One of the joys (and sometimes perils!) of living abroad is the food. As an expat you will enjoy dishes that may be very different from those in your home country. Meals are also great for bonding with friends, co-workers and fellow expats. They’re one of the very first places you’ll get to grips with foreign culture. Unfortunately, all those cross-cultural calories can take a toll on your health.
The last thing anyone wants to deal with when living abroad is a complicated diet. Here are some easy tips for developing a healthy diet from HelpGuide.org – no weights and measures required.
- Keep it simple. The key to healthy eating is developing habits that are sustainable over time. Picking foods based on your blood type, for example, probably isn’t the best way forward. Start by focusing on preparing food with fresh ingredients, and build healthier eating habits from there.
- Take it slow. We may live in a fast-paced world, but healthy eating doesn’t happen at a snap of the fingers. Make small changes over time. Begin by substituting fresh vegetables for heavy side dishes, or switching to healthier ingredients.
- Don’t torture yourself. Don’t make healthy eating a punishment. Too many people try to eat healthy by cutting sweets and snacks out of their lives all together. Really all they need is to enjoy them in moderation.
- Eat smaller portions. According to HelpGuide, “visual cues can help with portion sizes—your serving of meat, fish or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards. A teaspoon of oil or salad dressing is about the size of a matchbook and your slice of bread should be the size of a CD case.”
- Dine with others. Enjoying meals with friends and family is more than just a good time. It’s also an easy way to avoid the overeating that often occurs in front of a TV or computer.