Follow this expert advice from Libby Babet to ensure you stick to your healthy eating resolutions for 2015.
Hands up if you can relate to this: it’s a couple of weeks into the New Year and although you’ve stuck to your resolutions so far, suddenly the vending machine is starting to look a little more enticing than those carrot and celery sticks you have stashed in your cooler bag. Or maybe you just got so busy at work that you didn’t even have time to buy the carrots in the first place!
So off you go, coins in hand, ready to spend your loose change on sticky chocolate bars, bags of fried and salted chips, stale peanuts and vacuum-packed cookies. They taste good at the time but afterwards you just feel plain ill. Then guilty. Then a little hopeless because you know this is probably the start of the downhill slide into mindless eating… again.
It’s true that preparation is critical when it comes to making sure you’re eating real, clean food and yep, all that conflicting nutrition information out there can be confusing but guess what? Eating right does not have to be boring, or hard, or toooo time consuming. And the results you’ll see when you eat well consistently (note, this does not just mean for a few weeks!) are well and truly worth the effort.
So here they are, the major things you need to know to make clean eating easy – and the awesome, simple and satisfying snacks that will help you kick cravings to the curb!
Knowing WHAT to eat and WHY
The easy answer is to forget calorie counting and just focus on choosing foods with as close to one ingredient as possible. When you consistently eat real food and not processed, partial foods, your body will tell you when it’s full, when it needs fuel and how sweet is too sweet. Your palate will literally change for the better!
So which foods have one ingredient only? Fresh meat (the hormone-free, grass-fed kind), fish, vegetables, fruit, plain nuts, eggs, some dairy if you can tolerate it and most whole grains (think wild or brown rice, quinoa, oat bran) and superfoods like raw cacao and super-dark chocolate, maca, goji berries, chia seeds, etc.
Foods that are OUT on your new, clean eating plan include most packaged goods, as well as the majority of cereals, breads, processed meats and plastic cheeses, crackers, chips, lollies, milk chocolate, sweet drinks, biscuits, fast food, long-lasting condiments and soy products, as well as any ‘meddled with’ foods, like skim milk.
Calories might not be worth counting, but portion control is certainly important, so cut down your portion sizes and make sure you’re eating every 3-5 hours to see results.
Knowing WHEN to eat it
Start your day with proteins and good fats, not carbs. This helps to set your body and mind up for the day and is one of the big, secret fat loss weapons! By starting your day this way, you’ll be stabilising your blood sugar levels after an overnight fast, helping you to stay fuller for longer and decrease naughty food cravings. You’ll also feel more driven and productive, as the amino acids in these foods fire up your neurotransmitters and release hormones that make you approach your work with laser sharp focus!
Eat your largest meals in the first part of your day and lighten up as the day wears on. You’ll sleep better and feel more rested each morning if your bod isn’t having to work hard to digest heavy meals overnight.
Breakfast suggestions: A serve of lean red or white meat, fish, avocado, or nuts. If you’re a bit more of a traditionalist, plain oat bran with a handful of nuts, maybe a little yoghurt and some berries is a good back-up option. Seriously though, the results you see from eating ‘dinner’ foods for brekky are impressive!
Lunch suggestions: ever feel crampy and ick after eating a sandwich, or bowl of pasta salad, then sitting down to respond to your emails? Ditch the bread and starchy whites and go for a big, colourful salad instead. Make sure you add some protein and dress it with something yummy, like fresh olive oil and lime and you’re good to go!
Dinner suggestions: Fish, or a small serve of lean meat and green veggies is the best option. Add sweet potato and pumpkin, roasted or grated beets, fresh roasted tomatoes, or a small crumbling of goats cheese to dress it up.