“How are you?
It’s not an idle inquiry. It’s a serious question that requires serious consideration. Do you bound out of bed each morning ready to start the day? Or is your ascent a little less energetic… perhaps more like an old pit-putting tractor well past its prime? And what about your diet? Do you eat 6 serves of vegies, 3 serves of grain, 1–2 serves of meat or fish and all your fruits and dairy in a day? No this isn’t an inquisition… In fact I’m on your side. With all the conflicting information out there, as well as the obesity rate reportedly overtaking smoking and heart disease as the most prevalent public health threat to Australians, it’s no wonder we’re all struggling for an answer…
But the question is what do we do? Whose advice do we follow? With personal training groups and 24 hour gyms seemingly popping up around us every second, you’d think we would all be fit as a fiddle and as healthy as can be. Similarly, every week there appears to be a new diet that promises to solve all our weight problems. A few years ago it was the Atkins Diet, which told us that we would lose weight rapidly if we restricted our intake of carbohydrates. Then it was the Zone Diet which told us to maintain a diet that was 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates. One of the most bizarre diets out there is the Baby Food diet which claims that the key to losing weight is to eat 14 portions of baby food a day which some celebrities apparently swear by in order to get in to shape for movie roles.
Through the wave of all these fads, fasts and cleanses however, there has been niggling voice in the back of our consciousness. This voice has repeated the same thing over and over but yet for some reason, we all swat it away like an annoying fly that just won’t buzz of!
This voice keeps saying: “The key to weight loss is moderation NOT deprivation”
Life is meant to be enjoyed, however, we cannot enjoy it if we are constantly starving ourselves and depriving ourselves of the fuel we need to ignite our senses! On the other hand, what is the point of indulging in a gluttonous binge only to scold yourself and make a steadfast decision to deprive yourself the next day.
Why don’t we get back to eating for health and not for weight loss and exercising to become stronger, fitter and more balanced? The more we focus on health and wellbeing rather than weight loss the more chance we have for a total transformation.
Healthy Eating Tips
To get back to basics here are some healthy eating tips nutritionists and health experts say we should be doing to give us more energy and make us feel better:
- Keep it simple – instead of focusing on counting calories and carbs choose foods by how bright and fresh they are. Focus on keeping variety in your diet. Brightly coloured foods such as carrots, apples, tomato and capsicum added to each meal will give you a great source of nutrients and help boost your immune system!
- Eat when you’re hungry. Some trainers say, we should eat every 2-3 hours however, if that doesn’t work for you, simply eating 3 balanced healthy meals a day is better than trying to force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry.
- Don’t think of any foods as ‘forbidden’. It’s a fact: The more you are told you can’t have something, the more you want it. Instead think of foods with high sugar and salt content such as confectionery, as occasional treats. When you do eat them cut down the portion and savour each mouthful. You’ll appreciate it much more.
- Smaller portion sizes. Learn to listen to your body. Usually we don’t realise we’re full until at least 20 minutes after our meal. So cut your portion size and eat each meal with a glass of water. That way you can learn to feel satisfied instead of ‘stuffed’ after you eat. It will also make meal time more enjoyable!
- Small changes.Leading a healthier life isn’t about a big dramatic change all at once. It’s about small changes that we can turn into a lifestyle. For example something as simple as a Low-Fat Pan or Slimmer’s Fry Pan is a small change that can have a significant effect on your health. Items such as these make sure your meals are rich and flavourful but drain away the unhealthy fat.
Click here for part II all about exercise!