Friday, 24 February 2017

Top 10 ways to continue your year healthy and stress free

Written by Fiona Hunter, nutrition expert
1. Commit 
Make a commitment to healthy eating – you only have one body so it’s important to look after it. Healthy eating doing doesn’t have to be expensive, hard work or boring – making small changes to the food you choose and way you eat, like taking a packed lunch to work, can make a huge difference.

2. Remove temptation  
Spring clean your fridge, freezer and kitchen cupboards – if you still have lots of tempting chocolate and biscuits left over after Xmas why not donate them to the local food bank? If you can’t bear to part with them at least hide them away as studies show that when tempting treats are on display where you can see them you eat twice as much as you would if they were hidden away.

3. Get organised 
Restock your kitchen which lots of healthy stuff and ingredients that will help you make a quick and healthy meal or snack at the end of a busy day.

4. Plan ahead 
Eating a healthily is much easier if you plan ahead. Try to take few minutes to sit down at the weekend and write a menu plan for the week ahead. Forward planning will help you become more organised and a little time and energy invested in planning your meals will pay dividends later in the week when your energy levels and good intentions might be flagging.

5. Eat regularly 
Eating little and often - 3 small meals with a couple of healthy snack between – is the best way to keep your blood sugar stable – when your blood sugar levels start to dip you are more likely to make poor food choices and overeat at meals. Snack foods are often high in fat, salt or sugar so choose your snacks wisely.

6. Drink more water 
The fact that we could survive for up to 50 days without food but only a few days without water shows just how vital it is for good health.

7. Don’t deny yourself the foods you enjoy  
If you cut out all the foods you enjoy your diet is bound to fail. Learn how to adapt your favourite meals to make them healthier and allow yourself a treat now and again. If you include the foods you like to eat in your diet – but in moderation and as a treat rather than regular part of your diet – you’re much more likely to stick with your healthy resolutions long term.

8. Get active 
Instead of meeting a friend in a bar this weekend – why not try something active? Why not join a salsa class, go for a bike ride or a long walk in the country?

9. Shop online  
If you haven’t tried shopping online already why not give it a go - it’s quick and easy to do and you’re less likely to be tempted unhealthy treats and snacks. Pile your plate high with veggies – remember 5-a-day is the minimum you should be eating – vegetables are packed vitamins minerals and lots of other healthy stuff like dietary fibre and phytochemicals.

10. Make some time each day to have some fun 
Laughter really is the best medicine - chemicals produced by the body when we’re happy help to strengthen the immune system – do at least one thing each day which makes you happy.

Fiona Hunter, expert nutritionist, says: “The ​ Souper Swap Challenge ​ is an excellent way to kick start your healthy eating regimen. A bowl of soup is a nutritious and filling lunch and has much less fat and calories than many other lunch time options, and with some types of soup contributing up to three portions of vegetables reaching your five a day target should be a doddle. The Souper challenger will also help you save time (no more queuing at the sandwich shop) and money.”

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