A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight aging. Mediterranean Diet, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet – the list goes on. But what is what and which one works?

           "Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, objects at rest tend to stay at rest." This applies to dieting as well. Once you build up a little momentum and start living healthier, you'll automatically start making healthier decisions towards a healthier lifestyle. I am an aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgeon not a dietician but I can remind you the basic steps of diet and lifestyle changes to live healthier, younger in Cyprus.

           It’s not as hard as you may think! Remember, it's the overall pattern of your choices that counts. Make the simple steps below part of your life for long-term benefits to your health and your beauty. Start by knowing how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight. Don’t eat more calories than you know you can burn up every day. Increase the amount and intensity of your physical activity to match the number of calories you take in. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week or — best of all — at least 30 minutes every day.

           The right number of calories to eat each day is based on your age and physical activity level and whether you're trying to gain, lose or maintain your weight. You could use your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you probably wouldn’t get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Limit foods and beverages high in calories but low in nutrients, and limit how much saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium. Read labels carefully the Nutrition Facts panel will tell you how much of those nutrients each food or beverage contains. As you make daily food choices, base your eating pattern on these recommendations: Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat. Select fat-free, 1 percent fat, and low-fat dairy products. Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet. Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day. Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. Avoid hydrogenated products, bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup, enriched flour, sugar in your diet, Eat more frequent meals with fewer calories. Never let more than five hours go by without eating a meal or snack Always eat breakfast and within one hour of rising. Never skip the most important meal of the day: breakfast.

           Eat foods rich in zinc like nuts and fish, foods with a high content of vitamin A, C, and D like citrus fruits, dairy products and carrots and protein rich food like eggs can improve the quality of your skin. Drink plenty of water, at least 8-10 glasses per day. Adequate water intake will make your skin soft and supple. Reduce intake of tea, coffee and carbonated drinks. Don’t forget you live in Cyprus so be careful about sunlight. Use nourishing face creams that contains Sun Protection Factor at least 15 everyday as it is the main reason for aging.

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