Determined to tidy up your diet for Summer 2022? You don’t have to adopt an all-or-nothing approach to healthy eating (in fact, that’s the last thing we’d recommend). But with a few simple and realistic guidelines, you can navigate your way through food overwhelm and out the other side. Try these on for size.
1 Don’t eat like an 8-year-old at a buffet
Be honest about how you’re acting around food. Would you fit right in with a bunch of primary school kids high on Haribo? We’re not saying you have to be super sensible all the time. But if you know you’ve lost the plot and can’t stop snacking, time to rein it in.
2 Take a pause, then decide
This food rule is the easiest thing you can do to make the biggest difference. Are you prone to mindless snacking or emotional eating? Then take a pause before you reach for the food. It doesn’t need to be long – even 10 seconds will do – but it will shift you out of autopilot.
3 Second helpings are more of the same
Are seconds your downfall? If you want to cut back on the habit of going back for more of the same, remember that’s exactly what it is… the same. Are you really going to enjoy a second serving of something you’ve already eaten?
4 Delete the delivery apps
Lockdown made it oh-so-easy to get any food delivered to your door, day and night. And they’re literally designed to be addictive. So do yourself a favour and delete them off your phone. Yes, you could reinstall them. But any barrier will give you that chance to rethink.
5 Eat one extra vegetable a day
Yep, best practice is 5+ servings of fruit and veg. But when you’re simply trying to embed some basic habits (or get away from bad ones), it helps to keep things simple. Commit to eating one extra serving of veg a day. This isn’t much, but it will make you feel much healthier.
6 Weird food combinations can be OK
Not every meal has to be a recipe-worthy concoction of delicious ingredients. If you’re just trying to eat healthy foods and get some protein, carbs, and fibre on your plate then who cares what it looks like. There’s nothing wrong with odd or boring food combos if it meets your goals.
7 If in doubt, keep it simple
Food overwhelm is real. Don’t overthink it. Most of your weekly meals are probably “functional” – eaten alone and in a bit of a rush. Keep your breakfasts and lunches simple and save the creative process for meals with partner, family or friends.
8 Have go-to meals you actually enjoy
You know what makes healthier eating easy? Having a bank of reasonably nutritious, roughly macro-accurate meals you could put together with your eyes shut. Come up with 2-3 breakfasts, lunches, snacks and evening meals that you can turn to in a pinch and you’ll free up so much time. For example: berries, oats, protein powder for breakfast, chicken salad wrap for lunch, tray bake for dinner. Easy.
9 Don’t overdo it two days in a row
We don’t recommend aiming for 100% perfection with your eating habits. But we definitely don’t condone a “f**k it” approach, either. Make this one of your mantras: I’ll never have two bad days in a row. So if you eat out or overdo it at a party one day, get back on it the next. If you have an emotional eating blip one night, commit to a solid day tomorrow.
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