Becoming healthier doesn’t have to mean overhauling your entire lifestyle. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple changes, like eating more vegetables and upping your exercise a few more times each week. Looking at all the different elements of your lifestyle is imperative when looking to make a change. I suggest the best first place to start is with what you consume.
Here are my top tips on how to kick-start some healthy habits into your lifestyle on a daily basis:
- Out with the junk – Get rid of any temptations from the cupboards and fridge, completely. This will remove any desire to over-indulge and help you stay on track. This doesn’t mean ‘no’ to any treats though, replace with some healthy alternatives like 70% cocoa dark chocolate, or sugar free chocolate.
- Substitute regular ingredients with wholemeal varieties – For example replace white rice, bread, pasta and crackers for the brown varieties.
- Have healthy low glycaemic snacks with you all the time – Snacks are a common place where unhealthy choices are made so be prepared and have them with you at all times Eg raw nuts, bliss balls, carrot sticks or hummus.
- Cook in bulk – If cooking isn’t your passion, or you’re really busy, double the recipes so they do two nights in a row or even put one in the freezer.
- Make a commitment for at least 21 days and stick to it – Engage everyone around you, involve your family and explain why you want to include healthier food choices so everyone is on board and they know what the benefits are. Arrange a special outing if everyone stays focused.
- Explore different types of ingredients – Quinoa, brown rice, tofu, buckwheat and soba noodles are fabulous ingredients to explore with that will add new textures and flavours that you may not have experienced before. Often we can think that healthy food means deprivation, but there are so many amazing ingredients out there that are a taste sensation!
- Add more vegetables to every meal – Add spinach and other greens to your smoothies; make quinoa cakes loaded with vegetables, omelettes and soups are a fantastic opportunity to hide lots of vegetables.
- Make healthier options of your everyday favourites – Source healthier recipes so you don’t have to miss out. Tomato sauce is very high in sugar, replace it with the healthy version below. Mayonnaise can be one of the most hidden calorie laden foods so make your own and have it readily available.
- Make water and herbal teas your drink of choice.
- Reward yourself – It’s all about moderation, the 80/20 rule which is simply, 80 percent of the time you focus on clean, good for you foods and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. So reward yourself for your hard work.
If this is all new to you, making too many changes at once may result in difficulty staying on track, therefore becoming despondent quicker. So just choose 3 or 4 ideas, which resonate with you and stick to them for at least 21 days.