It may be January, but summer isn’t far away. If you are planning to eat a bit healthier without changing your lifestyle and spending all your time in the kitchen, then this might be for you.
1. Find Balance
I’ll start with the most important. Health and proper nutrition is great, but it can easy turn to an obsession. This can lead to feelings of isolation, sacrificing our social lives and emotional well-being. It doesn’t have to be this way. Overall health is about finding a balance that suits you and your lifestyle. However, it does depend on our goals. If you want to feel good and have a healthy and happy lifestyle, then finding a balance that suits you best is of utmost importance. The following are key tips that can help you lose those unwanted pounds and get the body you’ve dreamed of.
2. One Meal a Day
For one meal a day make your plate 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 whole grains.
Make this fresh veggies, unprocessed meats and whole grains. Start by choosing one meal each day for a month. Small steps are much more effective and easier to maintain that short term overhauls.
3. Avoid Low Fat & Fat Free
Say goodbye to low fat and fat free products. This may sound counter intuitive, but healthy fat is great for our overall health and helps with weight loss. Your cells and nervous system need fat to function. Also, certain vitamins are only absorbed in the presence of fat. When natural fat is removed from products, manufactures add additives (unhealthy alternatives) to make it taste good. Eat fat to burn fat.
4. Favour Whole Grains
Swap refined grains for whole grains. Instead of eating refined grains (bread, pasta, traditional cold cereals, crackers etc.) or giving up on grains altogether, just add some intact grains in their purest form such as, quinoa, oats, millet etc. These are high in natural occurring nutrients and take longer to digest, giving you longer sustainable energy.
5. Add Legumes
Add lentils, split peas or black beans to your meals. They’re tasty, satisfying and are a good source of protein, especially when mixed with grains. They are also perfect for adding high quality protein to vegan and vegetarian diets. Consuming them has been linked to a decreased risk of diabetes and cardio vascular disease as they control blood sugar levels. They’ve been found to reduce the risk of certain cancers, to only a few benefits to these amazing foods.
6. Start with a Smoothie
Start your day with a smoothie. You can swap out unhealthy simple carbs for a more nutritious packed breakfast or lunch that is easy to stick too, with a delicious and easy way to get your five a day. Few tips to make your smoothie more nutritious, add a healthy fat (i.e. avocado, meridian peanut butter etc.) and protein (i.e. hemp seeds, nuts etc.) as well as fruits and vegetables you like.
7. Add Fruit & Vegetables
Add a piece of fruit and a vegetable to every meal. You don’t have to change what you eat to do this, just add one piece of fruit and a veggie to each meal. For example, Spinach with an omelette and blueberries to the side. Lunch could be broccoli in a curry or salads and an apple after. Add beans to dinner such as Bolognese or a side on another meal and pineapple with Greek yogurt for dessert. The choice is yours, it not only makes meals more nutritious but also more satisfying and feeling full for longer.
8. Lean Proteins
Include lean proteins in every meal. Make a habit of including lean unprocessed meats to your meals. This not only cut down on unprocessed foods but will also add valuable protein and nutrients to your daily intake. Example of this would be eggs, turkey, chicken beef.
For vegetarians and vegans having legumes and grains together make a high-quality protein. There is also peanut butter, almonds, tofu etc. Quorn is also a good source of protein but does contains egg whites in most of their products. However, this would not be unsuitable as part of a vegan diet.