Today I felt like doing a different kind of post! One on healthy eating. Because for the past 7 weeks changing my diet for the better and losing weight has been a big thing in my life!
You could say I've been a serial dieter on and off for the past 4 years but finally I feel a lot of things have clicked. It could be that I have more of a drive now to change my diet for good or that I'm just more educated and balanced in my approach to healthy eating - either way it's working! So far I've lost just over 1 Stone (14lbs) and have actually enjoyed the process! So today I thought I'd share 5 tips that have helped me the most and hopefully they can help you too...
Focus on health over satisfaction
The reason why we eat is to fuel and nourish our bodies - everyone knows that! But sadly it's so easy to get drawn into craving bad foods when the food industry seems to be made up of 80% unhealthy processed foods. But if you can be mindful most of the time you should be feeding your body, and not your mind's own cravings you will actually see a difference in how often you crave processed foods. My main goal now when food shopping is to pick foods that will be good for me - fish, lean meats, vegetables, fruit, complex carbs - beans, whole grain rice, quinoa. Then I have to find satisfaction in them foods (with seasoning and different ways of preparing them of course), which is definitely possible! So forget about losing weight whilst keeping your old habits and concentrate on feeding your body with the right types of food!
Seek out new healthier foods and alternatives to what you use to love
When trying to lose weight/eat healthier we ditch certain foods that we know just aren't good for us. Maybe it's your sugar laden cereal? But instead of changing that eating habit altogether and then craving it, switch to a homemade granola with milk. The same if you love bacon, switch to turkey bacon! If you ditch a food because you feel it's unhealthy then you must think of a replacement or you will end up craving it in the beginning. As for trying out healthier foods this has been a big thing for me. I now love nothing more than low-fat Greek yogurt with honey for breakfast or as a dessert. I also love to snack on Nut & Seed Mix and can't get enough of Edamame beans in stir-fries!
Get interesting with food!
There is nothing more boring and unmotivating than bland food! Food really is as interesting as you make it. I've always loved to use different seasoning and ways to cook my food but over the past 2 months I've found some amazing recipes via Pinterest and Deliciously Ella. From Melt-In-Your-Mouth Chicken using Greek Yogurt to Ella's amazing Cannellini Bean Stew (the SW Campfire Stew is also amazing). As for seasoning my favourites have to be Cajun (perfect for chicken/turkey), Paprika (sweet potato wedges), Chip Seasoning and fresh garlic and lemon (amazing on Portobello Mushrooms and fish).
Plan meals ahead
If you're a convenience eater then planning ahead for the week could be a god send. For me as some weeks are busier than other I do this as and when I feel I need it. I simply shop for the week ahead with meals in mind then come Sunday night I will prepare them meals and store them in the fridge or freezer. This generally takes a few hours and I make around 3-4 meals, but then I know I'm done for the week and I don't need to cook. This keeps me on track and also looking forward to the meals ahead. It's also worth searching 'free meal planners' on Pinterest for free printables or use a platform like Wanderlist to keep a track of what you want to make. If you are short on time meal prepping can work wonders!
Ditch a specific diet and eat how you're wanting to long term
Unless you have a small amount of weight to lose you really want to be focusing on changing your eating habits forever with a balanced non-faddy diet. So restricting total food groups, obsessively over calories or over eating one type of food just isn't going to work long-term. Instead eat more of the healthy foods you already love and try to aim for a healthy balance were you can eat everything in moderation. This is definitely easier said than done but is key to keeping it up long term and keeping off the weight you've already lost. So be realistic and don't jump into that fad diet!
These aren't the most traditional of tips but I hope they can be of help to anyone who is trying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle!