Eating for Health – My top 10 tips

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Category: Health, Positivity

When you eat for health, weight loss is an easy to achieve side effect

1. Nourish
OK, so here are 3 words that are most important when planning your food for the day or week.

Nourish. Nourish. Nourish.

By concentrating on nourishing your body, and not allowing any health damaging food to pass your lips, by eating the appropriate portion size for you and getting moving, you can and will lose your unwanted weight.

There’s a lot of misleading information out there, from quick-fix promises to unhealthy ‘diet’ plans. But actually losing weight is simple.

I don’t believe in ‘fad diets’, I believe in simply Being The Best You through food, thought and movement.

2. Cut out all processed food and take-away food including ‘diet’ fizzy drinks. It’s impossible to tune into what your body needs when it is filled with chemicals. Eat as naturally as possible as often as possible

3. Tummy Hungry or Brain Hungry?

It’s important that you get your brain in gear and start to listen to your body.

Are you ‘tummy’ hungry or ‘brain’ hungry?

If you feel hungry but have had a large meal an hour or so ago, you know you are not ‘tummy’ hungry; meaning your stomach isn’t empty and asking for food.

In this situation, it is your brain telling you to eat because your blood sugar levels have probably dropped. So instead of eating too much food, just eat a small palmful of nuts and raisins. This will be enough to naturally lift your blood sugar levels and keep you going until you are properly ‘tummy’ hungry.

4. Need or Greed?

It’s also a good idea to ask yourself, is it ‘need?’ or ‘greed’ when you are about to eat. If you haven’t eaten for 3 or 4 hours and feel hungry, you know this is a ‘need’ meal; therefore your meal needs to be nutritious to fuel your body.

If however, you have had breakfast and then meet friends for coffee and cake one hour later, this isn’t a ‘need’ meal – it is a ‘greed’ meal. When you are in the process of getting healthy and losing weight, try not to put yourself in the position of eating a ‘greed’ meal – or at least wait for a special occasion to enjoy a special and worthwhile treat.

5. Get prepared to meal match

Meal matching is quite simply matching the food you eat to your activities. For example, if I am sitting at my desk for most of the week, writing, I don’t need lots of spare energy, but I do still need lots of good nutrients to keep my brain sharp.

A full 8 hours writing a day is not physically draining but it sure makes my brain hurt! In this case I would go for a light breakfast and lunch, consisting of fish or chicken with a delicious salad (no soggy lettuce leaves in sight I might add!) or

some roasted vegetables. This would nourish me but not make me sleepy during the afternoon when I’ve got my editor breathing down my neck wanting finished work. I would then probably only need another light meal at around 6pm, as sitting all day at a desk doesn’t use many calories.

If on the other hand, I am having a busy week, rushing around from one event to another, needing lots more energy to keep me active throughout the day, I would go for a slightly heavier breakfast that would keep me going longer, such as porridge and fruit – I would make sure I had plenty of nuts, raisins and fruit in my bag for on-the-go snacks and I would try and make time for a more substantial lunch. This is especially important if I thought I wouldn’t get a decent evening meal at a decent time.

6. Intermittent Fasting

We can easily have a 12 hour overnight fast, which is a healthy way to live;  Have breakfast at 7.30am and don’t eat dinner any later than 7.30pm the night before. Your body needs at least a 12 hour break without food.

But it is now proven by clever scientists (and my body!) that stretching that 12 hour fast to as long as 16 hours has many, many benefits, not least sustainable weightloss. By allowing your body to completely rest and reset for 16 hours a day, and by eating within an 8 hour eating window, your insulin levels become stable and you use the food that you do eat much more efficiently rather than storing it as fat.

INTERMITTENT FASTING WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

7. No Excuses

I’ve heard them all. ‘I can’t afford to buy healthy food’. ‘I don’t have time to cook’. ‘I haven’t the time to exercise’. The fact is, being overweight causes health problems that can lead to an early death. By then it will be too late for excuses! Make the changes now so that you can enjoy a full and healthy life. I only survived my three heart attacks at the age of 36 because I was fit and well before. If I had been overweight I would have died.

8. Portion control – very important information

We are all different shapes and sizes. It would be foolish for me to give a 6ft rugby player the same diet plan and a 4ft ballerina! This is why you need to gauge your portion size. My rule is that when losing weight, the protein and carbohydrate in any meal needs to be no larger on the plate that the size of your closed palm. Your palm size relates directly to your stomach size.

We have all lost sight of what is a normal portion these days – the fact is we are becoming an obese nation because we simply eat too much and move too little. So from now on – YOUR portion size has to be the size of YOUR closed hand…simply hover your hand over your plate of food and you will quickly get the measure of how much you are over-eating. The only food that is allowed outside of your closed palm is vegetables or fruit.

By eating 3 palm-sized meals a day, using my recipes with fresh and unprocessed ingredients, cutting out all chemicals, fizzy drinks and alcohol, taking 3 small snacks a day and drinking 8 glasses of water – YOU can safely and sustainably lose your excess weight and keep it off forever!

9. If it has no health benefit – don’t eat it!

10. If you fall off the wagon on a celebratory meal that is meant to feed your souls, don’t waste any time or energy on guilt. It is what it is – its what life is all about, and just be focussed again the next day. (The Sally Bee Rule: You don’t absorb the calories for a special meal with family & friends that feeds your soul!)