10 Healthy Eating Tips

Eating healthily can be tough with temptation everywhere and tight time schedules. However, there are easy little changes you can make to help transform the big picture.
Most people think of a diet as a short-term extreme option that is often hard to stick to, rather than looking at diet as a long term lifestyle choice.
There are many types of diet. What works for one person won’t work for another, so experiment and find what works for you. Outlined below are 10 simple tips for eating healthier.
  1. Include a small daily treat and a weekly cheat meal. To avoid creating such an extreme structure that you won’t stick to it, it is important to include the things you like. The key is identifying what treats or cheat meals are and keeping the portion size sensible. Things like chocolate, biscuits or a roast dinner.
Try this for 2 weeks. If you make it through you’ll find you crave those thing less. Then look at portion control; if you’re having a Mars Bar a day, look to reduce it to a fun size Mars Bar. My daily treat at the moment is peanut butter on caramel rice cakes.
  1. Plan your meals as best you can. Sit down and write what meals you are going to eat for the week ahead. It’s also a good idea to have a couple of leftovers in the freezer for emergencies.
  2. Write a shopping list. Once you’ve planned your meals write a shopping list. By getting just the right amount of food each week you’ll not only save money but you’ll be less likely to overeat.
  3. Shop online. I started doing my weekly shop online recently and have benefitted straightaway! Shops are designed to make you wander around the entire store ending up in purchases that are often unhealthy and not needed.
  4. Never shop when you are hungry. You are more likely to make bad/impulse food choices when you’re hungry!
  5. Aim to avoid extreme hunger and eat more slowly. This one is not for everyone. If we eat when we are really hungry we are more likely to overeat. Similarly if we eat really quickly then our body doesn’t have time to let us know we are full and we overeat. Spreading your food out over 3 meals and 2 snacks will help give a constant supply of energy and reduce feelings of hunger.
  6. Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. I know, I know! But this one is really important! They will help to lower the risk of heart disease, strokes and some cancers, improve your immune system, help skin, keep bones strong and slow the ageing process. Try to eat more vegetables than fruit (in particular green leafy vegetables) and try to get a wide range of colours.  I find having a blender and making smoothies is a great, easy way to up your daily intake.
  7. Balance your meals. Macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) each have their own properties and advantages. For example, proteins and fats take longer to digest so will help stave off hunger. Therefore, if you find you get hungry after your bowl of cereal in the morning try switching to a couple of eggs on a slice of wholemeal toast. Carbohydrates and proteins are great for recovery so try getting a meal high in both after your workouts.
  8. Go easy on the alcohol. There are differing opinions as to whether alcohol is healthy or not. The Mediterranean diet seems to work well but bear in mind that it only recommends a SMALL glass of wine. One thing we do know is that alcohol contains a lot of calories and could be the difference between you reaching your weight loss goal or not.
  9. Don’t keep the bad stuff at home. It can be really difficult to resist the temptation of foods high in sugar and fat. Try to keep just the exact number of treats to last you a week. That way if you want more you’ll have to go out of your way to get them – this is often enough to help you stay on track.
Implement some of these tips and see how you feel. Power through the first 2 weeks and you should notice reduced cravings, more energy and generally feeling better. Inevitably we all have the odd binge or go on holiday, but the key is how we bounce back. By remembering how you felt eating healthily you’ll be back on the wagon in no time!