New Year Starts – Healthy Eating

New Year kick-start – Healthy eating: Where to start?

When trying to improve an aspect of our health, a major reason why people often fall short of their target is because the goal is either too unrealistic and/or the whole process of trying to achieve it becomes too overwhelming and too drastic a change of lifestyle to sustain. Along with exercise, healthy eating is one of the most common areas people find hard to maintain.

Why is what we eat so important?

Your body is making millions of new cells every single day. So guess what your body uses as building blocks for these cells? Yep, the food we eat. What we eat can determine not only how we look, but how much energy we have, how our joints feel and even our mood (ever noticed people get a bit grumpy/have an energy crash after sugary food and junk food?!) How would our cars perform if we put dirty fuel in it as opposed to premium, filtered rocket fuel?!!

If food’s so important why can it be so hard to change?

As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, it is harder than we think to change habits that have been there for a long time, and what we eat can be a very strong habit (if you’ve ever tried taking chocolate off a chocoholic you’ll know what I mean!) Another factor which can prove challenging is simply not knowing what to do. With so much conflicting evidence out there regarding what’s best to eat, it is very easy to get so confused you don’t know where to start.

So to help, here are a few basic tips to get you started:

1) The number one rule of nutrition is Eat food as close to its natural state as possible. For every stage of processing a food goes through it loses some of its goodness. Small changes like having a jacket potato instead of curly fries, cooking with lean mince instead of a fast food burger, or an apple instead of apple juice can really help.

2) Aim to reduce the amount of sugary foods in our diet. Watch out, big claim coming up: sugar is one of the most dangerous substances for your health there is. It is toxic. Unfortunately, because it makes foods a lot tastier and addictive, food companies add it to everything. Sugar increases the chance of weight gain and drastic drops in health and energy. Aim to buy natural foods and if you like sweeter tastes, add your own sweetness using foods like honey or natural fruit juices.

3) Go green. Green vegetables would do more for your health than Mr Motivator and the magic drink from the Nutty Professor combined. Eat as much as you can. If you don’t like them, start by adding them in small quantities to things like soups and stews where they can be hidden. You can also add things like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs and spices to make them taste better.

These may sound ridiculously simple, but you’d be amazed at how you start feeling and looking once you start feeding your body the fuel it thrives off.

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