Making the bold decision to begin a new, healthier lifestyle is often the first and most important step towards improving your health. Where many people struggle however, is the sudden change in their diet; not knowing what to eat, how much of it to have and when is best to be eating it. Getting into a new dietary habit is all about finding a rhythm; a solid structure you can rely on to make getting the food you need to support your way of life as easy as possible.
- Routine: The body really benefits from having regular, structured meals that fall at the same time each day, with eating little and often being the best way. Find the times that work best for you and try to stick as closely to them as you can, as this allows the digestive system to find a good rhythm and process your food properly.
- Portion control: Many people’s downfall is not what but rather how much they eat. Reducing your portion sizes and eating slowly so your body can better tell when you are full will help stop you from overeating. If you find it difficult, the likes of weight watchers food can be purchased in pre-determined portions that are both nutritious and controlled. This is also useful for those who struggle to find the time to prepare good quality food within their busy schedule.
- Don’t skip meals: When trying to cut back, the temptation can be to skip meals altogether but this is dangerous and can actually have the opposite effect that you would expect and hope for. Under-eating will not only reduce energy levels and negatively affect your mood but it could put your body into ‘starvation mode’, where it essentially panics and starts to retain whatever food you do eat; meaning you could actually end up putting weight on.
- Drink water: This is a well-known but often ignored tip for good health. Water helps to flush your system and keep everything hydrated and in working order but best of all, it can help ward off unwanted pangs of hunger that tempt you to snack when you don’t really need to.
- Incorporate fruit and veg: Many people struggle to get their recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables because they wrongly assume these need to be eaten as separate snacks or meals. In fact, the easiest way to make sure you get enough fruit and veg – and pack your food full of nutrition at the same time – is to incorporate them into your meals; be it soups, stews, salads or otherwise.
- Avoid junk food: Allowing yourself the odd indulgent treat isn’t the end of the world once you’ve established a good, balanced diet. However, be careful about what you choose to indulge in as junk food may well be addictive, meaning a well-intentioned treat could spiral into a bad habit that needs to be broken all over again. Cutting out junk food altogether is always your safest bet.
Never go hungry: No matter how healthy a meal is; if it leaves you feeling hungry, it is no use. Your body needs adequate fuel to keep it going throughout the day and an unsatisfied stomach will make you more susceptible to cravings and temptation you will later regret. A full belly is a happy one.