When changing the way you eat, the best thing you can do is make small changes each week and work on building them up. Here are some ideas on how you can make your diet healthier and more nutritious:
General healthy eating
– Eat more fish, lean meat and nuts.
– Have some carbs and some protein at every meal.
– Have 5+ servings of fruit and veges a day (you can get most of your required vitamins and minerals from doing so!).
– Drink 8 glasses of water a day (or at least try to drink more water than you usually do).
– Eat something grainy (i.e. cereals) and full of fibre (i.e. fruits or bran) at breakfast time.
– Learn how to label read and opt for products with less sugar, less fat and less sodium.
– Steam, bake or grilling are better than frying/deep frying.
Cut down on fats
– Trim the fat off meat and the skin off chicken.
– Drain the fat off mince when cooking (put in a container and let set before binning, don’t tip down sink or you’ll be calling a plumber soon to unblock your drain!).
– Use cooking spray instead of regular oil.
– Use a non-stick frying pan so you don’t have to use oil – or at least use less.
– Choose foods low in saturated fats and trans-fatty acids.
– Cut back on animal fats and opt for plant-based fats (canola oil, olive oil etc. instead).
– Use reduced fat yoghurt, cheese and milk.
Eat less sugar
– Drink water instead of fruit juice and soft drinks. Don’t like the taste of water? Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
– Eat a piece of fruit instead of having a glass of fruit juice. This way, you get the fibre as well.
– Drink alcohol in moderation (these drinks can add a lot of calories to your diet – often from sugars. Plus, people tend to eat more when they drink alcohol!).
– Sweeten cooking with honey or apple sauce rather than sugar.
– Eat fewer cakes, chocolates, donuts, biscuits, slices etc., find healthier substitutes to kick your sugar cravings (this can lower your fat intake by a lot!).
Eating habits and daily meals
– Jot down 5-10 healthy snack ideas and make sure your cupboards are always stocked with them.
– Eat 5-6 small (healthy!) meals a day to keep your metabolism ticking over and to make sure you’re eating before you get hungry.
– When dining out, try to aim for grainy bread sandwiches, sushi, stir fries, steamed/grilled dishes, and stews. Try to avoid things that are deep fried!
– Limit takeaways to once or twice a week.
– Have breakfast every day.
– Fill up your plate first time with moderate portions and don’t go back for seconds!
– If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t treat yourself to a huge slice of chocolate cake for doing a workout! You’ll likely be eating more calories than you just worked off; it’s better treating yourself to a new outfit or a massage instead!
– Whenever you can, bake using wholemeal flour instead of white flour, cook with wholegrain pasta or brown rice, rather than regular pasta and rice.
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