If January 1st means “time to go on a new year diet”, then read this…

Weight loss advice

If you are one of those people who look forward to the New Year with dread because that’s the time you really feel you should go on a new year diet, then make the decision to change things this year!

You may think that the LAST thing you want to do is to consider what you might be doing in January because, let’s face it, it’s a fairly bleak time of year. The weather is cold, Christmas and the holiday festivities are over and there’s nothing really to look forward to until Spring!

And yet, that’s the time a lot of us rush to Amazon to buy the latest diet book or renew our lapsed (again!) gym membership.

I have spoken many times about the flawed concept of “going on a diet” and also the difficulty of any sort of imposed eating regime in the New Year (for the reasons above)…so this year make the decision to do things differently.

Here’s how to do that. 

Getting fitter, healthier and achieving your “ideal” weight is all about your eating and activity lifestyle, it’s not about religiously calorie counting or fasting. It’s about changing your habits and routines in small and easy steps and incorporating new ones into your daily life.

Many people immediately worry when any sort of lifestyle change is proposed but these will only be minor adjustments done on a daily basis and then incorporated for the long term…that’s the way they add up to make a BIG difference.

And the good news is that you’ve got about three months left in the year and that’s the right time you’ll need to set this plan in motion.

I’ve written lots of articles about exactly how to go about this but you should look at Follow these simple eating rules for long term weight control and Need help losing weight? Here’s 10 great pieces of advice…. to start.

You’ll see that making small adjustments NOW will have a great long term effect and you’ll get to January 1st 2015 with a totally different outlook…and something to really look forward to!

Good luck!

William

You may find it easier to follow a structured plan like New In 90…it will tell you exactly what to do on each day for the next 90 days…simple!

Great tips to BOOST motivation and REDUCE temptation…

Don't give up, Dont give in.

If you are trying to get a bit slimmer, fitter and healthier, the hardest thing, bar NONE is stay motivated enough to overcome temptation. You can have all the diet books in the world at your fingertips but when that chocolate biscuit or treacle sponge craving comes knocking, many of us find it impossible to resist.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just a one-off slip, but all so often it signals the start of a return to old habits and the imminent end to any sort of dieting effort.

Does this sound familiar?

Well, one of my more regular readers, Sue from Basingstoke, has sent us HER tips to overcome these “difficult” times and to keep on the road to the kind of healthy lifestyle most of us are looking for in the long term. See what you think and send me any tips that have worked for you.

When it comes to yo-yo dieting, I am one of the very worst! I’ve tried them all over the last 10 or so years and have always “given in” to some sort of temptation or other…often within a few days of starting! It’s been hopeless.

However, doing New In 90 has made me change my whole approach and my new philosophy seems to be working! I have lost some weight, but more important, my attitude is changing…and I can see how a long term approach will not only get me fitter, but also make my weight adjust to what I consider to be “normal”. Once I realised this, all the pressure that most diets pile on you, disappeared and more motivation kicked in.

So here’s some tips that I’ve found useful…maybe they will for you as well!

On motivation:

You got to really WANT to change in order to change. If you are doing it on a whim or just “giving it a go”, then you probably won’t change anything.

If you have decided you DO want to change, then decide to START. Once you start, take each day as it comes and give yourself a big pat on the back when you go to bed. The first day is hard, but then the more you change, the more motivated you’ll become.

Think long term…think “this is for life”. If you do that, the “instant” results are not so important.

Take small steps…don’t immediately rush into marathons or starvation diets. Do things that you will be able to do rather than set yourself up for failure.

Get the support of those around you. It took a while to get my two boys and husband on board but once they saw the difference in me, they were really good…in fact they now help me!

Talk to yourself! Keep saying how good you are being and how you are going to feel in a few months, in a year, in five years. You are your own coach!

On temptation

Get rid of it! Stop buying treats, snacks and fizzy drinks. If you don’t have them in the house, then you can’t eat them. This is especially important in the first few weeks. Clear the cupboards out and throw away all those sugary temptations!

If you have a craving for something…don’t dwell on it and don’t try and ignore it. The first thing I do is to drink a glass of water…and that normally puts the genie back in his box. If that doesn’t work, get up and do something…anything (I find a quick walk is best) at all. Jump up and down and shout at yourself if that works!

Talk to yourself (again)! If you feel yourself giving in to temptation, give yourself a good talking to…tell yourself what you want to achieve and how you don’t really need what is tempting you. 

Revel in resisting! Once the urge passes, congratulate yourself, particularly early on. The more you do it, the easier it will become…promise!

Give into it sometimes! Who wants to never have a treat ever again? Not me for sure, so I do have occasional treats but beware…make sure your treat is small and savour every mouthful.

Hope someone finds this useful!

Thanks Sue,

William

Follow these simple eating rules for long term weight control

Healthy foods

I am always saying that “losing weight” should never be the number one objective of any health and fitness kick…it should be one of the welcome results of such a campaign, along with the many other benefits that a healthy lifestyle can bring.

People who just want to lose weight in isolation and try to do so by going on a calorie counting or abstinence regime are probably not going to succeed in the long term and will most likely get pretty depressed at the same time. It’s much better to get to grips with the reasons why you are unfit and overweight and end up with a more effective long term solution.

So saying, there’s no point at all changing all your habits and routines and getting more active if at the end of the day you’re still eating lots of all the wrong types of foods and drinks!

So it makes sense to follow some very simple eating rules – you’ll have heard them all before but if they are followed in conjunction with other lifestyle changes, then you’ll dramatically increase your chance of long term success!

1. Go for brown, not white: Brown/wholewheat bread, pasta, rice, flour and cereal. If something is white, then it means it’s been processed and most of the goodness will have been stripped out. And remember to limit the amounts you have…just because it IS brown does NOT mean you can eat unlimited quantities!

2.  Eat breakfast – go for eggs, or yoghurt with some fruit and nuts. Cereals and porridge are fine if you have it unrefined (eg weetabix or shredded wheat) and have it with a small amount of skimmed milk and/or natural yoghurt. If you are in a hurry, grab a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit as you rush out of the house.

Avoid sweet or processed foods such as white toast loaded with butter and jam, sugary cereals and large glasses of fruit juice.

Some experts say that breakfast is not important and if you are someone who just can’t face food first thing then that’s fine, as long as the rest of your eating “day” is sensible. However, the trap comes mid morning when the tummy rumbles and a cappuccino and full fat muffin beckons!

3. Stop snacking! Eat three balanced meals containing the right things in the right quantities. If you must have something in between, then a try a glass of water, handful of nuts, a natural yoghurt, a piece of fruit or a raw vegetable.

OK, but what’s life without the occasional chocolate biscuit, packet of crisps or ice cream? The answer is to keep it just that…occasional. If you snack on high sugar/fat items throughout the day then it’s time to change!

4. Avoid processed foods. That pretty means any food that’s had something done to it before you buy it. Occasional ready meals or pizzas are fine but only really once or twice a month.

5. Skip puddings. If you think the vast majority of puddings are a) sugary and b) normally eaten when you are probably full, then you’ll know why this is a wise move! If you are desperate have a small piece of dark chocolate instead and eat it VERY slowly.

6.  Limit your helpings and STOP eating as soon as you feel a bit full. Nearly everyone puts too much food on their plates and then goes on eating after they feel full. Just don’t!

7. Eat more chicken and fish. Limit red meat to once or twice a month.

8. Learn how to steam and stir fry.  A wok and a steamer are invaluable in the kitchen…they make cooking quicker, healthier and the food will always taste nicer.

9. When you shop make sure you stock up on the “healthy” stuff and avoid the “bad” stuff. If you come home from work and the only thing in the cupboard is a ready meal, then that’s what you’ll have. Come home to some chicken and veg, then you can cook up a tasty stir fry in the same amount of time as a ready meal in the microwave.

10. Eat sensibly but never “ban” anything, particularly your favourite treat or snack. If you get into the habit of sensible eating, then having an Indian takeaway or an ice cream blowout every now and again is fine!

You can find out more about sensible eating on the very useful New In 90 Healthy Food List or The Healthy Eating Plate and Harvard’s great Healthy Eating Pyramid.

William

“I want to lose some weight and get fitter BUT…”

I want to get fitter and healthier

That’s a big word isn’t it?

But…

It normally comes before an an excuse, or reason, why we can’t do something…in this case lose some weight and get a bit fitter.

Whilst it’s true that some people just don’t care if they are inactive and overweight (and that’s totally up to them), the majority of people in this position find it incredibly hard to start the process of change because of the difficulty in overcoming genuine barriers, whether they be practical (lifestyle, social, personal) or mental (beliefs, habits, emotional). If you can’t overcome them, then it’s very hard to progress – even if you really WANT to change.

If you are one of those people, then the key thing is to first identify what the barriers are…to find out what comes after the “but”. It may be a number of reasons, or just one big one, and it helps to really clarify exactly what it is/they are rather than just vague thoughts or ideas…write them down if necessary and try and divide them in “practical” or “mindset”.

Overcoming practical and emotional issues require different techniques, so deal with the practical ones by coming up with “doable” solutions. This will probably involve small lifestyle changes for yourself and probably those immediately around you but you (and they) have to accept this if you want to move forward.

Dealing with mental or “mindset” barriers is much more personal to you and may involve habits and beliefs that have been with you for a long time. The good news is that it IS possible to change negative thoughts and beliefs by altering the words you say to yourself in response to a specific situation or trigger. Find out exactly how to do this by reading New In 90’s Changing Limiting Beliefs.

Getting fitter and healthier is never easy at the best of times…and for most people it’s hard to do. By removing as many obstacles in your way, you will have much more chance of achieving your objectives. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to start a health kick if all the barriers are still in place…

Good luck

William

Today is the day to start a healthier lifestyle…

Today is the day with New In 90
If you are one of those people who feel they should be leading a healthier lifestyle by losing a bit of weight and getting fitter, then one of the hardest things to do is actually START the process!

Why is that?

Well, any life change, whether it be a new job, moving house or just adjusting to any new circumstances can be difficult. People generally are creatures of habit so starting anything different, or altering old habits and routines, can be challenging.

And if you add to this the general perception that “getting healthy” implies strict diets and/or hot and sweaty gym sessions, then you can see why people find it so hard to get on a fitness kick!

The truth is, of course, that the best way to get healthier and fitter (and the best way to lose weight for the long term) is to make small changes gradually and slowly, introducing them into your life in a way that minimises disruption to both you and your close family and friends. Don’t think big changes will happen overnight, because they won’t – but you will know that you are starting a process that’s going to have potentially dramatic effects on your life and well being.

Don’t forget that the worst thing you can do is to start one of the “starvation” diets combined with a new gym membership…such a shock to the system will have little chance of success in the long term…and could even have negative effects.

So what kind of changes should you make and how small or big should they be?

Well, it would be a good idea to look at the first seven days of the New In 90 plan (See the first seven days) for an idea of what you should be doing. The very first day, for example, asks you to do two simple things:

Drink 5 glasses of water throughout the day.

When you are sitting down, make sure you sit up straight with your shoulders back and your tummy tucked in.

At first glance you may think these will have no impact at all, but you would be wrong – and that’s the secret of introducing small changes bit by bit. Take them in isolation – they will have little benefit, but do them together and regularly, so that they become part of your everyday life, and the impact will be considerable.

So, after say, a three month period, you are drinking enough water and sitting properly ALL THE TIME and in conjunction with many other changes, then the effects will be dramatic.

I will continue to explore this in future articles, so you may want to sign up to receive them automatically by filling out the form on this page or on New In 90’s  home page (New In 90.)

William

New In 90 is a structured three month plan that will get anyone on the road to a good healthy lifestyle and ideal weight. It’s available via a smartphone app or e-book and only costs £4.99 (Show me how.)

Here’s a different approach to weight loss and fitness

In my last article Why Autumn is a great time to get fitter, healthier and slimmer! I talked about your weight being a function of lifestyle and the habits and routines that go to make up that lifestyle. Despite everyone’s obsession with food and calories, what you actually put in your mouth is the last action in a complex chain of events. If you lead the kind of lifestyle where you are inactive and eat more food than you body needs, then you are likely to be both unfit, overweight and probably not very healthy.

So the key message here is that people need to be as healthy and as fit as they can be, rather than focus on just body weight. Remember, there are lots of very unhealthy “slim” people and lots of very healthy “fat” people!

However, if you lead a healthy lifestyle (and that means eating lots of good things and being as active as you can), then there’s a big chance your body will be its “right” weight and you won’t need to worry anymore.

People who try and solve their weight issues just by rigidly controlling what goes into their mouth are probably going to fail and achieve nothing – no long term weight loss, no increase in fitness levels, no reduction in stress, no health benefits…nothing. That’s because they’re not changing the cause of the issues, they’re just trying to affect the symptoms. As soon as they stop the “diet”, then all the old habits and routines are still there and so all the weight goes back on.

So, if you’re one of those people who think they should “lose some weight and go on a diet“, then the first thing your should do is think

I want to get a bit fitter and healthier” instead.

By doing this, you’re immediately changing the objective from a wholly negative one (“I have to go on a diet”) to a very positive one (“I want to lead a healthier lifestyle”) and, more importantly, the approach you’re going to take to achieve this objective will be very different.

So, what should this approach be?

The first thing you have to do is to WANT to be fitter and healthier. If you just want to drop a few kilos for a special occasion and that’s all, then a quick fix diet may actually serve you better.

The second thing is that you have to understand this is a life change, i.e. it’s for the long term. How fit and healthy you can become and how much weight you can lose depends on the quality of the changes and the permanence of those changes. Whatever happens, it won’t occur overnight!

Once you decide that you are going to make the change, and it’s going to be a “for good” change, then you have to decide what changes you are going to make to your lifestyle. If you think that something is going to stop you making any of them, you have to work out how to overcome the issues and barriers. These may be actual physical barriers or they may be mental barriers…but don’t worry, they are ways around all of them! I’ll be talking more about this in future articles but you can find out more by reading Tools to change existing beliefs.

The next crucial step is to make sure you have the support of everyone around you. This is especially important when it comes to family and close friends…their lives may well be effected (most likely positively!) by what you are doing and you won’t want to deal with their issues as well!

The final thing to remember at this stage is to take things slowly. Make the changes small and easy to do, and then start incorporating them more and more into your daily life. By doing this, you’ll find they are both more effective and long term.

Good luck!

William

William is the producer of New In 90 which takes a fresh look at health and fitness and will show you how to change your eating and activity habits and routines to achieve the kind of lifestyle you want.

Why Autumn is a great time to get fitter, healthier and slimmer!

Despite the mild Indian summer conditions, the onset of Autumn is just around the corner. The summer holidays (for most people) are over, the kids are back at school and it’s time to get back to work. If we were ever in doubt, then the start of The X-Factor and Strictly, with their scheduled Christmas week finishes, will wash the last remains of hazy summer days from our minds!

If this thought depresses you, then that’s why September is such a GREAT month for giving your lifestyle a re-fresh. The tempting lazy days on the sunbed and barbeque excesses of the summer months give way to days full of more mundane activities and now is a perfect time to set your target of a revamped you by Christmas! Just think, you can get to the end of the year without having to worry about the dreaded New Year blues and yet another fad diet or sweaty exercise regime.

Many people will immediately say this is the worst time to start a new diet or exercise programme and we would agree…because getting fitter and healthier does not mean going on a diet or down to the gym…and who has got the time and motivation to do that anyway?

Your general health and levels of weight and fitness in the long term is a function of your lifestyle…how you eat, what you eat, how active you are and other external factors. You can’t get fitter by being on a diet (and there’s plenty of unfit, thin people out there) and you can’t necessarily get healthy by going to a Zumba class once a week…even if you are lucky enough to have the time.

The real key to getting healthier (and remember, if you’re healthy, you’ll probably be fitter and at a weight you’re happy with) is to make small changes to your everyday lifestyle, changes that will seem almost insignificant at the time but will add up to make a real difference.

success-is-the-sum

Think of it like learning to drive a car…you couldn’t hope to become a good driver overnight, and not even in a few weeks, but, by practicing a bit each day or week, you’ll gradually become better and better. You’ll be able to do the complicated maneuvers that seemed so tricky at first almost without thinking and then, one day…bingo – you can pass your test!

That’s the mindset you need, although changing your lifestyle is a lot easier and simpler than learning to drive!

The thinking behind this strategy is fairly obvious, although the diet and fitness industries are quite happy to go on selling you the latest celebrity regime!

Over the course of our lives, right from early childhood, we develop habits and routines surrounding eating and exercise. These are learnt from those around us, our surroundings and lifechanges. Unfortunately, many of these habits are not particularly good for us when it comes to our health…and many spring to mind. “Eat all the food on your plate” is something that is drummed into most children (and the worst possible habit although well intentioned), having a fizzy drink when you’re thirsty rather than a glass of water, snacking at all times of the day, taking the car or the lift instead of walking…the list goes on and on.

So if we can learn to undo the “bad” habits and routines and replace them with “good” ones, then a healthier lifestyle will surely follow.

And starting now gives you plenty of time to achieve your objectives by Christmas!

I’ll tell you exactly how to do this in my next blog…

Good luck

William

Get more help and advice in the help and advice section on the New In 90 website.

Slim people are on a permanent diet. True of false?

The Journal of the American Medical Association have just printed a study into the effectiveness of well-known branded diets on weight-loss amongst overweight and obese adults (you can see the research by clicking on the link below). Their findings show that both low fat and low carb diets ARE effective provided the user follows them strictly and on an on-going basis and they conclude that anyone who really wants to lose weight should choose a diet they are happiest with and then stay on it for as long as possible.

Like a lot of research, the findings are fairly obvious. If you got stranded and unrescued on a dessert island with only some fruit, nuts, fish and water to eat, then it’s pretty guaranteed that your one consolation for being marooned will be that you finally achieve your ideal weight!

So is it true or false that “slim” people are the ones who do find a diet and stick with it for life?

Julia Roberts in Notting Hill

There are some people who do this (Julia Roberts in her role as the actress in the movie Notting Hill famously claimed that one her life’s hardships was “being on a perpetual diet”) but the vast majority don’t…so how do they do it?

Well, they’ve managed to adjust their eating and exercise habits and routines to achieve the right mix of food, exercise and lifestyle so that their metabolism is actually balanced. In doing so, they will probably be pretty fit and healthy as well as being the “right” weight for their build and height. They don’t have to watch what they eat or drink, because they are mentally and physically trained to be regularly active and not over eat.

Does that sound like a impossible dream?

Too many people, it does. Our lifestyles today give us absolutely no support for achieving that right “balance”…we are busy and stressed, the shops are full of tempting goodies that offer relief (treat yourself with this giant bar of chocolate, save time by just heating up a ready meal in the microwave etc). No wonder it’s an up hill struggle!

So how can we get ourselves to this “balanced” state?

Well, The American Journal study says that going on a diet is a good way (particularly if combined with exercise) but you have to stay on it pretty well for ever…an almost impossible target for most people. And remember, lots of research has shown that if you come off your diet at any time, have a break and then return to another one, you are probably doomed to failure.

The much better way is to copy those people who are managing to stay slim and healthy!

The first thing you have to do is to decide that you want to make the change. Once you do this, you should then work out how to start making the small changes to your habits and routines on a daily basis…they don’t have to be enormous, in fact, most are just small ones done here and there.

Huge differences won’t be seen overnight…but then this is a “for life” project, so it’s better to get slow and permanent change then fast and temporary. However, over time, you will not only start to see and feel the difference, you’ll find that the changes are starting to happen without even thinking about it.

If you like the sound of this approach to getting fitter and healthier, then read more on New In 90’s Help and Advice page. Even better, download their App or e-Book that will tell you exactly how to make all the changes on a day by day basis!

Good luck!

William

Comparison of Weight Loss Among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults

6 easy exercises to get you more active NOW!

Small daily challenges are the key to staggering long term results

Following on from my article 10 golden rules for healthy eating, I thought it would be a good idea to list my favourite 6 easy exercises to get you more active.

Many people compartmentalise losing weight and getting fitter in different boxes. If you want to lose weight, you go on a diet…and if you want to get fit you go to a gym or start running. Dieting won’t help your fitness and exercise won’t help you lose weight (unless you start training for the marathon).

This point of view is, of course, totally wrong!

Weight, food intake, exercise and activity are all inextricably entwined and you have to get the right balance in order to be healthy and fit for the long term. That’s why I always tell people to think in terms of “getting fit and healthy” rather than “lose weight”.

So, if you want to lose some weight and get a bit healthier, then it makes real sense to combine a sensible eating regime (NOT a diet though) with a more active lifestyle…and that doesn’t mean having to go to the gym or start pounding the roads.

However, many of us just can’t get exercising for a multitude of reasons…lack of time, motivation and a real belief that “exercise” means hours of sweaty workouts alongside other people with beautiful toned bodies!

Thankfully, that’s not the case. The key to starting is to adapt your existing lifestyle and insert simple but achievable “mini-exercises” into your daily routines…and the great thing about this approach is that once you start, you will quickly start to see benefits, both in terms of how you feel but also how you look. This will give you huge motivation to do more and get even more effective results!

So here’s my list of 6 easy exercises to get you more active and kickstart this whole process…and remember, the sooner you start, the quicker you will be on your way to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

1. Stand up straight, shoulders back with your tummy in and hold for a count of 10. Repeat this at least 5 times today…and more if you can. Getting a good posture is a must for everyone and the muscles you use to do this simple exercise are central to your body’s core strength – particularly when it comes to protecting your back.

Doing this will also make you look and feel better immediately so use any spare time you have (waiting for the kids to come out of school, waiting for a bus or even when you are watching TV) to stand tall. The more often you do it, the quicker your body will start doing it naturally for itself without you having to think about it!

2. Find some stairs (make sure it is a reasonable flight) and go up and down at least 4 times. If there’s none available, then use just one step (make sure it’s stable first) and spend a minimum of 5 minutes stepping up and down, changing the lead leg regularly. Do it slowly, feeling the leg muscles working – the aim is to get the heart pumping a bit quicker and the legs to work a bit harder than just walking.

Remember to always use the stairs instead of the lift if you can and always walk up escalators, never just stand still on them.

3. Try and do at least 3 sets of 5 squats each day. They will only take a minute or so to do, so noone can say they don’t have the time. Keep your tummy in and never bend lower than your knees.

Squats are a fantastic multi-muscle exercise. Doing them regularly will bring lots of benefits including toned legs, a firm butt and strong back. They will also strengthen the big muscles in your legs and make mobility and all activities easier to perform.

4. Stand up facing a wall with your hands out in front of you placed on the wall, a shoulder width apart. Do up to 8 wall press ups if you can. Do them slowly, keep your back straight, your tummy tensed and remember to breathe normally. Try and repeat this whole routine 3 times each day.

This mini-routine will work the muscles of your chest and the backs of your arms – often problem areas as we gain weight or get older. Keep them toned by regularly performing this exercise and move to the floor (box press ups and then full press ups) as your arms and chest strengthen. Keep your tummy tucked in throughout but don’t hold your breath!

5. Do the tummy tuck – on all fours pull your tummy in and up towards your back. Hold for 10 secs and repeat 4 times. Try and repeat this twice each day.

Pulling your tummy up in this position uses gravity to make it a bit harder. This will increase the strength of your core abdominal muscles making it easier for you to hold your tummy in flatter all of the time. Remember, achieving a “flat” tummy is just as much about toning your muscles as losing fat in that area.

6. Stand on one leg, tighten all your stabilising muscles (tummy, butt etc.), take the other leg out to the side, and bring it back 5 times without touching the floor or falling over. Hold your arms out for balance or lightly rest one hand on the back of a chair. Tighten your tummy to keep yourself stable. Now do the other leg. Try and repeat 3 times each day. Remember to take each leg out as slowly as you can up and down. Don’t jerk it and don’t let the leg fall back down. Control the movement and breathe normally throughout.

For maximum benefit, learn how to do the routine without holding on to anything. This may take a few attempts but you will quickly get the hang of it. Try to use your tummy muscles as much as possible to help you balance.

This list, although simple, may look a little daunting at first. The key thing is to START doing as many as you can and working out how you can fit them into your day. Each one only takes literally minutes so you may do the first one while you’re waiting for the train, the second at work in lunch hour and the rest before you sit down to watch some TV. You can even do some whilst you are checking your Facebook status!

The KEY thing to remember is that none of these exercises by themselves will make you lose lots of weight and get superfit. However, once you start doing them regularly you will find your whole approach to activity changing and you WILL want to do more. This sets off a whole chain reaction which will result in a fitter, slimmer and healthier you and that’s the goal you should have in your mind!

Good luck!

William

All the above exercises were taken directly from the New In 90 Plan. Over a period of 90 days New In 90 will show you exactly how to change your lifestyle so you can achieve both the weight and fitness you are looking for.

10 golden rules for healthy eating

Healthy foods

My philosophy when it comes to healthy eating is basically one of commonsense and everything in moderation. Most of us know what is “good” food and what is “bad” and micro-managing calories is difficult, time-consuming and, to a large extent, soul destroying.

However, it makes sense to know some basic rules and so here’s my list. The key thing is never binge on any one food but don’t deny yourself the odd treat every now and again…life’s too short!

Avoid processed foods if you can – by all means have a ready meal in the freezer for emergencies, but don’t have them as part of your weekly repertoire. Try to cook from natural, fresh ingredients. Remember, it takes as long to heat up a ready meal as it does to stir fry some chicken and vegetables!

Eat eggs – they are the original energy food, high in essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals and great way to start or end the day.

Always choose whole grains – brown bread, rice, pasta, cereals – they are a natural source of carbs, fibre and healthy fats.

Cut down on sugar  – you will get all the sugar you want from the food you eat, especially fruit. If you take sugar in your tea or coffee, then cut down over a period of two or three weeks…your tastebuds will adapt over that time and you’ll find you just don’t need it anymore. If you drink colas or fizzy drinks, then you must cut them out apart from the occasional glass. Drink still water or sparkling water instead.

Consume good fats – eat naturally occurring fats such as those that are in butter, avocado, nuts, coconut, seeds, fish and olive oil. They are a rich source of vitamins and essential fatty acids.

Avoid white foods – white bread, white pasta, white rice, white sugar, processed cereals – they are white because they’ve had all the goodness stripped out of them. These are the so-called “empty” carbs.

Avoid fruit juices – eat the whole fruit instead. Juices regularly promote the fact that a bottle contains “the juice of 10 oranges” for instance, but you would never sit down and eat 10 oranges! Juice is primarily the sugar of the fruit with all the healthy fibre stripped out. Just one of these and you can hit your daily sugar requirement in one go.

Reduce salt – like sugar, you’ll get all the salt you need in your daily food intake. You should never add salt to cooking or your food (apart from the fish and chip treat of course!).

Eat more greens – nature’s most valuable nutrient and something we should all eat more of. They help lower cholesterol, keep the gut healthy and alkalise your system.

Eat dark chocolate – for your treat (we all need them), have some dark chocolate. It’s low in sugar, high in anti-oxidants and can improve blood pressure…but remember a treat “portion” is maybe 3 or 4 small pieces, not the whole bar!

If you are the kind of person who hates “eating rules”, then you should abide by just one – and that’s whatever you eat, eat less of it. We all over eat, whether it be finishing everything on your plate or having 2 biscuits when 1 will do. If you do nothing else, just cutting 25% off everything you consume will give you greater control over your weight and fitness.

William.

For more information on foods to eat and avoid, check out New In 90’s Healthy Food List.