Picture the perfect 'diet and healthy balanced lifestyle' and then think about your own diet now. For some, it can be miles apart and this picture perfect diet can feel like an impossible feat... How do I get from here, to there?
Firstly, this perfect diet you envisage may not in reality be the best for you and the world is filled with so much diet culture news that what we believe to be right may be warped and misinformed. However, what I want to give you are 3 tips that you can apply to your existing diet (i.e. what you eat now) that will help you move towards having a more healthy balanced diet. Everyone is different and these tips can work no matter where your starting point is. This is not going to overhaul your lifestyle, which is why they have a higher chance of sticking. Also, like most things in life, you have to make small consistent steps to grow and develop.
The following tips follow my Stop, Start & Switch approach, designed to give flexibility and personalisation to improving my client's lifestyles.
Here are 3 simple tips to making small adjustments to optimise your existing meals
1. [STOP] Take a meal you eat regularly. Make ONE change to it today that isn’t going to be a major deal. The burger & chips will still be burger & chips, the spaghetti bolognese will still be, spaghetti bolognese! This focuses on reducing small habits.
Try not having ketchup with chips, or start by halving the amount
Try not having cheese with your burger or halving the sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on your pasta
Try not using butter or lard to cook your food⠀
2. [START] Add fruit or veggies!! Most Brits don’t meet the recommended 5 portion of fruit & veg a day. Again, take a meal you eat regularly and ask yourself “What fruit or veg can I add?”
Try adding fruit with your breakfast cereal, either as a topping or eating separately
Try adding tomatoes in your burger or have a side salad with the pasta
Try having a piece of fruit/veg as a snack
If your diet is already packed full of fruit and vegetables (amazing!) then focus on points 1 and 3.
3. [SWITCH] Try alternative ingredients/methods of cooking. Take your favourite meal and think “how can I make it better for me with other products?” that won't change the overall meal.
Try switching whole milk to semi skimmed milk with cereal / coffee / tea / milkshakes
Try switching to reduced fat cheese, reduced salt sauce or dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
Try oven baking or steaming instead of frying
Try one or a combo of these steps for one week with one meal! Then move onto other meals whilst continuing to retain the changes. I would recommend starting slow and just making one tweak at a time. Doing this over time means you’ll make permanent changes to your lifestyle, without it being a complete 180 impact.
Would you give it a try? Let me know! x