The most common things people do when trying to lose weight is try to cut out every bad food item and try to exercise too much. 2 weeks in they’re burnt out, they’re hungry, cravings go through the roof, yet they’re not seeing results and not enjoying the process so they give up. Sound familiar? Don’t want to fall into the same trap? Here are my top 6 healthy eating tips:
Healthy Eating Tip #1: Be realistic
Make small changes which you can work into your life, feel good about and believe you could commit to long-term. For example, making a packed lunch for work, one small habit change and it can really make a difference in the quality of food you eat over the week.
Healthy Eating Tip #2: Eat more Protein
- Protein is what fills you up and keeps you fuller for longer. Carbs fill you up temporarily, can bloat you then leave you wanting more. White fish, seafood, red meat, white meat, eggs, tofu, quorn, cottage cheese, high protein yoghurt, protein shakes. Increase these in your diet and you’ll feel more satisfied. It also helps to build lean muscle and shape you up.
Healthy Eating Tip #3: Know your Carbs
- These are not the root of all evil when it comes to losing weight. There are a few basic rules with Carbs. You need to pick the right ones; brown rice, quinoa, pumpkin, sweet potato, wholewheat options for bread or pasta. Timing is crucial too, make sure you have some post workout and in your evening meal. Another thing to consider is if you actually need these in every meal, see if you can have 1 meal or snack a day without them. You can fill up on protein and veggies / salads. Make your plate as colourful as possible and you’ll enjoy it I promise. Fibrous veggies will help fill you up. See page 6 for a list of top veggies to choose from.
Healthy Eating Tip #4: Don't fall into the 'healthy snacks' trap
- Eating fruit all the time (packed full of natural sugar), eating lots of nuts (good for protein, yet watch out for the fat content – aim for 20-30g per day only), muesli and cereal bars again look out for the sugar content.
- In moderation they are both fine, just be careful when having your 5 portions of fruit or veg a day, that only 2 at the most are fruit. Similarly with nuts, portion out some nuts in a container and take those out with you. Avoid sitting there snacking straight from a big bag, you’ll go way over your daily fat allowance.
- Look for healthy baking ideas online and make your own snacks (preferably protein based).
Healthy Eating Tip #5: Look at your portion control
- Don’t go by restaurant portions and try to replicate these at home, you need to be sensible about how much you eat on a daily basis.
- The handful diet: let’s use a portion control method that’s easy, and you can measure your food wherever you are! These are the measurements you will need to make each meal.
Active women will need 4-6 servings of each food group per day (approx. 1500 – 2100 calories). Just like with counting calories, pay attention to results and adjust as needed.
You might need more food because you…
- Are larger in stature
- Aren’t feeling satisfied at meals
- Eat less frequently throughout the day
- Are very active
- Are trying to gain muscle
- Aren’t getting muscle gain results
…then start by adding:
- ½ cupped handful of carbs and/or ½ thumb of fat to a few meals each day
You might need less food because you…
- Are smaller in stature
- Are feeling too full at meals
- Eat more frequently throughout the day
- Are not very active
- Are trying to lose weight
- Aren’t getting weight-loss results
…then start by removing:
- ½ cupped handful of carbs and/or ½ thumb of fat from a few meals each day
Healthy Eating Tip #6: Be prepared
- You lead a busy life + often you need to grab something on the go so make sure you prepare for that. Whether it’s a small can of flavoured tuna and a fork in your bag, some crackers and a small tub of hummus or a protein bar. Don’t get caught short because you may be end up reaching for something way too processed to be any good for you.
- That said, I embrace an 80/20 lifestyle: 80 percent of the time I eat my planned meals and snacks and stick to healthy choices, and 20 percent of the time life happens and I have the cheeky cupcake! Taking away the power food had over me to cause shame and guilt, has been essential for making healthy eating a permanent lifestyle change. Tracking is important, however obsession is not healthy either, you can still indulge, yet that’s the exception, not the rule.
If you EXPEND more energy, than you CONSUME you will lose weight.
If you eat a high calorie diet, lacking in nutritious ingredients your body composition will not change.
Be the change you want to see.
Share your favourite nutrition tips in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.