We all know that eating a healthy, balanced diet is key to maintaining good health. It can help you feel at your best and can aid you on your path to losing weight. Finding it hard to get started? Follow our eight top tips to start you on your journey.
Base Meals on Starchy Foods
We recommend that starchy foods should make up around one third of all the food that you eat. Starchy foods include: potatoes, pasta, rice and bread. This may come as a surprise to you but if you choose wholegrain versions of these starchy favourites, they can make you feel fuller for longer and they contain more fibre. Try to include at least one starchy food in each main meal.
Fruit and Veg Aplenty
We all know the rule: eat five portions of fruit and veg a day. It is actually easier than you may think. A glass of 100% unsweetened fruit juice can count as one of your five and vegetables cooked in dishes also counts. Having cereal for breakfast? Why not chop a banana in too or swap your usual mid-morning swap for a bag of dried fruit.
Eat More Fish
Fish is an excellent source of protein and also contains many of the vitamins and minerals required for a healthy, balanced diet. Aim to eat at least one or two portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oily fish. Choose fresh, frozen or canned but don’t forget that canned fish can be high in salt. Be as varied as possible.
Cut Down on Sat Fats
Yes, we all need fat in our diet but it is important to pay attention to the types of fats that we are putting into our bodies. Many of you will have noticed that there are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fat can increase cholesterol which in turn can increase your chances of developing heart disease. Saturated fat culprits include cheese, cake and sausages. Try to cut down and instead choose foods with unsaturated fats like oily fish and avocado.
Consume Less Salt
You don’t have to be adding salt to your diet to be eating too much of it. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy. Eating too much salt can result in a high blood pressure so use food labels wisely to measure your salt intake. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g is too much. Adults should not eat more than 6g of salt a day.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to maintaining a healthy weight but it is important to partake in physical exercise too. Adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Try to work brisk walks into your everyday routine or perhaps try to cycle to work. Can you get off the bus one stop early or can you walk to the shops? Small changes to routine can make all the difference.
Don’t Ever Get Thirsty
We recommend that you drink around 1.2 litres of fluid every single day. That way, you will stop from being dehydrated. Any non-alcoholic drinks count towards your minimum intake but you should stay away from drinks which are high in added sugars as they can be bad for your teeth as well as your diet.
Many people think that skipping breakfast is a good way to cut out calorie intake in a bid to lose weight. In fact, studies show that eating breakfast can help people to control their weight. A healthy breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and can provide some of the vitamins and minerals that you require for good health but stay away from sugary cereals.
Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver CC