Simple, Healthy and Easy – Top Tips For A Balanced Diet Part 1
Transitioning to a healthier diet can often seem overwhelming. However, starting out small will see you make great leaps in improvements to your health one step at a time.
Eating a healthy diet will:
- Improve overall health and wellness
- Reduce risk of chronic disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Improve blood pressure, body fat, visceral fat and cholesterol
- Increase productivity and concentration
- Improve mental wellbeing
- Strengthen immune system
- Boost mood and sleep quality
- Decrease lethargy and fatigue
- Increase motivation and energy
1. Slow down
Studies have shown that fast eaters can consume up to 112% more food in one sitting, simply due to the pace in which they are eating. This is because there hasn’t been enough time for the hormones to travel to your brain to register that you are full. Eating more slowly would give your brain opportunity to receive this message, decreasing your likelihood of overeating.
2. Go Greek over natural
When choosing your yoghurt, go for Greek instead of natural. The increased quantity of protein will help you to feel fuller for longer. However, choose the low-fat option.
3. Always use a list and don’t go hungry
Always make a list before you go food shopping and never go food shopping when you are feeling hungry. Both of these scenarios leave you vulnerable to buying spur of the moment food choices, and are often sugar and salt filled boosts such as crisps or biscuits. Sticking to a pre written shopping list will help to ensure that you only buy the healthy, whole foods you intend on eating for the week ahead.
4. Eat plenty of protein
Protein rich foods will ensure that you feel fuller for longer and will therefore be less likely to reach for foods high in salt, sugar and fat. Lean protein sources will also help to boost metabolism, increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. These sources include eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, tofu and beans. One study has shown that people who increased their protein intake from 15% to 30% ate 441 fewer calories each day.
5. Choose whole-grain over refined
Whole grains have been shown to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. They are also a good source of fibre, B vitamins and minerals. Ditching white bread, rice and pasta and replacing it with a whole-grain version such as brown rice, oats or barley will help to boost your health in a number of ways.
6. Choose a healthy cooking method
The way in which you prepare your food will have a big influence on the effect it can have on your health. Cooking methods such as grilling, frying and deep-frying creates the formation of potentially toxic compounds, which have been linked to diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Healthier cooking methods include boiling, stewing, poaching and slow cooking.
7. Eat your greens
We have told from an early age to make sure we eat all of our greens. This includes foods such as kale, cabbage and spinach. Foods such as these will help to maintain a steady blood sugar level and have numerous health benefits. If this is something you struggle with, aim to eat these first when sitting down for a meal.
Catch the second part of this blog post for more simple, healthy and easy tips for a balanced diet!