6 foundations of a healthy lifestyle
As well as helping you to achieve your weight loss goals, we want to offer great nutritional advice and help you to form healthy eating habits that stick. The following 6 points will help form the foundation of a healthy diet and lifestyle that you can start applying today!
1. Eat real food
A diet based on whole foods will provide you with the macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fats, and essential micronutrients; vitamins and minerals, that your body needs.
Good quality unprocessed protein sources: beef, chicken, eggs, turkey, fish, natural Greek yoghurt, tofu or tempeh.
✓ Aim to have one or two palm-sized portions at each meal.
Non-starchy carbohydrates: cabbage, broccoli, french or runner beans, cauliflower, green leafy veggies like spinach, kale and chard, lettuce, brussels sprouts, celeriac, asparagus, aubergine and fruits low in sugar such as strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.
✓ Aim to have two or three fist-sized portions of vegetables at each meal.
Healthy fats: avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish, butter, hard cheese and olive oil.
✓ Aim for a serving per meal: a teaspoon of oil, a handful of nuts and one or two thumb sizes of avocado or cheese.
2. Be carb savvy
Know the difference in the quality of various carbohydrates and pick the ones that are healthiest and best suited for weight loss.
Choose non-starchy carbohydrates from veggies (as above), rather than refined and starchy carbohydrates (sugar) like bread, pasta and rice.
Keep starchy carbs to a minimum.
You can still enjoy the same meals as your family. Just refer to the simple swaps – that’s things like cauli or broccoli rice instead of rice or potatoes or cabbage or courgetti instead of pasta or noodles.
- Cakes & biscuits
- Jams & marmalade
- Carrots & parsnips
- Honey & syrups
- Cordials & fizzy drinks
- Fruit juices
A well-balanced diet with lower carbohydrate intake is shown to be more satiating due to the increased protein, healthy fats and fibre intake.
By eating this way, you’ll feel less hungry and will be less likely to overeat. It will also help improve your blood glucose control, which is key in preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.
Good hydration is one of the most important aspects of the diet. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink – sip water throughout the day. Starting and ending your day with a glass of water is a great healthy habit.
If you find drinking water on its own boring, add some variety. Drop in a slice of lemon or lime for added zing, a slice of cucumber or enjoy a cup of herbal tea instead.
There’s no clear cut answer to how much water you should drink per day, as it all depends on your height, weight and level of physical activity. But as a guideline, health authorities tend to recommend at least eight x 8-ounce glasses of water a day, which equals about 2 litres, all year round.
4. Exercise – but only if you want to and can!
Exercise is undoubtedly beneficial for your physical health and mental wellbeing, but it is not the route to weight-loss. That’s why the main focus of forming a sustainable foundation is on improving your nutrition.
If you would like to add some movement into your day, pick activities that you enjoy and that you will want to do over and over. Exercise should be fun and enjoyable!
Why not try:
✓ A brisk 10 or 20-minute walk?
✓ A weekend bike ride?
✓ A leisurely swim?
✓ A short YouTube stretch or workout?
5. Plan ahead to set yourself up for success
You don’t need to have superhuman willpower to successfully make healthy changes to your diet. By planning ahead, you can set yourself up for success and eliminate foods that would hinder your progress.
Before you go shopping, try planning your meals ahead of time and writing a shopping list to take with you. It’s a great way to keep your healthy eating routine on track during busy weekdays – no more last-minute panicking about what to eat for dinner!
Most people try to meal plan weekly, but there are no rules. If you think meal planning every 3, 5, 10 or 14 days will work better for you, try it that way instead. And we’re all for time-saving, so there’s nothing wrong with making 2 or 3 plans and alternating them week by week.
6. Allow yourself a treat
We’re all human and having the occasional treat is not going to break your progress, as long as you stay consistent with your journey otherwise.
By allowing yourself to have a little treat occasionally – once or twice a week – you will not feel deprived and will not feel the need to break your diet.
Just stay mindful, enjoy an occasional treat and then carry on with your normal healthy eating habits.
Remember that we’re here to support you, so get in touch if you need to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog is part 1 of 11 of our healthy eating & lifestyle for weight loss series.READ PART 2
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