Grace's thoughts on diets and healthy eating
Whether you're wanting to lose weight, start going the gym or commit to being the best version of yourself, you can be bombarded with quick fix diets that promise results and work out programmes that can give you the body you have always dreamed of, when in reality we know that it’s not realistic and it can’t be kept up in the long term. We can set ourselves up to fail and leave ourselves feeling disappointed. After all they say 80% of new year resolutions fail by February.
So let's look at things differently
Instead, I would encourage you to think about why you want to change and what it would mean for you to achieve what you have set out to do. Whether it’s because you are tired of not feeling great or you want to live a healthier life. Focus on the intention, focus on caring for you and your body.
What is healthy eating and how do you live a healthy lifestyle?
It’s important to remember, that we are all so individual and what works for our friends and family members may not work for us. It’s the same when it comes to our diet everybody has different likes and dislikes and eating patterns. However if we can try to include some of the key healthy living messages each day, slowly the little changes can make a big difference!
Consistency is key!
Changing our lifestyle and eating well takes times and effort. It doesn’t happen quickly and at times it will be difficult. We won’t always get it right and we’ll have off days, just try and not let it turn into an off week. Get back on track as soon as you can. Remember it’s a lifestyle change and we need balance, try using the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you are following a healthier lifestyle and the 20% is the time when you can include everyday events like meals with family and friends, birthdays, celebrations or enjoying your favourite treat. You will know in yourself if you are not getting the balance right.
Below are some of the key healthy living tips I have been talking about! Just start with focusing on one or two and then each week add another one in so you are not feeling overwhelmed. Set realistic goals for yourself to help keep you on track.
Healthy Living Tips
Include all food groups - Avoid cutting out any food groups from your diet, such as ‘Carbohydrates’ (this is the most common one). They all play a vital role in providing our body with the energy, vitamins and minerals we need to function at our best.
‘ 5 a day’ - Aim to include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet each day. Different colours and varieties is key they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals
Drink plenty of water - We need to stay hydrated our organs, cells and tissues all rely on it to excrete toxins from our body and prevent us from becoming unwell.
Fibre and whole grains - When it comes to carbohydrates opt for whole grain and high fibre varieties. They release their energy slower compared to refined (white) carbohydrates. Keeping you fuller for longer, they are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, all helping your digestive systems to stay healthy and keeping you blood sugar levels steady.
Increase your fish intake - Try eating 2 portions of fish per week (or more) 1 of which is oily. Oily fish is a great source of omega 3, crucial for our health, hormone, immune system, blood clotting and cellular growth.
Cook from fresh - Cooking at home with fresh ingredients really can make a huge different to the quality of the food that your putting into your diet and body and for weight loss. If this is something new for you, start simple and check out the Get Fit Kit recipes for a variety of meal ideas.
Reduce your intake of saturated fat, sugar and salt - All 3 of these nutrients have their place in the diet but in small amounts. They are nutrients that are linked to increasing your risk of a variety of health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes to name a few.
Get active - The list of benefits for moving our bodies and exercising is pendless. Not only does it benefit us physically but it also helps with our mental health. Find what you enjoy doing or try something new and incorporate exercise 3-5 times per week. All the small things like walking the shops instead of driving, taking the stairs and bike rides etc all count.
Energy balance - This relates to calories in ‘vs’ calories out. I believe focusing on calories alone will not improve your relationship with food and your diet. I think learning how to nourish our bodies and keep ourselves fit and well is essential. However when it comes to weight loss we need to be reducing our calorie consumption to a certain extent and increasing our activity. Be aware of extreme low calorie fad diets, they can do more harm than good and can often create unhealthy eating habits.
Rest and recover - Allowing ourselves and our bodies time to rest and recover is so important. Don’t ignore your body when it needs to be rested. During rest days light exercise and activity can be included e.g. family walk in the park.
Grace is a Personal Trainer and Qualified Associate Nutritionist. She is currently taking a career break and travelling in South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, but is sending us recipes and inspiration from wherever she is in the world. You can follow her travels on her Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/goodnessgrace_/