Sometimes being healthy seems overwhelming, confusing and just too complicated. It’s not. Most people can make some simple changes that over time will have a huge impact. One good technique for breaking things down into small, attainable chunks is to take on one tip from the below each week until in a few weeks you’re doing all these things without noticing. They just become part of your lifestyle!
Try to choose one point from the list below to implement this week. Next week you can choose another and so on. In no time you’ll have a healthier lifestyle!
Breakfast is the foundation for the day – by starting with a healthy breakfast you’ve at least had something nutritious, even if the rest of the day is a struggle.
Pack healthy snacks when you’re out and about to prevent bingeing at your next meal (see snack ideas)
Slow down! Eating slowly and making the effort to put down cutlery between bites will help your body register that you’re full and prevent indigestion. Otherwise it won’t be able to keep up with the pace and you’ll overeat or feel bloated.
Minimise alcohol – stick to weekends. It’s really high in energy! Choosing white spirits with soda water, low carb & low alcohol beers when necessary, red wine (instead of white) and water in between. The occasional glass is fine but minimising your intake is essential.
Be prepared – Use Sundays or the weekend to prepare a few simple meals and pack snacks for the week. i.e. pre-portion nut mix, buy bananas/fruit, Bellvita or convenience snacks, prepare Bircher muesli/breakfast foods and ingredients for dinners.
Improve your sweets and desserts – After dinner, snack on frozen grapes, yoghurt, tea or dark (70%+) chocolate. Don’t have milk or sugary chocolate in the house. You can pick a ‘bad’ chocolate easily – sugar is the first ingredient listed. Go for small, individually wrapped pieces of dark chocolate.
Opt for sustainable afternoon energy If you’re feeling tired in the afternoon, try fruit, a protein shake, veggie sticks, nuts or water and get up and move around. Often, sitting at the desk for hours on end will cause you to feel sluggish.
Reduce caffeine Limit yourself to 2 coffees per day and avoid them in the afternoon. No Coca Cola or soft drink at all (even diet varieties).
Eat regular, small meals and eat mindfully – consider how each meal will nourish your body. Most importantly, does it contain vegetables or fruit, minimally processed and quality ingredients? Are you eating just to finish the plate?
- Learn to cook something new and don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavours, recipes and cuisines.
- Try to modify your favourite recipes – if you really like a recipe or meal, think of ways to improve it like including more vegetables, choosing a leaner cut of meat or reducing the sugar. You can swap sour cream in Mexican for natural yoghurt, swap pasta for zucchini noodles or extra vegetables
- If you’re hungry between meals, have a glass of water before eating. Wait 10 minutes and see if you’re still hungry.
- Keep a food diary for a week
- Prepare the week’s snacks in advance and ensure you have something healthy (see snack ideas) on hand.
- Choose a day to get organised, go grocery shopping and think about the week ahead. Sundays or Mondays are great.
- Leftovers for lunch are such a great way to save time and money. Make extra at night where possible.
- Eat some complex carbohydrates 1hr before rigorous exercise/the gym, to ensure you’re fuelled and ready for a quality session
- Include 10 minutes of exercise each day (push-ups, yoga, fast walk or run)
- If you’re craving sweets, try one of my dessert recipes or stick to a couple of squares of dark chocolate with tea.