Healthy Eating Tips For 2019

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If getting fit and eating healthier were top of your list of new years resolutions then fair play to you. You’re in good company too because they were right at the top of mine aswell. “I’m going to start eating right this year” is one of those well intentioned, but too hard to keep new years goals that’s often easier said than done. So if you really do want to eat healthier this year then here are some bite-sized healthy eating tips to help you turn resolution into reality.

 

As with most things in life, a one-thing-at-a time approach is a great way to tackle your new years goals – or any goal for that matter. When you set one big goal, it can be hard to know where to start or how to approach it which takes away the momentum you had when you set it. Setting smaller goals and hitting them as you go will get you where you want to be while delivering the feel good factor that comes with making progress. Read on for some smart and easy ways that will make your journey to healthier eating a little easier to navigate.

 

Cut Down On Sugar

 

Easy to say, not so easy to do. Reducing your sugar intake won’t happen overnight, but once you start to cut back on it, you’ll start to see that you don’t need as much of it as you thought. It doesn’t have to be too drastic either, at least not at first. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add to tea and coffee by half and wean down from there. Cut down on the fizzy drinks too. Water is best, but if you want something sweet to drink try orange or apple juice. Use fruit instead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, try fresh fruit (bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots). Again, think baby steps rather than cold turkey if you want to stay on track but don’t just make a start and stay there either.

 

Save Alcohol For Saturday Night

 

Booze is no friend to the new healthier you. Not only does the demon drink add empty calories to your diet, but it can also lead to poor eating habits and a day or days of inactivity. So save the booze for weekend shenanigans (Sunday is a rest/cheat day anyway) and skip out on alcohol during the week.

 

Try Eating Mindfully

 

I touched on this in my last article, when I suggested mindfulness as a way to get you into a better head space for the year ahead. For those who might not have seen it, mindfulness is a form of meditation in which you focus on external phenomena – usually your breathing but you can also use it for walks, working out, sitting in your office , most things really – including eating. Most people who lead a very hectic lifestyle tend to rush through their meals and eat in front of the TV. Eating mindfully means taking the time to taste and appreciate everything that you put in your mouth. Food can and should be a wonderful sensory experience so take the time to experience it. There’s also research that suggests that eating mindfully can assist with portion control, weight management and digestion, which are all important factors for your long term health.

 

Incorporate Probiotics And Prebiotics Into Your Diet

 

Probiotics are active cultures that help to repopulate intestinal bacteria and balance gut flora. Using a daily probiotic will help to boost immunity and promotes overall good health. The best sources are yogurt, kefir, kimchi, miso, tempeh and sauerkraut. Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food components that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your guy. Look to choices like bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus and soybeans. Or you can just buy both in supplement form in your local health shop and do because having a combination of probiotics and prebiotics in your diet improves the health of your gut which is a very powerful step towards improving your overall health.

 

Meal Prep

 

A weekly meal plan will help you to eat healthier, control your portions, save you time and save you money. If it sounds too much like hard work there are some lovely companies that will do it for you. For the last 6 months I’ve been using Clean Cut Meals who deliver a weeks worth of healthy meals to my door every Monday morning, saving me time on cooking and on grocery shopping. I’ve also used a local service called Country Munch who are based on the Ballysimon Road. I really love this service because I regularly have to work late and would always use the excuse that the only places open was the chipper. Now I know that there’s a healthy meal at home in the fridge no matter how late I get home.

 

Eat Out Less Often

 

Over Christmas people tend to eat out at restaurants a lot more or eat at other peoples homes. When you’re cooking for yourself you have a lot less control over what you’re eating and all the occasions over the festive period can lead to consuming extra fat, sugar and salt. So make January the eat-in month and focus on serving lighter, healthier fare like roasted veg and soups.

 

Keep Fewer Sweets In The House

 

Resolving to give up eating sweets completely takes a lot of willpower and can give rise to feelings of deprivation. A more realistic goal would be to create an environment where you can consume fewer sweets without having to rely solely on your own self-discipline. Studies show that when sweets are within arm’s reach we are much more likely to consume them than if we actually have to go out and buy them.

Patrick McLoughney