Surround yourself with healthy food
Avoid the supermarket when you are hungry, you will be less tempted by the unhealthier food choices. Try to shop around the perimeter of the supermarket and avoid the inner aisles where you will find most of the more processed foods.
Keep your fridge and cupboards full of healthy choices – if the less healthy foods aren’t there, you can’t eat them! Out of sight out of mind.
Learn about portion sizes
Get to know the right amount of food for you! A really good guide is to use your hand. When thinking about your carb portions form a fist with your hand to approximate how much rice/ potato/ pasta you need. If it’s a meat portion use the palm of your hand without your fingers and about the same thickness as your palm – this is a good indication for proteins such as red meat. If you’re having white fish or chicken include the fingers as your portion guide. Double your carb amount to approximate your non starch vege portion. Easy!
Create balanced meals
Include variety in your meals to ensure food remains exciting and tasty! Include some non-starch vegetables, protein and carb. There is no need to be ‘carb free’ in order to be healthy. It’s about making healthier choices when choosing carbs. Some examples might be wholegrain bread instead of white, wholegrain pasta instead of white, or quinoa instead of rice to keep things interesting!
Create drama on your plate by eating the rainbow! Include plenty of colourful vegetables at most meals. Vegetables like purple cabbage, beetroot, capsicums, leafy greens and tomatoes are all high in nutrition and low in calories. It’s win win! So the more colourful your plate, the better.
Avoid skipping meals
Even if you’re someone who can’t stomach breakfast in the morning, try to have something small like some yoghurt a banana or even just a glass of milk. This means that at mid morning when the muffin cart is calling your name you will be less inclined to pick something off it, allowing you to reach for some fruit instead or wait until lunch.
Drink more water
Skip the sugar sweetened beverages and choose water instead. Make it interesting by adding mint and cinnamon quills, a squeeze of lemon, a few orange slices or berries. If you have something like a Soda Stream put some gas through chilled water with a squeeze of lemon for a refreshing drink. Avoid fruit juices, flavoured milks, cordials, energy drinks and sodas. If you must have a sweet drink, pick a diet version. Aim for 2 litres a day at least in this hot weather, especially if you are active – you may need more!
Just eat real food
Avoid foods that come pre-packaged as much as possible. These foods tend to be higher in fat, sugar and sodium, making them a much unhealthier choice than home cooked meals. If you have cooked at home, you know exactly what you are eating.
Like the above point. Avoid pre-packaged foods as much as possible when choosing snacks. Try to have foods in their natural form. Examples include: fruits, nuts, plain popped popcorn, natural/Greek yoghurt, hard boiled eggs, tuna, veggie sticks with hummus or cottage cheese.
Have alcohol free days
I’m not trying to be a party pooper, but if you are watching your waistline, it could be the amount of alcohol you consume that is letting you down. Alcoholic drinks are filled with sugar and thus just contain ‘empty calories’. Instead of having a glass of wine/ beer every night with your dinner, save it for special occasions or the weekend. When you do have alcohol, alternate your alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic choices.
Are you always hungry when you eat? Are you aware of what you’re eating? Do you take the time to really enjoy your food? If you said ‘no to any of these questions, maybe you need to re-evaluate how you are eating. Check out one of my previous blog posts for tips on how mindful eating can help you achieve your healthy eating goals http://bitewize.co.nz/article/how-mindfulness-can-help-you-lose-weight/