A green smoothie is a great way to top up your uptake of fruit and veggies. Photograph: Getty Images/ iStockphoto
Separate mealtimes from screen hour
” If you’re watching TV, scrolling through Instagram or checking your emails, you’re not pay much attention to what you’re eating ,” Parker says. The outcome: you are more likely to eat more, but will feel less full for it.
For those who struggle to eat enough vegetables,” a green smoothie that has at least two portions of veg and one of fruit is a great way to top up your uptake ,” Parker says.
Plan your work food
We’re more likely to choose unhealthy foods outside the home.” Look at your schedule at the beginnings of the working day ,” advises Parker,” and scheme meals and snacks, avoiding long gaps when you might feel overly hungry .”
Eat more protein( if you want to lose weight )
” The longer something takes to digest, the farther down the intestine it will go and the fuller it will stimulate you feel ,” says Giles Yeo, principal research associate, MRC metabolic cancers division, Cambridge University and author of Gene Eating: The Story Of Human Appetite. Any protein- whether it’s from meat, beans or other plant sources- takes longer to digest than fats or carbs, he says. Peanuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are good protein sources, along with soya products such as tofu and soy milk.
Stop blindly counting calories
The energy load from ingredients varies wildly according to how they’re prepared, plus we all metabolise foods differently, so counting calories isn’t much use.” If you eat 100 calories worth of sweetcorn and then you look into the loo the next day, it’s painfully obvious you have absorbed nowhere close to that ,” says Yeo. But if you feed tortillas made of dried and ground corn, he says,” a far greater percentage of the calories are accessible “. Cooking releases more calories in many foods, too, which is why, says Yeo,” people lose weight on raw vegan diets “.
Focus less on restrictions
” Try and concentrating on what nutrition you can add to your diet, instead of cutting out or limiting food ,” says Aisling Pigott, NHS and private dietitian, and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association.” Add flavours with plenty of fruit, veggies, wholegrains and protein ,” she says.” If your favourite meal is spaghetti bolognese, try switching to a sensible section of brown pasta, bulking the sauce out with vegetables and mixing in different recipes( such as a lentil bolognese ).”
Don’t skip meals
” Regular meals are key to building a healthy relationship with food ,” says Pigott. Stabilising our eating patterns allows us to make positive food options, whereas” skipping meals, or running long periods without eating can be achieved through overruling our bodies’ hunger and fullness cues “. The trouble with being so busy that we don’t stop, she says,” is that it can be difficult to recognise these cues, building us more likely to overeat “.
Stop and enjoy every dinner
” Whether you are eating broccoli or cookies ,” Pigott says,” taking time to taste and enjoy what you are eating is as nourishing as the food you are putting in your body .”
Prioritise herbs and spices over salt
Salt is not the only way to make a meal sing with flavour, and as Pigott points out,” many of us are eating too much of it “. Salt intake can increase the risk of created blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Make cooking from scratch easier
As a protective measure against the added sugars in ready meals, Pigott recommends arming yourself with quick and easy recipes.” I love Jack Monroe’s Tin Can Cook book, which has some wonderful store cupboard staples ,” she says. Swapping recipe ideas with friends and family, she says, “can be really motivating”. Anything more than a small glass of juice( 150 ml) will slosh extra sugar into your diet, but” will not provide health benefits ,” says Pigott.
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