These are my top ten tips for battling the bulge, tricks, tips and techniques for ensuring healthy nutrition.
1 Never diet!
Why? Because diets don't work. They make you feel like you are denying yourself the things you like. They are designed for a finite period of time rather than a change of lifestyle and they are generally so ridiculously hard you cannot follow them alone and definitely not maintain them long term.
Why? Fail to plan and you plan to fail! Make sure you are ready for the day, make sure you have enough time to eat a good breakfast and make time to prepare healthy snacks.
3 Don't let yourself get too hungry!
Why? Because that's when your brain runs out of fuel and when your brain runs out of fuel, you can't think straight and you panic and you reach for all the unhealthy stuff.
4 Don't have unhealthy stuff in your house!
Why? Because you will eat it. Don't make excuses - why are you nourishing yourself with healthy food but allowing your kids to still snack regualrly on crsips, biscuits, cakes and chocolate bars? Get rid of it!
5 Think more about food, not less!
Why? Because the more consciously you plan, prepare and eat food, the more you will notice your triggers for unhealthy choices but more importantly, you will see what works for you! The less you think about food, the more you rely on ready made meals and snacks that are packed full of trans fats, sugar and salt.
6 Cut sugar!
Why? Because it is addictive. It releases the same feel-good chemicals in your brain as cocaine! It is highly calorific with zero nutritional content and it makes us fat! It is also hidden in so many things you wouldn't think of - most pre-prepared food contains it, cooked chicken breasts, salad dressings, bottled peppers etc.
7 Cut flour!
Why? Because it is mixed with all the stuff that makes us fat. Generally flour is combined with sugar and trans fats. Trans fats have been artificially made solid at room temperature and they contribute to atherosclerosis (furring up of your arteries) heart disease and high blood pressure as well as weight gain. If you cut wheat, you may also experience loads of other health benefits, like no more achey joints, like massively reduced indegestion, like less bloating and stomach aches.
8 Do not cut fat!
Why? Because if you have cut flour then you have cut all the bad fat from your diet What's left is all good. IT WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT! I know this goes against most of what we have all been told but do the research! Sugar makes you fat, not fat. Full fat Greek yoghurt fills you up so you don't feel the need to reach for biscuits after. The fat on your bacon is what makes it fun to eat! An increase in obesity goes hand in hand with a rise in sugar consumption and also a rise in consumption of LOW FAT products. They are the work of the devil, keep away from them!
9 Don't have food on display!
Why? Because if you can see it, you are more likely to want to eat it. Put naughty snacks (if you insist on having them in your house) in the highest cupboard, that is opened the least, in opaque containers. Conversely, perhaps keeping a bowl of carrots on show will encourage you into better habits!
10 Don't deny yourself!
Why? Because it will make you stubborn. If someone is having cake, have a piece but refer back to number 5. Be aware of what you are doing. Have less than you normally would. Take a small slice and leave some. After all, you only really want to see what it tastes like. You don't need the whole thing! If you are desperate for a bit of pizza, have a slice. Just be aware of what you are doing and don't make it a habit. That way, you make your changes sustainable and liveable with. That's the secret to healthy eating without dieting!
Eating the right diet can be a difficult challenge and sometimes asking the advice of dietician to put a healthy eating plan together can be useful.