5 TIPS FOR A HEALTHY DIET
1) EAT FRESH, WHOLE FOODS
You want to try and stick to fresh, whole foods, what do I mean by that? foods that haven't been modified - chicken, salmon, broccoli, carrots, orange, turkey breast, cod, sweet potato and so on. By avoiding processed/modified foods, you'll be cutting out a lot of fat, sugar, salt and food additives. I strongly believe that our bodies are designed to deal perfectly fine with natural foods, whereas they aren't designed to deal with all of the 'garbage' some supermarkets add to their products. So, my advice is to stick to natural, fresh, whole foods if you want to be fit and healthy.
2) INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE
Drinking adequate water is something that many people do not do. What are the benefits of water? It can help with weight loss - replacing high calorie sugary drinks for water (or slightly flavoured water) can reduce calorie intake therefore leading to fat loss. It can help to keep your skin healthy - there is plenty of water in your skin, so by keeping your water intake topped up, it can help to flush our toxins and keep it hydrated. Water can help your kidneys - staying hydrated can ensure there is adequate fluid in your body to flush away toxins and to keep everything 'flowing'. Being dehydrated can affect the performance of your kidneys. Drinking plenty of water can also aid digestion and bowl movements. Water is often used as a 'tool' to help feeling full. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can actually help prevent you feeling hungry. Quite often, you're actually thirsty rather than hungry.
3) PORTION CONTROL
Even if you eat healthy foods, it is still possible to put on body fat. Portion sizes have sky rocketed in the last 10 or so years, and they are especially bad when you eat out. I’m still gobsmacked at the amount of food I receive in some restaurants. You would think that it’s way too much for people to eat, but people think “I’ve paid for it, I must eat all of this food”. Not all restaurants give big portions, but your cheaper/common restaurant chains tend to be the main culprits. You can help this by choosing a better restaurant, or by ordering a few items to share, rather than buying massive portions individually. You can always fill up your plate with more vegetables, as they will fill you up and are lower in calories.
4) MINIMISE YOUR SUGAR CONSUMPTION
In short, sugar has very little benefit, and it's something that you can actually become 'addicted' to. Sugar is fast acting energy, and your body only needs a certain amount of it, any excess will be stored as fat. Some foods that are high in sugar, tend to be high in fat too - a double dose of bad! Small amounts of sugar here and there is fine, and sugar post-workout is actually good, but too much and your body will simply store it as fat, which is not what you want.
5) EAT PROTEIN
Protein is not just beneficial to building bigger and stronger muscles, it also has health benefits. There are a range of foods that contain a good amount of protein - the most common sources are chicken, fish, beef, turkey and eggs. Protein fills you up, it's as simple as that. Consuming more protein will help you to stay feeling full, so you will have less of an urge to snack on unhealthy foods between meals. It's quite easy to eat a bowl of pasta, but try eating a plate of chicken. Research has shown that a higher protein consumption has been linked with increased bone density too.