Do you suffer from food cravings or get that afternoon energy slump? Maybe you eat to boost your emotions and feelings? Do you grab the nearest take-away as a quick fix to stemming hunger pangs?
If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, it could well be time to upgrade your eating habits! Now that doesn’t mean going on a crazy obscure diet with excessive calorie counting. It means that by improving the quality of food you consume and the amount you eat (over-consuming) you will undoubtedly improve your improve your overall health and wellbeing! Upgrading your eating habits will give you increased energy levels, boost your immune system, better weight management, less bloating, feel fuller for longer and so many more benefits to eating a nutrient dense diet!
The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. Your health is what you make of it. Everything you do and think either adds to the vitality, energy, and spirit you possess - Ann Wigmore
When you consume real foods that are as close to nature as possible you fuel your body with nutrients that can easily turn into metabolic energy. However, when you focus on counting calories it’s easy to eat fake foods, (often termed as beige foods). Fake foods have little nutritional value and often contain artificial flavourings and chemicals.
Upgrade your eating habits
Follow these 8 life changing steps to improve your eating habits.
Step 1. Add an abundance of nutritional goodness into your diet so that you don’t have any room left to crave foods that are lower in nutrients! This is the #1 habit change that will turnaround the way you think about the food you consume! Focus on more nutrients and less chemicals. Macronutrients are the nutrients we need in larger quantities that provide us with energy; fat, protein and carbohydrate. Micronutrients are mostly vitamins and minerals, and are equally important but consumed in very small amounts. We generally get our micronutrients along with macronutrients.
Step 2. Understand the effects that different foods have on your body. For example, eating excessive saturated fats and trans fatty acids in processed foods (the beige group) can lead to weight gain and/or high cholesterol. Make food choices that will make you feel good for hours after eating. (Not just a quick energy fix that will leave you feeling lethargic and wanting more food)
Step 3. Eat a rainbow! Increase your carbohydrate quality by minimising packaged beige foods and replace with foods that are brightly coloured all the way through! Including a variety of colour in your diet ensures that your diet contains the fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants we need! Helping to protect against illness, bone density loss, digestive problems, hypertension and many other diseases. Try to eat a rainbow of 6-8 portions of different colour vegetables every day.
Step 4. Eat seasonal fruit and vegetables! Food that is in season is more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Seasonal food is produce that is eaten at the same time it is grown. Fruit and vegetables that are harvested locally and have been allowed to fully ripen in the sun are fresher and often taste so much better too. We live in a world where supermarkets supply produce 24/7 and it can be easy to forget about how, when and where these foods are grown. Remember: the fresher the better – the higher the nutritional content.
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Step 5. Cut out white foods and increase your fibre intake. Replace refined white foods with wholemeal, multigrains, lentils, beans, pulses, raw nuts and seeds. White food generally refers to foods that have been processed and refined and are white in colour. Flour, rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, and sugar. Most white refined foods are lacking in fibre, vitamins and minerals and are less satisfying than unrefined foods. Fibre helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
Step 6. Conscious consuming! Taking the time to look at the food we are about to eat, taste every mouthful and be present during meal times is essential for the body to absorb nutrients. This also helps to reduce bloating, acid reflux and stress! Slowing down and observing what you eat will help to prevent overeating too. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your stomach to signal back to your brain that it’s full. So place your cutlery down between mouthfuls and aim to win the slow race at the table!
Step 7. Include the 5S group in your daily diet! Salads, soups, stews, stir-fries and supergreen shakes! Creating meals that include 4 different vegetables can be challenging! However, preparing one of the 5S meal groups ensures that you can include all the essential nutrients you need!
Step 8. Small investment of time = long term gain – meal prepping! A small investment of time to prepare nutritious meals will save you many hours in the future! Batch cook soups and stews for the week ahead (or longer if you have a freezer!) Schedule 10 mins to learn a few new delicious recipes. Then make a shopping list that includes all the ingredients you need to prepare delicious nutrient packed meals!
Wellbeing Workshops that make a difference
Wellbeing People deliver workshops that help employees upgrade their eating habits enabling them to feel the best they can! Take a look at our range of wellbeing workshops here