Making the choice to eat healthily can be quite difficult, especially for people with very busy schedules. Research has shown that 70% of the British population don’t eat healthy because they don’t have time to get recipes and ingredients for a healthy meal. For example, you find yourself eating breakfast cereal or toast at 12pm or having a “late-night” dinner. Sound familiar? Once you’ve decided to eat more healthily even small changes deliver huge results, we compiled a list of little changes that could make a big difference in your quest to eating healthy.
Let’s share them with you.
Think About Food
Waiting till you are hungry to think about what to eat can sometimes be the reason you are not eating healthily, even though you really want to. You’ll remember the cereal advert - ‘when hunger strikes!’ - when we are hungry we might not make the best choice and think short term reward instead of long term results. If you are the type of person that gets ‘hangry’ can you plan ahead? If put some thought into what you will eat long before hunger pangs hit, you are more likely to reach for healthy items and put together a meal than reach for the nearest snack.
Don’t Drink your Calories
Topping up a healthy snack with an unhealthy drink is a crime most of us are guilty of, and it could have far-reaching effects. Fizzy drinks are quite easy to consume but also heavy in calories. If you are currently working towards a weight or health goal, take a look at the impact your drinks are having. If your progress is slower than you would like or your energy is very up and down then perhaps processed drinks should be the first off your diet. It might be difficult at first, but you will feel and look better in no time.
Fall in Love with Water
Water is your absolute best friend and it can be quite satisfying when you get used to it. A good way to stay hydrated is to always have a handy water bottle close by so that every time you think about it, there’s some water to the rescue. Flavouring the water with natural boosters like lime or lemon can make that migration from fizzy drink to water easier. Your body is made up mostly of water so why not support everything your body does by staying hydrated. Remember that if you are feeling thirsty or have a dry mouth you are already slightly dehydrated. This can also make some people feel more hungry too.
Nutrients over Calories
Not all calories are good for us - there is such a thing as good and bad calories. However, focusing on calories when you choose food items might be counterproductive. A better method is to think about the types of nutrients your body will get from the meal and make your choice on that basis. Focusing on the nutrients also helps with combining food items for a balanced meal. The ultimate rule of thumb is to eat in moderation, even when the meal is highly nutritious. 10 calories of chocolate are processed by the body differently to 10 calories of broccoli, this is worth thinking about when doing the food shopping.
Consult the Label
Reading food labels is another very easy way to help you with eating healthily, particularly when you are buying processed foods. If you can read the ingredients label and understand the foods in it, then great! If not, do you really want to put something that is highly processed into your body? You’ll find that just reading it for yourself is sometimes enough to convince you not to eat it.
Real over Processed
As much as possible, deliberately choose real food over processed food. Real food items are less likely to contain harmful chemical preservatives or added sugar. If you must, take processed foods in moderation. Real foods are foods that you can look at and see where they come from, you don’t need a degree to understand the ingredients list.
Snack on Nuts
Do you like to snack? Have a can of nuts within reach, nuts contain good fat and provide energy without taking your calorie count over the top. Thankfully, there are so many nut options to pick from, our favourites are Almonds - how about yours?
The journey to healthy eating is one that goes as long as you continue to eat, and the time to start is now. We know that not everyone can manage to be an eating saint 7 days a week but planning in advance and not food shopping when hungry can help you go a long way towards healthy eating.
Which of these tips are you likely to try first? Drop a comment, we love it when you talk to us.