“What you eat can make a huge difference to how you feel and how healthy you are. Besides tasting great and nourishing the body, food also has an influence on appetite, energy levels and moods. Small changes are sustainable – big makeovers often don’t last. Incorporate these simple ideas into your everyday lifestyle and you won’t find it hard.”
1 – FORGET DIETING – EAT FOR LIFE!
Nutrition is not about dropping a dress size in 2 weeks. It’s about eating well to nourish your body for life.
2 – LISTEN TO YOUR STOMACH
Your stomach is only the size of your fist clenched. Imagine this and you’ll soon realise that it doesn’t take a lot of food to fill that volume. Aim to eat only when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re comfortably full – not stuffed! Check in with your stomach every so often – it takes the stomach 20 minutes to signal the brain that it’s FULL!
3 – PRACTICE MINDFUL EATING
Eat slowly, savouring each mouthful and enjoying the different flavours. Focus on the food in front of you. Put your fork and knife down between bites. Sit down to eat, even if it’s only for a snack. Turn the TV off and don’t read.
4 – EAT MORE VEGIES
Vegetables, salads and fruit carry an abundance of vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants (phytochemicals), all for very few kilojoules. They are what nutritionists call ‘nutrient dense’. The more you eat them, the more you’ll like them.
5 – KEEP HYDRATED
Make plain water your default drink. Water is the best thirst quencher, yet most of us don’t drink enough. The body needs 2 litres(8 glasses) of water each day. Carry a bottle of water with you in the car and on your desk at work.
6 – FOCUS ON HEALTHY FATS
Opt for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are derived from oils, nuts, seeds and avocado. Use them to replace any bad fats you now consume.
7 – EAT LESS BAD FATS
Steer clear of those poor quality fats that put you at risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Limit your intake of sausages, fatty meats, deli meats and crisps. Think twice about pies, pastries, chocolate and cakes.
8 – EAT SMART CARBOHYDRATES
Go for whole grains, high-fibre or low GI carbs such as wholemeal and multigrain breads, brown rice, oats, barley, fibre-enriched or wholegrain breakfast cereals and legumes. This means they are absorbed more slowly – your body is doing all the work, not the food factory!
9 – BE SUGAR SAVVY
Feeding that sweet tooth? Too much sugar adds unwanted kilojoules and supplies no fibre, vitamins or minerals. A spread of jam on your toast or sugar in yoghurt is OK, but limit your consumption of sugary soft drinks, juices, lollies, chocolate, cakes, pastries and ice creams.
10 – WATCH THE SALT
We eat twice as much salt as we should. Stop sprinkling salt over your food and start buying reduced-salt products. Boost the flavour with fresh herbs, garlic, chilli and citrus zest.
11 – USE THE 90/10 RULE
If 90 per cent of your intake is healthy, then the remaining 10 per cent of an occasional treat won’t derail your efforts. One chocolate won’t ruin a healthy diet – but the whole box will!
12 – VARIETY
Be adventurous. Eat a variety of foods, not always the same thing! Try to introduce new foods or experiment with a new dish. The nutrients you miss from one food you can gain from another.
PLUS… THINK POSITIVE
Don’t dwell on what you CAN’T eat! Think of the delicious enjoyable foods you CAN enjoy from a bowl of hearty soup to good Greek yoghurt.
Lucy Round (The Detox Coach) is a qualified nutrition coach, detox & wellness coach and personal trainer and the founder of www.clowcleanse.co.uk and WeightLossForBusyMums (a group for busy mums to lose weight and boost their energy).