It’s often difficult to rush headlong into a strict and regimented nutrition programme that has very little leeway or opportunity to go off track without the plan deeming you a dietary failure for veering off track even momentarily. I thought that a more sensible form of encouragement and something that would be more sustainable in the long term would be to give you 10 tips that are simple to follow and can really benefit your health and wellbeing. These tips are in no particular order of importance and can be applied when and where they suit you – just remember how much they can benefit you even if you take one or two on board.
Top 10 Tips for Good Nutrition
- 5 a day of fruit AND vegetables isn’t enough. Aim for 5-7 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruit per day. The vitamin and mineral content of vegetables specifically is an integral part of your internal body function.
- Water is always the best form of hydration – it is the easiest to absorb and utilise. Your body is made up predominantly of water and as a result, water has to be your first source of hydration. Aim to consume at least 2 litres of water per day alongside anything else you drink.
- Snack sensibly. Choose nutritious and delicious snack foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetable sticks and fruit. It’s a great way of upping your intake and they are all great sources of energy and nutrients.
- Lean meat and fish are the way forward. Chicken, turkey, fish and seafood are all significantly lower in fat than red meat. It’s an easy switch that can help you to manage your dietary fat intake in the long term.
- Aim to eat as fresh and organic as possible. Fruit, vegetables, meat and fish are all richer in nutrients when bought and consumed fresh. Organic foods also contain a more natural nutrient balance and are less chemically enhanced than factory foods which often contain additives such as extra salt, antibiotics and fluid.
- Local produce is better for digestion. When possible, in spite of the added expense, your digestive system and the bacteria within it are more suited to coping with local foods that share the same vitamin and mineral composition as the ground in your local area.
- Go brown, wholemeal or wholegrain. White carbohydrates are significantly more challenging for your body to digest and are, generally, higher in sugar and salt than their wholemeal counterparts. They are also richer in nutrients due to their multigrain nature.
- Make your meals much smaller. Reducing the size of your meals gives your body a greater chance to digest and process the nutrients you take in at a more continuous pace rather than one heavy overloading of food which often results in bloating, discomfort, indigestion and wasted nutrients. Smaller and more often is far easier for your body to deal with.
- There are always healthier options. If you’re eating out, getting a takeaway or around a friend’s house there’s always an option. Choose the vegetarian dishes, the dishes without sauce (usually sauces are sweetened, salted and filled with extra fats), go heavy on vegetables and drink plenty of water alongside your meal. You can still enjoy the pleasures of food, you just have to be smarter!
- All things in moderation. Who would have thought that the old adage is true? Eat less sugary foods, but don’t get rid of them entirely. Completely banishing all unhealthy foods from your diet can often have a negative psychological effect. Treat yourself to a meal of your choice once a week, or grab a dessert, and have a chocolate bar with lunch. Just make sure you balance it out with as many of the rules above as possible and learn to enjoy eating the healthier options – you can really pack them full of flavour!
Top 10 Tips for Good Nutrition
It’s really not as difficult as the mass media and fitness industry would have you believe. Remember, these sources make money from you buying their (or the company that is paying them to say the things they do) products. Make a few small, sustainable and effective changes to your diet over the course of 3 months and you will undoubtedly notice a huge difference in your overall wellbeing, your body shape and your health. Choose three of the tips from above and try to stick to them for 90 days! 90 days is all it takes to make a positive and lasting change to your life. You CAN do it – as long as you want it bad enough.