Eating a healthy balanced diet, with a variety of different foods, will ensure you get all the essential nutrients and energy you need through the day.
It is important we maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D. Since our main source of vitamin D is sunlight, this advice is especially important for people who are indoors much or all of the time. Take a step outdoors if you can, even in your garden for 20 minutes per day and breathe in the fresh air.
Also, While it's difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone, it can be found in foods such as oily fish and eggs. Some breakfast cereals, margarines and yoghurts are fortified with vitamin D.
Make a plan, feel prepared
For many of us, shopping routines have changed and you may still be experiencing changes in the way you buy or get access to food right now.
Planning meals and snacks and writing a shopping list is a good way to make sure you get everything you need and will also help limit your time at the shops. Making sure you only buy what you need helps avoid food going to waste. Remember you can often freeze leftovers for another meal.
Eating out and takeaway food
If you choose to eat out or order a takeaway, try to avoid overdoing it and make healthier choices where possible. You could go for:
- a lower fat topping on a pizza, such as vegetables
- steamed or plain rice instead of fried rice
- a tomato or vegetable-based sauce, rather than cream-based.
Planning to eat out or have a takeaway in advance can help you make better food choices during the rest of the week.
Eat to feel fuller for longer
Eating breakfast will give you the energy you need for your morning activities and also help avoid unnecessary snacking. Cereals which are high in fibre and low in sugar are a good choice and are quick and easy to prepare. Add fruit to cereal for one of your five a day.
Basing meals around other starchy foods
Such as pasta, rice and potatoes is a good way to keep us feeling fuller for longer. All in moderation, of course.
Eating fruit, vegetables and pulses, such as beans and lentils, is good for your health and is another good way to keep satisfied throughout the day.
Soups can be a quick and easy lunch solution. They can be made with whatever vegetables and pulses you have available and be a good way to use up leftovers. Pulses, including beans and lentils, can also be a good substitute for meat and can be added to soups and stews to make them go a little further.
You may find yourself reaching for the fridge or cupboard to look for snacks more frequently at the moment, especially if you’re feeling bored.
Try having a variety of healthy snacks to hand such as chopped fruits and vegetables, breadsticks, rice cakes and crackers. Fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper if they're in season. If you can’t get your hands on your usual fresh varieties right now, remember tinned or frozen fruit and vegetables are just as good.
Be alcohol aware
Like snacking, you might find that you may be drinking alcohol more often just now, particularly when you feel stressed. Try to be aware of how much you’re drinking and when you do keep within the recommended limits of 14 units per week.
Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day
Aim for at least 6-8 glasses, will help keep your body hydrated. Water, milk and sugar free drinks, including a small amount of tea and coffee all count. Fruit juice and smoothies can be high in sugar so try to limit these to one small glass (around 50ml) each day. Sometimes it’s easy to confuse hunger for thirst. Drinking often and through the day will help prevent this.
Strength training is very important as well as cardio and prevents the loss of muscle mass often associated with weight loss.
Sugary beverages are very high in calories. Your brain doesn’t compensate for the calories in them by making you eat less of other foods. So therefore limit the amount of sugary drinks you have throughout the day, as it can have a huge effect on your weight.
If you have reached a weight loss plateau, you may simply have been extreme dieting for too long. Maybe it’s time to take a break. Relax the restrictions and eat little and often.
Expectations are sometimes unrealistic when it comes to weight loss. Keep in mind that losing weight takes time and it is a long term lifestyle change for weight to be maintained otherwise weight can stuctuate. Everything in moderation is key.
One Month Healthy Habit CALENDAR:
Here are some small and simple daily changes you can make to positively impact your health long term, both physically and mentally.
|DAY 1 30mins plank x4||DAY 2 3mins mindfulness||DAY 3 A random act of kindness||DAY 4 Get up 30mins earlier||DAY 5 Eat 3 extra pieces of fruit and veg|
|DAY 6 No caffeine after 1pm||DAY 7 10mins evening stretch yoga||DAY 8 Drink 2L of water||DAY 9 Set a personal goal||DAY 10 Call a friend or family|
|DAY 11 12mins home workout||DAY 12 30mins brisk walk/jog||DAY 13 x100 stars jumps||DAY 14 Cook a recipe with your family/friends||DAY 15 No screen time one hour before bed|
|DAY 16 10mins morning Yoga||DAY 17 Smile lots and think positive for the day||DAY 18 Take a 20mins walk in nature||DAY 19 Read before sleep||DAY 20 Eat 5 different vegetables|
|DAY 21 3 daily gratitude i.e You’re doing great!||DAY 22 Reduce sugary snacks||DAY 23 12mins home workout||DAY 24 Family quiz or Board games||DAY 25 Move 8,000- 10,000 steps|
|DAY 26 Start the day with a healthy breakfast||DAY 27 Stretch every hour||DAY 28 Eat little and often||DAY 29 Eliminate an hour of chair time||DAY 30 Reflect on this challenge and your new habits J|