How to Improve your Diet for 2016

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to change your diet for the better? If so, are you sticking to it?

Now that we are in mid-January, you may feel like going back to your old ways, and so, I have a few tips for improving your diet that you’ll be able to follow!

  1. First of all, what do you eat?
    • Write down what you eat and drink on a normal day (including any takeaways or alcohol you have at the weekend!)
    • Once you have done this, think of 3 small changes you could make to your diet, for example eating an extra piece of fruit everyday, having one less teaspoon of sugar in your coffee or switching to low-fat milk.
    • After a week or two, repeat the above process. This will help you to slowly improve your diet without even noticing!
  2. Watch your portion sizes
    • Look at foods labels and packaging to find out what the recommended portion size is.
    • Use a smaller plate as this will automatically reduce how much you eat.
    • Fill half of your plate with vegetables, 1/4 with protein such as meat, fish or lentils, and fill the final 1/4 with carbohydrates such as wholewheat pasta, rice or quinoa.
  3. Eat plenty of fibre
    • Fibre is good for your digestive system because it keeps things moving and prevents constipation.
    • Choose wholegrain pasta/bread and eat plenty of fruit and veg to maximise your fibre intake…and don’t forget to drink plenty of water!
    • Fibre keeps you feeling fuller for longer as the energy in high-fibre foods is released more slowly.
    • Did you know that soluble fibre, which is found in oats, apples, nuts and beans, protects your heart by lowering your cholesterol?
  4. Fill up on protein
    • Protein will make you feel fuller for longer, so try and have some with every meal. It can be found in meat, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, cheese and yoghurt.
    • If you are exercising, be sure to eat plenty of protein as it is essential for the growth and repair of your muscles.
  5. Eat healthy carbohydrates
    • These include wholewheat pasta, rice and bread, quinoa and buckwheat.
    • Carbohydrates are an important energy source and are broken down to glucose in the blood. Glucose is the main source of energy for the brain so make sure healthy carbohydrates form part of your diet.
  6. Fat is not evil!
    • Your body can’t make essential fatty acids like omega-3, therefore you need to get them from your diet.
    • Sources of healthy fats are olive oil, oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados.
  7. Avoid highly processed foods
    • These foods tend to contain too much saturated fat and don’t have many of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy.
    • If you like takeaways, try to make a healthier version of your favourite dish at home!
  8. And finally….water
    • Try having a glass of water before your meals so you don’t feel as hungry.
    • Drink 8 glasses of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and feeling full!

 

Eating a takeaway or having chocolate won’t do you any harm, it’s when foods like these are eaten too often that the problem occurs. It’s all about balance!

I hope these tips have helped you in some way. Please let me know what other posts you’d be interested to see 🙂

 

 

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Tips for a Healthy Breakfast

Make sure your “healthy” breakfast doesn’t contain any hidden surprises! It’s easy to think that muesli and yoghurt is always a healthy choice, but checking ingredient lists is something that many people forget to do!

Natural yoghurt is the best choice as many other yoghurts (fruit flavour, low-fat) are packed with added sugar. Similarly, salt and sugar are often added to muesli.

Are you going to make checking labels your new habit?!

Muesli  Muesli & Yoghurt 2 Muesli 2Yoghurt

Perfect Autumn Breakfast

Linseed & Sultana Oatmeal Linseed & Sultana Oatmeal Close-up Linseed & Sultana Oatmeal 2

This is a perfect breakfast to warm you up on a fresh Autumn morning! It is made with oats, water, sultanas and golden linseeds. Oatmeal is a slow-releasing carbohydrate so it will keep you satisfied for longer, the sultanas give it a great sweet taste and the linseeds sprinkled on top are great for your digestive system…it’s an all-round winner!