* This is a guest post
In the fitness world, new, and sometimes conflicting and complicated, nutritional trends appear on a daily basis. It’s hard keeping up with all things you should, and shouldn’t be doing to maintain a healthy diet. Registered Nutritional Therapist, Jackie Lynch, has stripped back the ‘fluff’ and jargon by providing five simple, easy to digest tips to help keep your healthy eating on track.
1. Slow Down: Let your brain catch up with your belly
Are you always the first to finish a meal? This could be having a negative impact on your health and well-being, especially if weight loss is your goal.
It’s important to chew your food properly as it can make a big difference to how much you eat.
Chewing is a vital part of the digestive process, and helps to trigger the body’s satiety mechanisms which will tells us when we’re full.
If you eat too fast, then the chances are that you’re eating too much, as your brain hasn’t had time to catch up with your body.
There’s no need to count as you chew, just make sure you’ve broken your food down properly rather than swallowing lumps of un-chewed food. Challenge yourself to be the last to finish and take time to savour your food, when you’re next eating with friends or family.
2. Size Matters: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
Think carefully about the size of your portions, and how you are measuring them.
Are you using very large plates and filling them with food, or do you pour yourself generous glasses of juice or wine?
The fashion for large crockery and glassware isn’t helping us to keep in shape, especially if you’re someone who’s been taught to clear your plate from childhood.
Taking the time to measure out your portions, rather than being guided by plate or glass size could make a significant difference to your calorie, sugar or alcohol intake.
If you’re not sure what a standard portion should be, then try using a kitchen tool such as MealKitt (www.mealkitt.com), a brand new, revolutionary meal preparation and portion control kit, designed to help you with weight management and calorie control, ensuring you stay on the right track.
3. Stay Hydrated: Don’t confuse hunger with dehydration
Keep a water jug topped up in an easy-to-reach location, to act as a handy reminder to keep hydrated.
It’s not unusual to confuse dehydration with hunger as the symptoms can be similar. For example, when we feel weak, dizzy or experience headaches, it’s easy to assume that our blood sugar is low and reach for a snack, when actually we need to hydrate ourselves.
According to the Natural Hydration Council, over 50% of people in the UK drink one glass of water or less each day.1 If you have a water jug nearby, it’ll make it a lot easier for you to make a habit of keeping well hydrated – it’ll also boost your energy levels, keep your skin clear, support your digestion and help you resist the temptation of sugary snacks.
4. Snack Healthily: Beware of grazing on the wrong products
Keep a fruit bowl on show and make sure it’s regularly topped up with tempting and colourful seasonal options. The key here is to have really good quality fruit to hand and to keep it interesting – plums, fresh figs, strawberries and grapes, as well as the usual apples and oranges. Not only will this help to keep you on top of your 5-a-day, but it also provides you with a sweet option for a dessert or snack that’s far healthier than chocolate, cake or biscuits.
5. Stay Organised: Out of sight, out of mind
Rearrange your fridge and food cupboards so that you keep the healthy snacks in the closest, grab-and-go areas, and so make it harder to root out anything that won’t support your health goals.
Liberating vegetables like carrots, cherry tomatoes or radishes from the veg drawers and keeping them at the front of the fridge next to the hummus or cottage cheese, provides easy inspiration for a healthy snack.
We’re simple creatures and “out of sight, out of mind” works pretty well when we’re in a hurry, so tuck away anything you have a weakness for in a storage box at the back of the fridge or food cupboard, so that you don’t fall victim to temptation.
These simple tips will quickly become an addition to our everyday routines, encouraging a healthy and improved lifestyle.