Even beyond the season of new year’s resolutions, many of us are looking at 2018 with a goal of improving body and mind. While you might have already seen my advice on getting active, it’s just as important to make sure you’re eating well. So where to begin?
Be generous with portions
While there’s plenty to be said for the ‘grazing’ style of eating little and often, sometimes it does more harm than good, especially if it’s crisps and chocolate that you’re grazing on in-between tiny meals. Make sure you’re in the know about the smaller portions myths that sometimes go around.
The golden rule seems to be that limiting portion sizes should only actually apply to sweet treats or the junk food you might tuck into on cheat days. As far as healthy mealtimes go, just eat until you are full. It’s more energising to stock up on the healthy home-cooked meals three times a day than to reach for processed nibbles because you haven’t eaten enough.
Respect the plant proteins
Whatever your dietary habits, it’s safe to say that society’s recent fascination with proteins has taken off. And while there are more supplements, powders and bars to consider than you can count, the natural world has plenty to offer thanks to plant proteins.
These aren’t always as obscure as you might think, either. While soy beans are a vegan mainstay, top advice often also promotes peas, pumpkin seeds and almonds, which are all simple enough to get hold of and, perhaps more importantly, pretty tasty. Mix almonds and yoghurt for a snack that’s filling and healthy all at once.
Don’t make it about punishing yourself
A really interesting piece in the Chicago Tribune suggests that dieting can do more harm than good. One of the best bits of advice shared is to get back into the habit of intuitive eating. It’s explained that, over the course of our lives, we’re conditioned to clear our plates and eat set meals at certain times of the day. Intuitive eating is closer to what very young children or animals in nature do, eating when hungry and obeying the urges that come up. By eating when hungry, you’re giving your body what it needs.
Make your favourites count
Similar to the above, it’s not about beating yourself up to eat healthy. If you’ve got a particular favourite meal, by all means enjoy it. Just make sure you get some transparent insight into the nutritional value of what you’re eating.
Take the humble roast dinner as one example. Brands are doing their bit to not only make what they produce healthier, but also better communicate what their meals contain. You’ll find that much more easily in leading brands than a supermarket’s own brand, so the likes of McCain Season and Savour Roasts feature an at-a-glance overview of what goes into their goose fat roasts. That makes those indulgences much more fulfilling, because you know what’s gone where.
Less sugar, more multicultural meals
Even after its overview of how much sugar gets snuck into our favourite foods, That Sugar Film keeps a blog that’s full of expert advice. And while minimising processed sugars is a good idea, advice from nutritionist Jennifer Peters suggests that even our modern fondness for delivered meals isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
That’s because interest in world cuisine is growing, and that means cultures with naturally wholesome meals, like Morocco, Korea and the Mediterranean, are entering our diets quite naturally. In other words, broaden your horizons and you’ll likely find a fair few new favourite recipes that are good for you.
There are lots more ideas to share and talk about, and how best to approach healthy eating in 2018 is always a lively discussion. What advice would you pass along?
*collaborative postThis post may contain PR samples that have been sent to me for consideration for review however all my opinions will be my own. The links in the post my be affiliate links which will earn a small amount of commission should you shop my recommendations.