”I’m not on a diet, I’m just trying to be healthier…”
This has been my (sad) life mantra for about the last year; safe to say alot of the time I fail miserably at it. But, there are some simple ways of improving your diet and general health – that I have discovered and reluctantly taken on board. Which can be implemented fairly easily, and don’t cost bundles either.
1). Zero tolerance policy on caffeine
If, like me, your lifestyle is a hectic re-enactment of Wolf on Wall Street; and you really believe you couldn’t survive daily work life without the (legal) drugs. You can do it.
Yes caffeine is a drug, a highly addictive one at that. You don’t need coffee. That boost of energy it gives you can be obtained from other drinks. Herbal teas are brilliant for detoxing, and you can find some lovely flavours. My current fave is organic green tea with manuka honey, from Heath & Heather, 20 tea bags for £2.49. Or switch your morning coffee for coconut water – much healthier and gives you a natural boost. If you feel you can’t go cold turkey right away try de-caf, or using brown sugar instead of white (or better still no sugar at all).
2). Skip the sugar
It is difficult to avoid sugar, it’s in almost everything we consume. But what you can do is avoid adding extra sugar to food (e.g on your cereal). And in terms of snacking and desserts – look for sugar free alternatives, or items with much less sugar.
For example, if you usually have a chocolate bar everyday with your lunch; why not swap that with a banana? Or nuts?
My top low sugar snacks are:
- Nuts/seeds (can be added into fruit bowls or eaten alone)
- Rice cakes – savoury or sweet
- Belvita biscuits
- Fruit (which has natural sugar, so not too much of this either)
- Dark chocolate as a treat – only a few squares
- Sugar free sweets – available from Holland & Baratt
3). Fizzy pop out the window
One can of coca cola contains 7 cubes of sugar. It is disgusting! Whether we like it or not the fizzy drinks we buy are packed full of sugar, just imagine what that is doing to our teeth (believe me root canal ain’t pretty, or cheap, IT’S TRAUMATISING) – and the insides of our bodies.
If you can’t give up totally try to stick to diet versions, or sugar-free fizzy drinks. Which actually taste just as sweet.
Tasty alternatives to fizzy drinks include:
- Home-made smoothies
- Water, water and more water
- Soya milkshakes (banana one is soooo yum)
- Sugar-free squash with carbonated mineral water
- Fruit infused water (marinate the night before for ultimate flavour)
- Coconut water
Just take into consideration the fact that fruit has alot of natural sugars also, so eat fruit in moderation too. These natural sugars in excess can be harmful to teeth. Ideally, stick to drinking water, and have other drinks as a treat.
4). How to avoid fat
We’ve talked about sugar intake regarding snacks, desserts and drinks. What about main meals though? How do you avoid processed junk and fat?
One major trick is to be organised. Instead of being out, getting hangry and grabbing a Big Mac because it’s convenient – if you already made a packed lunch the night before this wouldn’t happen.
But, of course, you won’t eat packed lunches everyday. If eating out with friends – or preparing meals at home,
Stick to these top tips:
- Stick to grilled meat, rather than fried
- Increase your Omega-3 intake, fish is very good for you
- Try to eat healthier carbs; sweet potato, wholemeal bread/rice and Ryvita
- Stock up on fresh veg and do not overcook
- If you do occasionally treat yourself to something ‘naughty’, try to limit portion amount
5). No deprivation
No-one in this entire world is ever going to be motivated to do anything if they constantly feel deprived. It is difficult to eat healthier, especially with so many temptations surrounding us. The trick is to not deprive yourself. For example if you love pizza, why not try to make a fresh one yourself? Or search for a weight watchers one which is low calorie? OR, treat yourself to one maybe once a week, on the weekend, and eat healthily during the week. Then you have something to look forward to – and eventually you may not even crave it any more; you might find healthier meals which you prefer.
Stay motivated guys!