid possible negative consequences. However, most nutritional experts agree that it is not advisable to completely exclude certain foods from the diet – this way you can get a deficiency of important nutrients.

For example, most children and adults have lactase deficiency. But lactose is an important source of nutrition for “good” representatives of the intestinal microflora. By drastically removing it from the diet, we reduce their population too, which only increases intolerance.

The microbiome constantly adjusts to what we eat, and if we avoid certain foods, it adapts and it becomes even more difficult for us to digest.

It is best to proceed with the “troubleshoot and test” method. First, remove the product from the diet for a couple of weeks until the unpleasant symptoms disappear. Then, little by little, reintroduce it, determining the amount that you can get without deteriorating well-being.


From the book “Energy value”

Snacks are often called the enemy of proper nutrition – they add extra calories and “kill the appetite” before the main meal. This is true if your snack consists of a packet of chips, cookies, or a hastily made sausage sandwich. However, if you organize your snacks correctly, they will serve you good: add nutrients and help you get through the time between meals so that you don’t eat too much later.

A healthy snack shouldn’t spike your blood glucose levels (which is why fruit isn’t a great option), shouldn’t replace your main meal, and shouldn’t add calories.

The best option is a combination of proteins and carbohydrates. For example, a lightly salted salmon sandwich or Greek yogurt with banana and nuts.

Forget about 8 glasses of water a day

From the book “Diet Myths”

It is believed that in order to maintain health, it is necessary to drink at least two liters of water per day. Which equates to about eight glasses. For fear of dehydration, we constantly carry with us plastic bottles, which often become a pathogenic environment for bacteria.

To drink water only when thirsty, the scientist Tim Spector calls in his book.

Tim Spector calls this habit a myth – emphasizing that the need to drink a certain amount of water is not supported by scientific research. We are all different, the scientist claims, and we also need different amounts of water – and our bodies are able to communicate the arrival of thirst. In addition, most of the water we get from food, tea, coffee and even alcoholic beverages – this, too, should not be forgotten.

After all, our hunting ancestors didn’t reach for water bottles every five minutes and survived perfectly well.

Take back the pleasure of eating

From the book “Immunity”

We all know the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. However, in addition to the obvious advantages, it has another important component – gioie della tavola, literally translated “the joy of a feast”. This concept includes many things: a leisurely meal accompanied by family conversations, the warmth of the hearth, aromas and smells enveloping the meal … Remember how a broken-off crunch of a fresh baguette crunches – can these sensations be compared to the taste of a sandwich eaten on the run?

Our food is just part of our lifestyle. Making her healthy means regaining interest in food, distinguishing shades of tastes, and eating regularly and variedly. And just have fun.

Based on materials from the books “Myths about diets”, “Energy value”, “Immunity”

Cover photo from here

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