Healthy behaviours FAQs
Find out the answers to the most commonly asked questions about healthy behaviours
Tips for controlling/losing weight? /Which is the best diet for losing weight? / How to lose weight?
Following official nutrition guidelines supports maintaining a regular weight and reduces the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases. Strict diets are often difficult to follow for a long time, hence why gradual but long-term lifestyle changes are preferable. Sticking to a regular meal pattern and eating breakfast will help regulate hunger and snacking. Try and make small but sustainable changes such as adding one portion of vegetables into your day, changing your dairy products to low-fat and/or low sugar or swapping juice and fizzy drinks to water. Getting more physically active in your daily life will also help balance out the energy intake and expenditure, for example try to take the stairs whenever possible.
How can I gain weight in a healthy manner?
Although being lean can protect from risks of chronic diseases, being underweight can be a concern if it is the result of poor nutrition, especially if you are pregnant or have other health concerns. If eating large portions is challenging, eat smaller portions more often. Choose nutrient-rich foods such as whole-grain breads, pastas and cereals; fruits and vegetables; dairy products; protein sources; nuts and seeds as well as sources of unsaturated fat. Try drinking nutritious smoothies and shakes in between meals and snacks. Get in touch with your health-care professional if significant weight loss continues.
What should I eat/drink before/after exercise? / Do I need special sports nutrition products when I exercise?
Eat a light meal/snack 1-3 hours before exercising to ensure you have enough energy and there is enough time to digest the food. It is advisable to have a meal or snack within an hour after exercising to make sure you replace used up carbohydrates as well as get some protein to support muscle recovery. Exercising is part of a normal healthy lifestyle and thus following the official nutrition guidelines is sufficient. A good snack could consist of a whole grain sandwich with a protein topping and vegetables and a yoghurt with unsweetened muesli and berries as well as a fruit. Make sure to drink a sufficient amount of water before, during and after exercise. After/during intense exercise or in excess heat, you can replace lost electrolytes with a sports drink.
How much physical activity/exercise should I do? /How much physical activity/exercise should children do?
According to the World Health Organisation recommendation, adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Children and youths should be active for at least an hour per day.
How much do I have to eat if I exercise? /Do I need dietary supplements if I exercise a lot?
Exercising is part of a normal healthy lifestyle and thus can be sustained with a diet following the nutritional guidelines. The amount you will have to eat will depend on the amount and intensity of exercise. However, an average person will not need dietary supplements or protein supplements to complement their exercise and can attain most of the nutrients needed from a varied and balanced diet.
Can you give me tips to do a healthy shopping?
- Make a list;
- Choose the low-fat option;
- Buy leaner cuts of meat;
- Opt for ‘skin off’
- Purchase fresh or frozen vegetables;
- Check the expiry date;
- Look for food bargains;
- Limit takeaway and convenience foods.
What does it means staying active? Why do I have to do physical activity?
Physical activity can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. A 30-minute brisk walk on five days of the week is all most people need. Getting any amount of exercise is better than none.
Why doing physical activity is good for me?
Getting regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. Regular physical activity helps the body function better – it keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay, and is a key component for losing weight.
Can you give me 4 quick Tips to Stock a Healthy Kitchen?
- Choose locally grown vegetables and fruits.
- Use whole grains such as barley, bulgur, oat berries, quinoa, brown rice, and more.
- Rely on healthy protein such as fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, and a variety of beans and nuts.
- Use liquid vegetable oils whenever possible.
Why is important to maintain a healthy weight?
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for health. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, it can also lower the risk of many different cancers.
Could you give me some tips for when I go eating out, choose the healthiest options?
- Do not arrive starving
- Avoid the nibbles
- Fill up on low-fat foods first
- Do not be afraid to ask for sauces and dressing on the side, vegetables to be served without butter, or extra vegetables or salad instead of chips.
- Go for chicken or fish dishes over fattier meat dishes.
- Avoid creamy sauces
- Choose baked or boiled potatoes or boiled rice.
- Ask for foods grilled or baked instead of fried.
- Do not add salt.
- Eat slowly.
- Not clean your plate.
- Drink to your health.
Can you bring me some healthy lunch ideas?
- Include three or four foods from different food groups - starchy foods, fruit and/or veg, protein and dairy.
- Vary the types of principal meal you made: legumes, meat, fish…
- Try a variety of sauces – mustard, hummus, salsa, low-fat mayonnaise, and spices to make your food tastier.
- Use leftover vegetables in soups or salads. Blend leftover roast vegetables with water or low-salt stock to make soup. Mix leftover vegetables with pasta and a sprinkle of grated cheese for a pasta salad
How can I read the food products label?
Step 1: Start with the Serving Size;
Step 2: Check Out the Calories;
Step 3: Let the Percent Daily Values Be a Guide;
Step 4: Check Out the Nutrition Terms;
Step 5: Choose Low in Saturated Fat, Added Sugars and Sodium;
Step 6: Get Enough Vitamins, Minerals and Fiber;
Step 7: Consider the Additional Nutrients.