This is part one of a two-part guide written by our fabulous Fitness Guru, Cerin Rees. We’ll post the second part – with rules 6 through 10 – later in the week.
Have you ever been on a diet? How many have you been on over the years and how did they work out for you? A quick internet search will reveal over a hundred different diets, but when in comes to your long-term health are they any good?
Well, I don’t think so, and in my capacity as a health and fitness coach I try to encourage people not to diet. Yes, most will help you lose some weight – but what happens the day your diet ends? You almost certainly slip back into your old eating patterns and start gaining weight again. Personally, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life either dieting or binging.
So instead I encourage people to change their eating habits for the long term. And here are ten simple rules to help you do just that.
The Less Processed The Better
Generally, the less processed the food, and the closer it is to its natural state, the healthier it is for you. When food is processed (through the addition of additives, colours, preservatives, flavours, sugars and fats, or when its texture is changed and it’s turned into a “product”) it usually loses lots of its nutrients and goodness. For example, a simple baked potato is much healthier than its processed version, a bag of crisps.
Top tip: Ask yourself: “Is there a less processed option I can choose?”
Include Colourful Fruit ‘n’ Veg In Every Meal
Complex carbohydrates in the form of veggies should be a major part of every meal. They are low in calories, contain loads of vitamins and minerals and help fill you up for longer. Different coloured veggies have different vitamins and minerals, so more colours mean a healthier meal!
Top tip: Ask yourself: “How can I add fruit or veggies to this meal?”
Include Lean Protein In Every Meal
Proteins are the building blocks of our body. When we have plenty of them in our diet we’re less likely to “cannibalise” them from other parts of our body. Also, protein makes us feel fuller for longer so we’re less likely to feel hungry a few minutes later.
Top tip: Ask yourself: “How can I add lean protein to this meal?”
When It Comes To Meat, The Fewer The Legs, The Better
Typically, fish (no legs) are very good sources of lean protein. Poultry (two legs) is good depending on how you prepare it, while you should be more choosey with beef and pork products (four legs). These tend to have much higher levels of “bad” saturated fats.
Top tip: Ask yourself: “How many legs did this animal have?”
Always Have A Good Breakfast
Breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day. It gives you an energy boost so you don’t spend the morning feeling run down and working on “low power”. It’s also been shown time and again that people who eat a proper breakfast can control their bodyweight much easier.
Top tip: A non-processed breakfast including protein and fruit ‘n’ veg is much better than a bowl of cereal.
So, that’s rules one to five. Come back later in the week when we’ll take you through rules 6 to 10, and suggest some great places in Skipton where you can buy healthy, unprocessed and delicious produce.
In the meantime, be healthy.
Cerin – Fitness & Strength Coaching at www.reesfitness.co.uk