I'm back again with another blog post about healthy eating but this I suppose is aimed more at changing the way you think and feel about food in order to make bad old habits, good new ones. Teamed with good excercise routines and lots of physical activity you could find yourself fitter and healthier without really trying. These are some things I've picked up along the way through my training as a nurse and through experience I find that some of these things really do work.
Let's start with Food:
1. Water Water Water! - OK so I know that Water doesnt technically count as food but it's still very important to keep hydrated, now I've waffled on about water in my previous post (check it out HERE) so i'm not going to say too much about it except it's good for you! It'll keep you well hydrated, keep your cells and organs well perfused, with help flush out toxins (the nasties!) from your body and will keep your skin looking great! And best of all.....IT'S FREE! :D
Here's a tip for ya! If you're feeling peckish have a glass of water, and wait a while, If say half an hour later you're still hungry you should probably eat something but if you know you've just had a big meal you're probably thirsty and under the misconception that you're hungry, it's probably your body's way of telling you that you're slightly dehydrated.
2. Snacks are good - Snacking can be detrimental when it's the wrong kind of snack but when it's done right it could really help you on your way to a much healthier you! Swap your biscuits, crisps and sweets for some healthier alternatives
- Sugar Snap peas! You may think that this is a bit of a weird suggestion but they have that crunchy texture that makes you feel like you're eating something naughty like Doritos but they also have a sweet taste so it satisfies your sweet tooth. Great for snacking on their own but you can also add them to your cooking such as a stirfry or a casserole.
- Dried fruit. Again these satisfy the sweet tooth, one of my weaknesses is Haribo sweeties. There's something about the gummy texture that I enjoy so I always keep a bag of dried mangoes or dried apricots in my bag since they have the same gummy texture and are sweet it satisfies my cravings without adding the pounds. you can get the same effect from dried fruit or berries just be sure to check the ingredients as some dried fruit is covered with sugar which defeats the purpose entirely
- If you're having a dinner party and you know that you may be a bit naughty and have that slice of cheese cake for desert try and keep the starters and mains as healthy as possible for example why not have a range of healthy dips such as houmous with carrot and cucumber sticks available and dont just limit these healthy alternatives for yourself while you watch everybody else stuffing sausage rolls in their mouths. Getting others involved in your quests for a healthier lifestyle can make it much more fun and easier to stick to.
- Pop it! Popcorn can be a healthy snack alternative to crisps and biscuits because you can flavour them as you wish. Add a sprinkle of sweetener or brown sugar for those that like it sweet! Maybe a little bit of salt and black pepper for those that like it savoury or even a bit of paprika for those that like a bit of spice in their lives!
3. Be Adventurous with your cooking! I can guarantee that even the most laziest of cooks (pointing to myself here) will enjoy cooking once you begin to experiment. Grill your meat and fish instead of frying, boil your veggies instead of roasting in fat and cooking your meal yourself means you know exactly what's gone into it
4. Breakfast like a king, Lunch like a prince and Dinner like a pauper. Now dont take this literally but the general idea is that you make breakfast your biggest/calorie heavy meal as you're more likely to work it off throughout the day and dinner should be much lighter and eaten atleast 2 hours before sleeping to ensure you've digested most of it by bedtime. Food is our body's fuel to keep us running so filling your 'tank' in the morning ensures you have enough fuel to go about your everyday business however if you skip your fuel in the morning your body is running low already and by dinner time you're more likely to overfill your 'tank' which then means static energy while you're sleeping, slow metabolism and gaining pounds!
5. preoccupy your mind. If all you're doing is thinking about food then all you're likely to do is eat which isn't good if you're not actually hungry. Keeping your mind and your body busy means less time to think about that secret stash of chocolate in your undie drawer or that big bag of doritos in your cupboard. Another point to note is that if you dont keep that bar of chocolate in your drawer, you're not going to be drawn to it and eventually end up scoffing it all while watching tv.
6. Make sure it's what you want. Whatever your goal is, be it to lose weight, get fit or to fit into your old size 10's again make sure it's what YOU want. Dont do it because your friends have noticed you've put on a few pounds or because your partner doesnt find you as attractive with a bit of curve because then all you will want is a quick fix and you WILL fail.
start as you mean to go on, and do it for you. If losing a few pounds gives you a bit more self confidence then that should be your motivation or if being a bit lighter makes it easier for you to run about with your kids then that should keep you going. Dont expect miracles, Rome wasnt built in a day but the end result is definitely worth the hard work.
7. Treat yourself. Dont restrict yourself or ban yourself from certain foods completely because that will only make you crave them more and most likely result in a binge. Instead treat yourself every now and then for example plan a dinner date with some girlfriends at the weekend and then stick to your healthy eating plan throughout the week so that you wont feel guilty when you have that 3 course meal at the end of the week. Even Audrey Hepburn has one piece of chocolate a day and if it was good enough for her then it's good enough for us!
Now I think I've waffled on enough for one day so I'll make the excercise section of this post a Part 2
I'm happy to give anybody advice to the best of my knowledge and remember these are merely my opinions from personal experience and from what i've learnt through my years of training. Please consult your GP before embarking on any kind of dietary change
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Ciao for now World