It’s Not Dieting, It’s Eating Healthy!
I never thought that I would be admitting this to anyone, but there’s one quote concerning diet that stuck in my head ever since I first heard it: “It’s not dieting; it’s eating healthy.” Can you guess which famous person said this? That’s right- Gary Barlow, whilst on X Factor in 2011. Don’t ask me why I was watching this- I simply must have been flicking through the channels…honestly. Regardless, it’s probably the most sensible thing I’ve ever heard when it comes to so-called “dieting.”
Cut the Crap!
So- just cut the crap and start eating healthy. Simple, yes? Well yes, but easy? For most people reading this blog, not really. But the harsh reality is that in order to get your perfect self, you’re going to have to be strict, by quite simply CUTTING THE CRAP! You’re not alone though, as I’ll be here giving you a helping hand to beat those cravings, and even help you begin to enjoy eating healthily. The sooner you accept what I’m saying, the better, and the easier it will be. Still with me? Good- now I’ll take you through some of the basic rules of healthy eating.
I’ve got to admit that I used to be a junk food addict. The thing I overindulged in most was cheese, and pizza in particular- I simply just couldn’t get enough of it. Most evenings I would eat a large Domino’s to myself, washed down with a litre of coke, followed by ice cream. Can’t forget my midnight snacks either- family bag of Doritos, share size chocolate bar, and numerous fizzy sweets. It’s fair to say “you are what you eat” and I really was! A greasy, spotty mess, fast-developing the dreaded fat belly. Luckily, I’m a pretty motivated person, so I decided to take the first steps to doing something about it- I’ve substituted my previously favourite foods (cheese, takeaways, and most other saturated fats too) for fish, lean meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts (washed down with lots of water) and I have happily been clean for over two years now!
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If I can do it, ANYONE can
I’m not going to go into any great detail in this article about specific foods, but rather just give you a general overview and some simple tips to help you start eating healthily. To keep things simple, I’m going to focus on what you SHOULD be eating, rather than what you shouldn’t be eating.
Count Those Calories…
The first step that you should take is to count how many calories that you’re consuming in a day. As a general rule, women should take in no more than 2000 calories, whereas men should consume around 2500. So start checking the back of the packaging for everything you eat, note them down, and add them up! Whilst you are checking this, be sure to note the finer details of the content of those calories- are they largely carbohydrates, protein, or fat (remember we are avoiding saturated fats- you may be surprised just how much saturated fat is in “everyday” foods)? If you would like a more in depth understanding of your ideal intake per day, try this calculator. Remember, be honest!
Wholefoods, such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice, as well as oats and nuts, will keep you fuller for longer, and help fight those bad cravings! They are also full of nutrients and vitamins which can’t be found in their processed counterparts. So why not replace that sugary breakfast cereal for a bowl of porridge or a couple of slices of whole grain toast?
Cut the Fat, increase Protein intake…
In addition to keeping you fuller for longer, protein is required for the maintenance of a healthy body by providing essential amino acids which contribute to the growth and repair of our muscles, skin, nails and cartilage. If you want to trim down and tone up, then I recommend you cut down on junk food and increase your intake of foods rich in protein- fish, eggs, lean meat (turkey, chicken, beef), nuts, beans and skimmed milk to name just a few.
Sugar ain’t so Sweet…
I don’t think I need to highlight the health implications associated with having too much added sugar in your diet- so why not fight the risk of getting heart disease and diabetes by replacing those fizzy drinks and chocolate bars with natural sugars found in fruits- snack on a banana, a pear or an orange to beat those cravings. Want to sweeten up your porridge? Add a natural sweetener such as honey or cinnamon.
Too much Salt = High Blood Pressure…
And high blood pressure leads to strain on your internal organs, increasing the likelihood of heart attacks. But then how can you add a bit of flavour to your meals? Easy- there’s plenty of natural herbs, spices and juices out there! Why not get creative and throw different types into the mix- I’m not the greatest chef in the world, and sometimes my mixes turn out a bit funky, but at least I’m making the effort- you should too. Examples include garlic, peppercorns, coriander and lemon juice.
Don’t like water? I don’t care, just drink it!
Simply drinking plenty of water has many, many health benefits- it aids weight loss by flushing out the bad stuff; it suppresses hunger; and even keeps your skin healthy and looking younger! Drinking the clear stuff really is an absolute no brainer.
Well, there you have it, some simple starting steps to having a healthy diet- I’ll be going into a lot more depth with regards to nutrition, weight loss, weight gain and building muscle over the coming weeks, so be sure to follow my blog and continue this journey with me! Remember, feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them, or share some of your own tips. Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I hope it helps!