Super foods are everywhere. Diet foods are everywhere. How does anyone possibly make any sense out of anything being told in the food and diet industry today?
Eating well isn’t just about cutting out foods that make you fat, tired or unwell. It isn’t all low fat, low sugar or low ‘food’. Counting calories will never sustain a healthy balanced diet longer than a few weeks and faddy diets will NEVER work long term.
I have created 3 simple rules to follow if you really want to get a grip with your yoyo diets and never ending feelings of food failure.
1 – Don’t get caught up
It is very easy to become caught up in the craze of supposed healthy eating these days. Images of super slim (airbrushed to death) super fit girls, colourful plates of meal ideas that you wonder how on earth they got the food to look THAT vibrant and ideals that make you feel so inadequate are EVERYWHERE. Social media has never looked so uncomfortable.
It is worth remembering though that most images of super healthy lifestyles are just that. Images. They are no reflection of real life, and are posted with the intention of drawing you in. To make you FEEL as if the person in the image has the best methods ever for a perfect life. It’s not true. None of us are perfect, flawless or happy with every part of who we are. We need to remember to reflect daily so that we can grow. It’s called life. Weirdly, being happy with what you have and where you are RIGHT NOW is the key to achieving your diet goals. You will have a more positive outlook and will find that making small changes to your thinking every day will help make BIG changes to your healthy way of eating.
2 – Eat proper food
Forget diet food. It is designed purely to make you spend money. The diet industry is rife with advertising campaigns designed to make you feel as if you need their products in order to fix your diet. Eat REAL food. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fish, meat and healthy fats and sugars. Ditch the processed junk. It really isn’t serving you well. NO – not even the diet versions. Especially not the diet versions. Fat content is replaced by processed sugar and salt, which ironically will make you put on more weight.
A proper diet looks like this –
- Plenty of fresh vegetables with each meal. Creating soups and simple salads are a winning idea when you are in a rush.
- Eat proper meat and fish. Nothing out of a box or in a packet/tin. Fresh produce should be eaten up to 3 times a week only, in order for your body to digest it properly with plant food making up a large part of your diet.
- Include fruit in your diet. Ignore the hype about sugar. You should only aim to avoid processed sugars. Fruit is pure health, packed with vitamins and minerals your body needs. Creating a morning smoothie is a perfect way to get your fruit and they taste amazing.
- Eat nuts, seeds and dark chocolate for snacks. Instead of reaching for that junk snack, grab a piece of dark chocolate and some nuts. Better still, melt dark chocolate over mixed nuts and fruit and set in the fridge. The perfect healthy fruit and nut chocolate bar.
3 – Enjoy food
Nobody wants a plate that resembles something a rabbit would eat. What fun is sitting down to a plate of raw lettuce leaves and a carrot? As a nutritionist even I wouldn’t do that. A salad shouldn’t be something stuck on the side of your plate consisting of lettuce, cucumber, tomato and onion. Being on a diet should no longer be something you attempt doing but instead you should learn how to balance the food you eat and eat better food. Food should be enjoyed and tasty. Vegetables are amazing when cooked with herbs, spices and sauces and even better when oven roasted with olive oil and black pepper. NEVER eat vegetables that are bland. The idea is to enjoy your food not be repulsed by it.
You CAN enjoy a piece of cake. You CAN enjoy a glass of wine. Fat is NOT the enemy. The problem comes when you eat too many treat foods, every day. Eating so called unhealthy foods are not that unhealthy when you only eat them once or twice a week. Just don’t eat a pizza once a week, a curry once and week, a burger once a week – you get the idea. Including lots of unhealthy foods in your weekly diet is NOT a good idea. Pick one food treat per week only.
Comfort eating has become ‘the norm’ and an acceptable thing if you fall off your diet, have a bad day or just feel rubbish. Comfort eating should come in the form of foods that nourish and heal your body.
To me comfort food is a huge glass of mixed berry and banana smoothie made with soy milk – but I’m just WEIRD.
It’s all about balance. Eating a whole lot of different foods, mixed together to create an amazing diet. For the rest of your life.