If you roll your eyes or sigh whenever you hear the term ‘healthy eating,’ we can’t say we blame you. There’s a frightening amount of misinformation out there. You don’t need Weight Watchers or Slimming World to help you to lose weight any more than you need fast-food chains to help you pile it on. It also doesn’t help when newspapers try scaremongering by ‘warning’ you that tomatoes can give you cancer or that wine makes you more prone to arthritis.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you should avoid foods blacklisted by tabloids or stick to a diet plan pre-determined by a company looking for your money. All it requires is moderation. Say goodbye to those rubbish ‘meal replacement’ and ‘low-fat’ diets and say hello to the ‘everything diet.’
Here are 5 tips:
1. Don’t count your calories
Unless you’re sticking to a strict exercise regime where every morsel matters. You know yourself what you consider to be ‘too much,’ and counting calories won’t help that.
2. Don’t avoid foods solely because of their high fat content.
Fat has received a bad press in recent years, yet ‘fatty’ foods like avocados, seeds and nuts are actually good for you. They’re really not that fattening.
3. Make alcohol, sorry, water your primary source of liquids (yep, this includes tea and coffee)
Having said that, fruit in liquid form can be a more enjoyable way of reaching this goal if you so desire. It must be pointed out, however, that cider and wine don’t count (unfortunately).
4. Five portions per day seems like a bit of a tall order.
It can’t be stressed enough that eating greens is important for health; fruit and vegetables provide you with lots of nutrients that meat and potatoes just can’t.
One ‘portion’ is considered to be eighty grams… times that by the ideal number five and you’ve got four hundred grams. That’s not far off half a kilogram… Almost half a kilogram of leaves and apples every day? Pfft! That’s just not doable day-in, day-out, so don’t feel like you need to.
5. Eating your browns is also beneficial
Brown rice and wholemeal pasta tend to be a lot healthier than their ‘refined’ cousins. They contain more dietary fibre, yield fewer calories and provide some useful nutrients. Just limit your intake to moderate levels unless you plan on exercising a lot. If you’re not a runner, you won’t need a large bowl of carbohydrate-rich foods every day of the week.
Fancy a bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast? Have an omelette (you’ll be able to endure the long morning at work without experiencing hunger pains). Thinking of having a foot-long sub for lunch? Make your own chicken salad instead. It’s changes like these that ultimately lead you to feeling healthier and, when you come to reward yourself with ‘naughty’ foods –which you should, on a weekly basis– they become all the more enjoyable.