Making the initial steps to changing diet and lifestyle habits are often the most difficult. We think about things for quite some time, procrastinating what we should do, putting things off for the RIGHT time or waiting for a friend to do with you. The best time to start is TODAY! and take it slowly. No dramatic changes.
If you were to come to me looking for Nutrition advice, I’d ask you to complete a weeks food diary in advance. I would then guide you to make healthier choices but still working around your favourite foods, you want to still continue to enjoy your food and not feel miserable. I would look at family meals and help you with family food ideas. Healthier choices will benefit the whole family and will lend to a more sustainable changes.
I would also look at your exercise habits and sleep patterns.
So my top tips I can give you are:
- Track your diet for a week. Look at it and see is there anything on there that could be omitted or reduced?
- Monitor your water consumption and aim for 2 litres of water daily
- Now look at your daily sugar consumption. This is everything not just table sugar. Fruit, type of yoghurt, jams, cakes, biscuits, sauces, soft drinks. Reduce, reduce, reduce!!!!!
- Salt content of foods is also something important to watch, as this is added to almost everything, so there’s no need to be adding it to your dinner.
- Homemade meals- Our busy lives can lead to poor meal decisions. Picking up the local Shepard’s pie, pizza etc, is all fine once in a while but making your own food gives you control over the ingredients. Buying leaner cuts of meat, adding more vegetables to the recipe and cutting back on the addition of butter, salt and sugar.
- Eating the rainbow. We should be eating 7 portions of fruit and veg daily. The more colourful the better s you are incorporating more antioxidants and phytonutrients into your diet, which have a positive impact on your health.
- Portion sizes- Are your portion sizes too big, or perhaps they are too small or lacking nutrients to support your daily needs.
- Caffeine consumption- ideally no more that 3 cups per day
- Sleep. Are you getting 8 hrs sleep? if not, why not? Do you like to go to bed late or is it that you can’t sleep. Poor sleep, puts the body under stress and accounts for us making poor choices when it comes to food.
- Don’t make drastic changes, it won’t work longterm.