Let healthy eating be a doddle and change your food habits for a better, healthier you. Our B.E.S.T plan is simple, easy to remember, and should help you make the change.
If you want to lose weight, trim down a bit, or simply like the idea of eating a bit more healthily, there are plenty of diet plans out there to help you on your way. The 5:2 diet and Dukan Diet are particularly popular at the moment. But dieting may not suit everybody, and simply combining regular exercise and eating healthily will make a difference. But healthy eating is easier said than done.... or is it?! Check out our B.E.S.T plan to help you change your diet for the better.
B: Be Booze Aware, E: Edit Your Shopping List, S: Snack the Right Way, T: Train Your Brain
BE BOOZE AWARE
It’s important to be mindful over your alcohol intake. Alcohol is bad for you on so many levels, yet feels so good on many others! Drinking is a big part of British culture, and whilst that doesn’t make it right, maybe we deserve a bit of a break. Well, yes and no. If you enjoy the odd tipple, it’s unrealistic to expect you to cut it out completely but if you understand and then keep in mind, the negative effect it has on your body, it may be easier to reduce your alcohol consumption.
The recommended daily amount is 3-4 units daily for men (equivalent of one and half pints beer), and 2-3 units for women (one small glass of wine). If you regularly drink over the recommended limits you may be at risk of problems sleeping, reduced sex drive, liver problems, reduced fertility, high blood pressure, increased risk of various cancers and heart attacks. The high calorific content of alcohol means regular drinking can do serious damage to your waistline. And if that wasn’t bad enough, in order to combat the hangover symptoms the next day, people are generally more likely to eat junk food, and lots of it.
If cutting out alcohol completely is unrealistic, you can simply reduce alcohol intake by opting to have small glasses of wine, bottles of beer rather than pints, or having lower strength drinks. It would also help to have a soft drink first so your thirst is quenched, and consider alternating each drink with water to minimise the effects of dehydration. Small changes in your alcohol intake can make a big difference.
EDIT YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Make sure you have got lots of the right food on your shopping list. If your cupboards are full of chocolate biscuits and crisps, then they will probably get eaten. Plan healthy meals in advance so you don’t end up with your usual comfort dishes. And it should go without saying that you should stock up on lots of fruit and vegetables, lean meats, fish, wholemeal grain products, and slow release energy foods such as peanuts and oats. Make sure your shopping list also has a number of different super foods on it. Cherries are a great super food, and are just about to come into season. They contain compounds that reduce pain, muscle inflammation and joint ache and are great antioxidants, meaning they lower the risk of heart disease. As a bonus, cherries are a fruit relatively low in sugar.
And whatever you do: DON’T GO SHOPPING WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY! If it’s even close to lunchtime when you do your grocery shopping; don’t even think about it! You’ll be much more likely to reach for unplanned, instant energy hit foods that look so tempting but don’t provide us with any goodness.
SNACK THE RIGHT WAY
It’s a good idea to keep a list of healthy snacks to hand, and make sure you’ve got the right food and ingredients in stock. Snacking is a big villain when it comes to healthy eating. Whilst snacking throughout the day can provide you with sustained energy, it has to be the right foods. Sadly the most tempting and easy things to snack on are usually no good for you. When you’re hungry, it’s difficult to focus on preparing and eating something healthy; it’s so much easier to reach for the biscuit tin (this is where it’s useful not to have any in the house of course)!
Here are some suggestions for healthy foods to snack on - consider printing your own list of and sticking it on the fridge or cupboard door as a simple reminder; hardboiled egg (make a few in advance and keep in fridge till needed); oat cakes and humus; fresh or dried fruit; rice cake with low fat cream cheese; homemade popcorn (without the sugar or salt and make in advance so you have on hand when needed) low fat yoghurt; wholemeal pita and salsa; olives; and almonds.
It’s worth noting also that if you are feeling peckish between meals, you may just be thirsty. Try drinking more water as the feeling of thirst is often confused with that of hunger.
TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
Get the right mental attitude. This is, of course much easier said than done, but try and take some time to think about why you want to change your eating habits and try and get into the mindset that this is for the long term. This is not about drastic dieting techniques or short fixes to a bigger problem. It’s about forming new, better habits. If you have a bad day and eat the sort of foods you should be avoiding, don’t dwell on it or don’t beat yourself up about it, just move on.
Finally, try to remember this isn’t about rules, or denying yourself treats now and then. Life is simply too short. But the key is now and then. If you find yourself eating a treat or naughty food every day, try cutting it down to every other day. Baby steps will be more effective than changing everything completely. This is not supposed to be a punishment, but actually a treat for your body as you provide it with the right fuel to work for optimum performance and to help you look your best.
by Jessica Ward
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Jessica Ward
by Jessica Ward