Eat lots of fruit and veg
It’s recommended that we eat at least seven portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds.
A glass of 100% unsweetened fruit juice can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count.
Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for some dried fruit?
Eat more fish
Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions a week, including at least one portion of oily fish.
Oily fish is high in omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease.
You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.
Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake.
Anyone who regularly eats a lot of fish should try to choose as wide a variety as possible.
Focus on finding a balance of hunger and fullness as you eat. Stop eating when you are no longer hungry, not just when you are full.
Remember all the times you ate until you were uncomfortable.
How did that make you feel?
You probably felt guilty, and certainly had some degree of abdominal discomfort. Be mindful that every time you eat those extra bites, they are not going to make you feel better.
They will probably make you feel worse.
Control your Portion Size
Use small coffee mugs to measure your portion sizes.
Get rid of all the large plates so that you don’t pile your plate up. Eat slowly, being certain to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Try to eat slower than the slowest eater at the table.
If you go to a restaurant, try to order something that’s not going to cover your plate choose light healthy meals.
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
We all need some fat in our diet.
But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating,
There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated.
Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
Try to cut down, and choose foods that contain unsaturated rather than saturated fats, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.
For a healthier choice, use a just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When you’re having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat.
Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar.
Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilo joules or calories), and could contribute to weight gain.
They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
Cut down on sugary fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, cakes, biscuits and pastries, which contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on rather than sugars that are found naturally in foods such as fruit and milk.
Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 20.5g of sugar per 100g means that the food is high in sugar.
Don’t skip breakfast
Most people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that eating breakfast can help people control their weight.
A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals you need for good health.
Wholemeal cereal, with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and nutritious breakfast.
Don’t get thirsty drink more
We need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated, this is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat.
All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, milk and fruit juices are the most healthy. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and can be high in calories and bad for teeth.
When the weather is warm, or when we get active, we may need more water.
Focus on things that come from the earth, not a factory.
The best advice is, when shopping at the grocery store, stay along the outside walls where you find fruits, vegetables, beans and lean sources of meat. All of these occur naturally.
This helps keep those processed foods and sugar-packed snacks, all of which will kill your metabolism, out of the cart. Also, leave the white potatoes behind.
This vegetable contains an awful lot of starch that your body converts to sugar almost immediately with little work.
Join the organic club
Buy organic whenever possible.
If you can’t afford or find organic foods, no problem. Just wash your fruits and vegetables very well.
Only buy organic of those in the dirty dozen (peaches top this list) and accept conventional of those in the cleanest dozen, such as onions.
If you can’t get fresh produce, frozen is the next best thing. Avoid canned and packaged fruits and vegetables as the preservatives are usually going to work against you.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
You want to avoid artificial sweeteners (especially Splenda). These are most often consumed in Crystal Light, diet sodas and “sugar-free” products.
Think of them as toxins (because they are) that slow down your body’s metabolism. Drink plenty of water.
Take your time
Good nutrition is a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to change everything overnight.
It took your entire life to adopt your current nutrition habits, expect it to take some time to change them.
After two weeks of a consistent change, you have made it a habit.