It sounds simple enough, but when it comes to eating healthily, sometimes our minds, eyes and stomachs can sway us off course in the blink of an eye. You may have gone searching for a salad on your lunch break only to be swept away by the smell of that delicious pulled pork roll as you wander by!
The truth is, we’re all human and while it’s unrealistic to stick to a perfect diet day in, day out, here are a few tips which may help you stay on course if eating healthier is one of your goals this year…
- Healthy vs Unhealthy – whether we admit it or not, most of us are guilty of labelling everything that passes our lips as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Psychologically this can be incredibly damaging as we rate our daily diet by how much ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food we’ve consumed. The first step is to try and break this habit. Instead of thinking, should I eat that because it’s unhealthy? Ask yourself, am I hungry? If the answer is yes, then you will be in a much better position to assess whether or not you are making a healthy food choice.
- Think in terms of nourishment – following on from the point above, it’s important to think about what your food can do for your body. It may sound obvious but eating half an avocado or a lean portion of protein is going to fuel your body far more effectively than if you wolf down a slice of pizza or a fistful of chocolates. Your food should make you feel good from the inside out, leaving your skin glowing, your immunity in tip top shape and give you enough energy to go about your day with a spring in your step.
- Cook for yourself – not everyone is born a Masterchef, but practise makes perfect and time and time again, science has proven that those who cook and eat at home are healthier, on average, than those who regularly eat out. Takeaways and restaurant meals are often laden with excess fat, salt and sugar, so by choosing to cook at home, you can save yourself countless calories. Remember too, that the internet is your friend and if you’ve been wanting to try out a new ingredient, all you have to do is tap it into google and I promise you’ll be met with hundreds of recipes to inspire you.
- Practise mindfulness – yea, I know, you’ve heard the term ‘mindfulness’ over and over, but that’s because it actually works. When you’re trying to make healthy food choices, you need to practise mindfulness at every opportunity, staying aware not only of your food choices, but of every mouthful you take. If you’re someone who eats dinner while staring blankly at the television, you’re probably consuming more calories, more quickly and enjoying it less than those who take a few minutes to cherish the ritual of enjoying their meal. Yes, it’s easier said than done but maybe try to introduce a little mindfulness into one meal a day. Eat slowly, chew properly and savour every bite.