Living healthier is often just a matter of changing a few simple lifestyle habits: getting more exercise, eating healthier, not stressing the little stuff. This is often easier to say then do when combined with a busy work week and a full social calendar! However we have an article that will ensure your 2015 is a healthy one! Edwina McDonald, Pinnacle Health Group‘s Dietitian and Nutritionist, gives you practical and achievable ways of changing your daily habits to keep you healthy and fit.
1. Stay hydrated on water not liquid calories
Moderate your intake of liquid calories by keeping the alcohol to a minimum. Alcohol cannot be stored by the body so we have to use it for energy. Fruit juices and soft drinks are also high in sugar and calories and can add to weight gain. Drinking water is the calorie free way to stay hydrated and fill up stomach volume which will help to relieve hunger.
2. Portion control!
Overeating is common over the festive season so, if you haven’t already, clear out your cupboards and discarded any leftover temptations. Our stomach is a muscle and thus expands with increased volume. When we go through periods of overeating our stomach expands accordingly and thus we require more food to feel satiated. Aim to reduce each meal by 5%.
3. Consume protein with each meal
Protein is more satiating than carbohydrates and takes more energy for the body to break down thus keeping us feeling fuller for longer. Breakfast proteins may include eggs, milk, yoghurt or cottage cheese. Lunch and dinner proteins can comprise eggs, lean meat, skinless chicken, fish, beans and legumes.
4. Consume low GI carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main fuel source used by our muscles and the only fuel source that can cross the blood – brain barrier. Limiting your carbohydrate portion and including protein at each meal will reduce your total calorie intake. Low GI carbohydrates are those they give a more sustained energy release and keep us feeling fuller for longer. Examples include multigrain bread and pasta, quinoa, basmati rice, apples, pears, bananas, stone fruit and low fat dairy foods.
5. Avoid contact with the food enablers
We all have people in the office who encourage us to eat. If a lolly jar is staring you in the eyes ask your colleague to remove it from your vision. If you know people bring out chocolates and treats around the 3pm slump ensure you have already had a nutrient rich snack to eat so you will not be hungry and tempted.
6. Moderate your intake of eating out
Unfortunately by eating out we lose control over the nutrients and calories we consume. There is always added salt and fat added to meals eaten out, not to mention the breads, starters and the temptations of consuming 2-3 courses. Look at online menus so you can make a nutritious choice before anything or anyone influences your choice!
Above all think of foods for the nutrients they fuel your body with. You don’t put poor quality petrol into a Lamborghini!