10 Eating Tips to Get You Back on Track (Minus the Diet)
By Rachel Hawkins (Accredited Practicing Dietitian & Nutritionist)
The New Year offers an opportunity to eliminate bad habits and establish healthier routines. And while the New Year brings renewed motivation, this is often short lived, with many people abandoning their resolutions faster than Usain Bolt can run one hundred meters.
New Year’s resolutions typically don’t work out because people set too big of a goal for themselves. Big goals make it difficult to know where to start and as a result, motivation is lost quickly. Instead, long term success is found by setting smaller goals that can be achieved gradually over time.
If eating healthier is one of your top 2020 New Year’s resolutions, tackle your goal from a different perspective this year by following these 10 bite-sized eating tips!
Table of Contents
1. Forget the diet
Diets are notorious for being unnecessarily restrictive and difficult to maintain long term. There is no such thing as a perfect diet, so stop trying to achieve one. All foods have a place in your diet in moderation...work on creating balance, not restriction.
2. Veggies are king, fruits are queen
Vegetables and fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Research shows that people who eat vegetables and fruits live longer and have a lower risk of developing chronic disease. Aim to eat 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit every day!
3. Love thy whole-grains
Whole-grains such as brown rice, wholegrain bread and pasta, oats and buckwheat are a great source of fiber which helps to keep your digestive system working properly and support heart health. Aim to eat 4-6 servings of whole-grains every day!
4. Don’t skip on protein
Proteins are essential nutrients. They are the building blocks of all of the cells in our body and are needed to support growth and repair. Protein containing foods help to reduce cravings and promote a feeling of fullness...both of which are favorable if you are trying to lose weight! Protein can be found in foods including meat, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and quality protein powders such as Clean Lean Protein by Nuzest
5. Eat more legumes
Legumes are a group of plant foods that contain lentils, beans, and peas. They contain fiber, protein, and an array of vitamins and minerals. Due to their nutritional profile, legumes can be considered a vegetable (thus contribute to your 5 a day target), however they are also a fantastic source of plant-based protein making them a great alternative to meat and fish.
6. Stop fearing fats
Fats have many important functions in the body including insulation of the body and organs, regulating inflammatory and immune responses and aiding in brain development and function. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are considered ‘healthy fats’ as they are beneficial for our heart health. Healthy fats can be found in foods such as oily fish, olive oil, nuts, avocado, and chia seeds.
7. Optimize your gut health with pre- and probiotics
Pre- and probiotics support the body in supporting a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is believed to be beneficial for our immune, mental, and digestive health. Prebiotics are found in fiber rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains. While probiotics occur in many fermented foods, including yogurt, sauerkraut, and tempeh. Aim to eat these every day to help your gut health flourish.
8. Drink up!
Water is vital for so many bodily functions. It helps to regulate your body temperature, assist your organs in flushing out toxins and aids in the circulation of blood and nutrients around the body. The average adult requires 2L of water per day to stay hydrated, so remember to drink up!
9. Eat mindfully
Have you ever eaten a meal so quickly that you’ve gotten to the end and wondered where it all went? Switch off your screens and start paying attention to what you are eating at mealtimes. Eating in a more mindful way helps to increase meal satisfaction and support weight loss, if this is one of your goals!
10. Be Kind to Yourself
Making healthy changes to your diet doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a lot of hard work and persistence! Remember to strive for balance and be kind to yourself throughout the process and beyond.
If you have specific questions regarding your diet, speak to your Healthcare Practitioner or Nutritionist for even more tips and tricks.