Looking for ways to start eating healthier and perhaps lose a bit of weight?
The Covid-19 pandemic has a lot of people thinking about how to take control of their own health. Although you can never completely avoid exposure to viruses and bacteria you can try to make yourself as strong as possible for when you do become exposed.
For many this pandemic has people looking at their lifestyle choices in a different way. People are re-evaluating their overall diet and the impact it can have on their long-term health. It is believed that you may be more at risk to Covid-19 if you are overweight or have underlying conditions such as type 2 diabetes. With this knowledge the decision to lose weight may be front and centre for you.
But where do you start? It can be really overwhelming trying to figure out how to make the changes you want and to sustain them . Healthy eating for the purpose of weight management is a journey not a race. It is important to feel confident that the changes you make will stay with you for a lifetime.
Many people avoid making diet changes because they feel it won’t be enjoyable. “Diet” has become synonymous with unhappiness and something you have to do, not something you want to do.
You don’t have to change everything at once, start with small steps and build upon them. .. As you start to see results such as sleeping better, having more energy and losing weight you may even start to enjoy the process 😉
Here are some simple steps to get you started on your journey. Keep in mind it is not all or nothing, small changes can reap big benefits, keep going and don’t give up!!
1. Ensure that each meal has a protein component
This doesn’t mean you have to have a gourmet style meal (although it can be if you like 😃) Eating protein rich foods will keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing cravings for unhealthy foods. Try adding eggs, lean meat, fish, legumes, nut butters and quality protein powders to your meals.
2. Plan your meals and snacks in advance.
See our how-to meal plan guide at here.
3. Drink lots of water
Water is a great de-toxifier and can often calm a craving for unhealthy food. It is not uncommon for you to crave food when you are actually dehydrated, try a glass of water before you grab that unhealthy snack!
4. Stick to whole foods vs processed foods
Whole foods are the perfect choice when hungry. Processed sugary or fatty foods can give you short term satisfaction but won’t keep you full and satisfied for long. Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or bag of crips try eating a handful of berries with a few nuts or an apple with a tsp of nut butter.
5. Avoid or limit alcohol
Most everyone knows by now the dangers of alcohol on your body. On top of the physical dangers It is also incredibly calorific. The calories in alcohol are referred to as empty calories as they add no beneficial nutrition to your body. No one is saying you need to cut alcohol out completely. Enjoy a drink from time to time, just be mindful of how much you are drinking, and the effect alcohol has on your eating habits. Many healthy eating goals go out the window after a few alcoholic beverages. 😃
6. Add vegetables to every meal
This one is really simple and very beneficial.
Whatever you choose to eat make sure your plate is filled the most with vegetables. You can add a big salad, chopped fresh vegetables, steamed or baked vegetables whatever you fancy. Just be careful not to overload your vegetables in calories laden sauces or butter. Vegetables are little powerhouses with a perfect balance of nutrients and fibre designed to fill you up and not add unnecessary calories to your diet
At the end of the day the decision to start eating healthier is the best first step you can make. Once you have made that decision the rest will follow in time by practicing new habits. From my own experiences I would say don’t worry about counting calories or become obsessed with what you are eating. Just make an effort to be aware of the food you are eating and how it makes you feel after, and don’t forget to add a little exercise each day!