Healthy eating fads come and go, but these tips stand the test of time as a fast-track to a happy and healthier you. Follow these as closely as possible and you’re sure to notice a difference in your wellbeing in no time.
1) SHUN SUGAR
Really, you’re sweet enough. Sugar is the root cause of many health problems including the current obesity crisis, rising diabetes levels and a multitude of other issues. If you don’t add it to your tea and coffee you may think you’re alright, but it’s the hidden sugars in food we really need to look out for. So called ‘healthy’ foods such as soups, sauces and even canned vegetables are laced with added sugars that can soon add up to an unhealthy level.
2) KEEP IT NATURAL
Say goodbye to ‘white’ foods – swap white bread, rice and pasta for their wholegrain, brown counterparts. White foods have been stripped of much of the goodness, and as a result become refined carbohydrates. These release their energy and glucose rapidly, playing havoc with your blood sugar levels and giving an almighty slump a couple of hours later. The motto: if in doubt, eat natural. This applies to any food, stick to natural, fresh and unprocessed foods as much as possible and you can’t really go wrong.
3) ALKALIZE YOUR BODY
Our bodies thrive when we are a little more alkaline, but that coffee fix, high dairy and meat intakes amongst many other things all make our bodies more acidic. It’s important to try and recover the balance by eating more alkalizing foods like green vegetables and cutting down on meat. One of the easiest things you can do to alkalize your body is to drink a mug of hot water with the juice of half a lemon each morning.
4) BALANCE PROTEIN AND CARBS
If you’re feeling peckish, a piece of fruit or bag of crisps just isn’t going to cut it. Eating carbohydrates alone again raises blood sugar levels, causing a spike in insulin production followed by another crash. The key is to balance all carbohydrates with protein, which will slow down the release of energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer. This applies to all meals and snacks so eat that apple with a few almonds, veggie crudités with houmous and add some sugar free peanut butter to those rice cakes for a more balanced daily diet.
5) GRAZE, DON’T GORGE
There’s so much confusion about how much and how often we should eat, with some saying we should eat just three square meals a day, others advocating fasting and some saying we should snack. Personally, I’ve found it better to eat three smaller meals a day with two small snacks in between. This is because once again it keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, revs up your metabolism and leaves you less likely to binge at mealtimes as you won’t feel famished. Before you go reaching for that family size chocolate bar, it’s important to note that the key is smaller meals than you would probably eat when eating three times a day. Here’s how a typical day could look…
Breakfast: Hot water with lemon followed by 50g porridge oats with berries, flaxseeds and almond milk
Snack: Apple with 10 almonds
Lunch: Greek salad with feta cheese
Snack: 3 oatcakes with sugar free peanut butter
Dinner: Grilled salmon fillet with steamed vegetables and 70g brown rice