Four principles of healthy eating

Digestive benefits of being a vegetarian

The key to healthy eating is not fad diets or depriving yourself of your favourite foods and drinks.

Experts agree that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight essentially comes down to making changes to your lifestyle and eating habits that are realistic and easy to stick to.

This way you will not feel overwhelmed by drastic expectations and far-reaching goals that you struggle to fit into your life and ultimately achieve.

Here is a simple guide to eating right and maintaining your weight:

Be yourself

Whilst some people may revel in the idea of cooking from scratch, others will consider this to be extremely stressful and unrealistic. The important thing is to find a healthy way of cooking that works for you. If you prefer eating small meals/snacks throughout the day rather than three main meals then continue to do so, but make sure you plan what foods you eat. This may involve keeping fruit on your desk at work to avoid snacking on something unhealthy. Alternatively, if you have a weakness for salty junk foods, don’t eat directly from the package – take out a handful and put the rest away to avoid overeating.

Embrace vegetables

Rather than putting all your cooking effort into the meat of your dish, try channelling the same dedication into your veg. It can be very boring serving up basic boiled broccoli with a deliciously flavoured steak, so add character by cooking your vegetables with additional ingredients such as mustard, garlic or bacon. You can also use leftover vegetables to bulk up soups, casseroles and risottos.

Separate your fats 

Fat has more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates, so limiting the amount of fat in your diet is crucial for weight-loss and maintaining a healthy weight. However, it is important to know the difference between ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats to ensure the fats you do eat are better for you. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the ‘good’ fats which can be found in nuts, oily fish and vegetable oils. Saturated and trans fats however are the ‘bad’ fats which are typically found in dairy, beef and commercially made products such as chips, cookies, and biscuits.

Eat rather than drink your calories

Excess calories can be found in a number of drinks that people consume every day, and simply cutting these out can really help to promote weight-loss. Furthermore, most beverages don’t contribute many nutrients to your diet – particularly if they’re sugary drinks. Try limiting the amount of alcohol you drink during the week and replace sugary drinks with water flavoured with a slice of lemon to stay hydrated throughout the day.

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Tamara Marshall

Written by Tamara Marshall

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