Every start of the New Year, we all make resolutions either to lose weight, eat more healthy, start an exercise regime, we are always looking at ways to improve our diets at this time of the year. The question is how do you want to go about this? It’s time to say goodbye to faddy diets. Denying yourself food and restricting how much calories you eat in a day don’t give lasting results. We should all embrace easy, healthier and effective ways that would give us long lasting results this year, starting this January.
From reducing your portions, to skipping sugar in your regular tea and eating more veggies, here are simple ways to start eating more healthily –
Make healthier versions of your favourite dishes
You’re more likely to succeed long-term if you learn how to make healthier versions of foods you really enjoy eating, instead of swapping them for boring, unappealing alternatives. Try swapping fried plantain for grilled plantain. Try swapping brown rice cooked with coconut milk for white rice, substitute avocado for butter on toast. Sweet potato fries rather than chips all these would make a difference.
Prepare a big portion of food for the week (beans/grains)
This gets you prepared for the week and saves you time on meal preps and it also ensures you always have something handy so you can always prepare a quick healthy meal and not just reach out for whatever you come across. You can use these prepared beans/grains as a base for tons of other healthy meals throughout the week.
Roast instead of fry
This goes for pretty much everything, from chicken to vegetables. Roasting at high temperatures still gives food a flavourful, crispy taste with vastly less oil required.
Use the hand guide
Keep your portion sizes under control with this hand-y guide: meat/fruit/veggie portions should be roughly the size of your palm while pasta/rice helpings should be limited to the size of your clenched fist, a handful of nuts/seeds, 2 handfuls of chips/popcorn.
Always pick non-processed snacks
Stick with fruits and veggies, nuts or food you’ve made yourself. Even when it has more calories, you’ll get more nutritional bang for your buck, while avoiding all the junk that comes in processed food (fat, sugar, salt, preservatives).
Bring lunch to work at least once a week
Anything you make yourself is likely to be healthier than what you’d buy instead. But it’s hard to make the time, so start slow: make a lunch for yourself on Sunday to bring to work the next day. The more you do it, the more you’ll get into the habit.
Eat vegetables first
Before you eat anything else, fill up on the healthy stuff if you are eating out always ask for veggies or soup as a starter and then you’ll only eat as many carbs as you have room for. Having a regular salad for your dinner every day is a great tactic.
Drink water instead of soda
Even diet soda (diet coke lovers note this) damages your teeth and waistline. Stick with good old H2O and dress it up with lime or lemon, a sprig of a fresh herb, cucumber, mint leaves for a refreshing drink.
Eat savoury proteins and vegetables for breakfast
This kind of food will keep you fuller for longer and avoid a sugar crash halfway through the morning think scrambled eggs with green beans, grilled salmon with broccoli/cauliflower.
Eat as many colours as you can every day
Bright colours in fruits and vegetables usually signify concentrated nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc.). The more colours you eat (rainbow), the more diverse the range of nutrients you’re getting.
Have a piece of fruit with breakfast instead of a glass of juice
It’s all about that fibre, (and juice doesn’t have any). A piece of banana with your oat is a classic example of adding fibre to a meal.
Try to eat meals that are at least half vegetables
Try having sautéed spinach with eggs in the morning or avocado on toast, or salad with your rice, grilled veggies and grilled chicken/fish.
Sneak seeds into everything
These little guys pack a serious nutritional punch. Chia seeds are brilliant, pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds add value to granola and desserts, flax seeds/ hemp seeds are great for sprinkling and sesame seeds are simply loaded with vitamins all the above seeds are simply amazing and you can have them in salads, smoothies and on their own.
Make smart ingredient swaps
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