One thing I know for sure when it comes to making improvements to your health or weight loss is that just a few small changes can be enough to get you some great results, often without even really noticing anything is different. So if you're not already doing these, here are my top 10 nutrition changes to make.. RIGHT NOW!
1. Have breakfast what ever you do, don't skimp out on this precious meal. It really can make or break your day. It helps to kick start the metabolic engine and set up great blood sugar level management for the day. It can be as simple as Weetbix, oats and milk or grainy bread and avocado.
2. Don't cut carbs at lunch this is guaranteed to bring with an all-mighty 3.30itis carb monster. The lightest meal of the day should be at the end of the day but lunch should contain fuel to keep you going for the afternoon.
3. Combine your snacks by having just a fruit or just nuts, particularly if you're quite hungry may not hit the spot but combining a small amount of carbohydrate AND protein or fat will be more satisfying and keep you going for longer. Try a grainy cracker + cheese or a mandarin + 10 nuts.
4. Cut out evening munching I'm all for a cup of tea after dinner but having a snack or dessert after dinner is one of the worst times of the day to be eating and lets be honest, it's rarely of good quality (think chocolate, biscuits, ice cream). If you can kick this habit, it'll do you well for life.
5. Alternate animal and plant proteins we know too much animal protein (meat, fish, chicken, eggs) is not good for our health and not to mention, not great for the environment. Plant protein like legumes and lentils on the other hand are excellent for our health. A good little strategy around this is to alternate a plant protein with an animal protein, for example you may have a small steak one night, then a chickpea curry the next.
6. Drink your 6-8 per day water that is! Remember this can also be in the form of herbal tea, cups of tea and sparkling water. Water is a vehicle in the body for eliminating toxins and having too little can cause constipation, headaches, difficulty concentrating and dry mouth.
7. Stick to one healthy fat per meal I'm talking coconut oil, flaxseed, avocado, olive oil, chia seeds, nuts and seed pastes etc etc. Dont get me wrong, these are incredibly nutritious foods but many people tend to overdo it adding lashing to smoothie bowls, porridges, raw desserts and on coconut yoghurts packing in hundreds and hundreds of extra calories making weight management a little tricky.
8. Have at least 4 alcohol-free days per week this may seem like an easy task to some but to others, this is near impossible. These four days however are precious to allow the liver a break from processing alcohol, it limits total alcohol intake and food behaviours that often go along with it and is generally a good habit to get into.
9. Don't leave the house without 2 snacks this was a habit my Mum got us into from a young age and now never is there a time I'm stuck without food backup. If you've got a couple of healthy snacks available it means saying no to cake at work or the biscuit tin in the kitchen a whole lot easier.
10. Don't add salt or sugar adding salt to food drastically increases our sodium intake and adding sugar to coffee and tea or to foods we eat like on cereal is not only bad for our teeth but can contribute to extra unnecessary calories, not to mention a plethora or other potential health problems. This is a matter of taste and can take a little time to change but you will adjust.