We live in a fast-paced busy world, and it’s all too easy to indulge in sugary snacks like chocolate in a bid to get a quick energy boost during the day. Then we get home after a busy day, and it's easier to cuddle up in front of Netflix with a packet of crisps than head out for a walk, run or cycle. And this is where - in the short term - the right thing feels like an effort; longer term, you'll know you made the right choice!
Bad Habits Can Be Changed
The good news is that these are just bad habits that can be changed with careful eating habits and a focus on mindfulness. Coupled with exercise, you’ll be able to maintain or continue to lose weight, feel fitter and have more energy throughout the day. When preparing your meals, it's good practice to be mindful of the size of portions and what food groups are on your plate. The trick is to include the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables each day.
Carbohydrates Are Not Bad
There are plenty of articles about low carbohydrate diets, the simple relaity is that they are rarely good for you - carbohydrates are essential fuel for your body. With not enough carbohydrates in your menus, you'll start to feel tired and fatigued.
That said, if you're at risk of developing Type II diabetes, it's recommended that you should restirct carbs to one of your three meals each day. Check with your GP or medical consultant for specific and personal advice.
Read more about good carbs here.
Portion sizes matter
As a rule of thumb, around a third of your plate should be vegetables (or fruit) at best you should be aiming for 5 portions per day on either plan.
No more than a third of your plate should contain starchy food to provide you with energy. Choose higher fibre and wholegrain carbohydrates such as wholewheat pasta, brown rice and leave the skin on potatoes.
The remaining third makes up the rest - pulses, eggs, fish, poultry or meat - choosing lean cuts of meat and reducing or eliminating processed meats, will ensure you've a good balance and all the nutrients you need.
And that's all you need to know as a starting point for your healthier habits... changes you'll value for life!