It’s the new year and you’re ready to make a fresh start. You’ve already purchased those new trainers and that fancy gym membership, you’re planning on getting eight hours of sleep every night and eating well. However, as we all know, even though we all come into the new year with the best intentions our busy schedules soon take over and we are back to eating a take-away on the sofa.
To help support your new years resolutions we’re sharing 10 realistic healthy eating tips.
- The Clean Out
With new year celebrations just passed chances are that your kitchen is full of goodies, chocolates, crisps, sweets, biscuits and ice-cream. To avoid temptation, clean out the kitchen and offload the goodies to friends, family or take them to the office and score some major points with the boss.
- Meal Planning
This is something that we personally implemented last year and found it worked well for us, not only did it help us stay on course but it helped us save a lot of money because we were only buying what was on our weekly shopping list.
Start by preparing a weekly menu, write down what you plan to eat for the week, that’s breakfast lunch and dinner every day. By doing so you will be able to see if you’re planning on eating too many carbs or if you need to add more greens. Once you feel happy with your menu buy all the ingredients you need for that week.
Prep your meals the night before, this ensures that you can take your healthy lunch to work and when you come home at night your meal is ready to be cooked.
- Healthy Breakfast
You know the saying, it’s the most important meal of the day and for a good reason. Not only does a good breakfast set you up for the rest of the day but if you’ve started your day eating well you are less likely to be tempted by any junk food as you’ll be more inclined to keep your day going well.
If you’re normally rushing out the door be sure to prep your breakfast the night before. Freshly cut fruits, smoothies and bagels are easy to make and can be enjoyed once you reach the office.
- Drink More Water
You’d think living in a warm climate this would-be a given however its surprising how many of us don’t drink the required amount of water. Hydration is key to decreasing hunger as well as contributing to healthier skin and better digestion. Make your water more exciting by adding fresh lemons, limes or fruit, it’s a great and healthy way to add some taste to your water.
- Take Your Time
Make time to eat your meals. How many times do you end up rushing your food and heading back to the office? Or frantically grabbing a snack before heading out. This isn’t healthy for a few reasons, the obvious one is that we are rushing our food, meaning we are not taking the time to think about what we are putting into our bodies or the portion size, secondly, we aren’t chewing our food correctly, this itself can have an adverse effect on weight gain.
- Eat More Omega-3
Omega 3 fatty acids are necessary for the human body however our body doesn’t produce Omega 3 naturally so its important that we get these fatty acids through food. For those of you who dislike fish there are alternative foods high in Omega-3, for example, vegetable oils, nuts, like walnuts, wild rice, flax seeds, flaxseed oil and leafy vegetables. When preparing your weekly menu add a few of these ingredients to the list.
- Get More Fiber
You’ve probably been told a hundred times to eat more fiber but do you actually know why it’s good for you? Fiber helps control blood sugar levels, lowers cholesterol and helps maintain a healthy bowel movement. Adding fiber to your diet couldn’t be easier, try whole grain breads with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving, cereals with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, brown rice because it still has the husk, which is the fiber and chia seeds that can be added to smoothies.
- Add Some Fruit and Veg
We all know that fruit and veg are an essental part of healthy diet. However here are a few tips to help you incorporate them into your daily eating routine.
- Add veg to your dishes, select veg like broccoli or carrots that can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Keep a bowl of cut fruit in the fridge, if you feel hungry or fancy something to snack on after dinner sprinkle the fruit with some cinnamon or drizzle with honey to curb those sweet cravings.
- Buy some dry fruit, these are great to place in your bag and snack on the go.
- Reduce Red Meat
The demand for red meat is having a negative effect on the environment that’s because red meat impacts the environment more than any other food we eat, mainly because livestock requires much more land, food, water and energy than plants to raise and transport. Apart from the environmental aspects studies show that eating too much red meat can negatively affect your health.
When planning your weekly menu try to cut back on red meat and add alternatives to ensure you are still having your recommended iron intake, alternatives such as legumes, spinach, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, broccoli and tofu are easily found in the supermarkets.
- Cut Back On Sugar
When you think of sugar the first thing that pops into your mind is the sugar you add to your morning coffee, or sprinkle on top of your cereal or perhaps even eat in that cake you had the other night. Whilst these all obviously contain sugar you also need to be award of items with hidden sugars. Sometimes you’ll pick up a fruit juice as a healthy alternative to a soft drink but some juices actually contain just as much if not more sugar than soft drinks. Products such as ketchup, yogurt, cereals and snack bars all tend to contain hidden sugars.
Make time to read the labels, it may take a while but once you are aware of which products contain hidden sugars you will be able to find healthier alternatives.
This article can be used to help make healthier choices however we always recommended that you consult your doctor for professional dietary requirements.