The word “Diet” has become a misconstrued term over time with celebrity eating habits and ideologies, fashion magazines and reality tv shows, providing short term weight loss benefits for readers and viewers. But the truth is that these benefits are short lived and are unfortunately replaced with sadness, comfort eating, frustrations and even health risks. Even the term “weight loss” is wrong.

What if I said that over time using the recommended amendments to your diet plan, you would lose body fat, drop dress/trouser sizes, and some weight. All this whilst feeling more energetic throughout your day, mentally focused and improve your sleep. Would it appeal to you?

Diet is simply your eating habit, a guide line that allows our body to work optimally. A good example would be like a steam train that wants to move down the track. To make this happen, the operative must first put the right fuel in the furnace, knowing that the train’s food source will help the train move faster and more economically to prevent energy wastage. It is the same for humans, what we eat will either help us run more efficiently, or slow us down.

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To ensure you don’t start “another” diet plan that re-enters the fad diet failure cycle, it is important to remember subtle changes are far easier to maintain and turn into new eating habits.

Cutting out all your favorite foods is not realistic, as your mind and body are not used to functioning without the simple sugars it has heavily relied on in the past.

By making small changes every couple of weeks, your new found habits will be much more manageable, making you more likely to stay on track living a healthier lifestyle. You can expect to see and feel differences after a few days, starting with increases in energy and mental focus as your body works optimally by burning body fat rather than storing it.

How to create a diet plan, based on foods you like

To ensure you start your new beginning on the right foot, daily meals and meal sizes must be addressed.  In the hectic working world of today, our body requires us to eat 3 meals – breakfast, lunch & dinner (with a snack in between each meal).

When preparing your meals the night before, or preparing a family dinner etc, there are options you can utilize to help the whole family to make the transition towards a healthier life an easier one.

Firstly, it important to balance protein, fats and carbohydrates. Eating large plates full of mash potato or french fries with an egg and sausage will highly unlikely allow you to drop dress sizes or inches off your waist line. This is because your meal is dominated by simple carbohydrates, high glycemic/high insulin level that put your body into ‘fat storing mode’, as it cannot cope with the high levels of sugar in the body.

Carbohydrates are a good energy source, but when consumed in large quantities as found in fast foods and poor quality microwave meals for example, it is easy to find the reason why obesity and heart disease and diabetes are the global problems they are today.

So ensure your carbohydrate intake does not accumulate more than a 3rd of the plate. The remainder should be between your proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals (meat and vegetables).

Breakfast is vital, as after sleep your body is in starvation mode. Your most important meal of the day can be a medium sized omelet, with some nutrient dense ingredients such as : diced spinach leafs, onion, chicken/bacon, chopped olives, tomato to name but a few. Wash it down with a glass of water, then later have a nice cuppa or coffee.

deliciously-looking omelette

For lunch and dinner (either or), add your protein source such as meat (Chicken/turkey/beef or fish). If making mash potato, why not replace it with mash cauliflower, a fantastic replacement to get you on your way!!

If you love you bread, pasta and rice, start using whole grain products.

If you’re a chilli lover, use a variety of beans like black eye beans, kidney and even throw some chick peas.

Like a fry up? Use coconut oil on a light fry to cook with, helping your mind stay strong and healthy. The ‘Ketones’  found in coconut could help fight against Alzheimer’s and dementia.

As a side dish or even a main meal, how about a nice small bowl of salad (the more colours the better)!!  Using spinach, onion, olives, romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red/green/yellow peppers and add some chicken/eggs or tuna. This easy and quick to make dish can be a small snack or even a full meal! To finish, add your own dressing  with a splash of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. All done and in your lunch box within 3 minutes!! (For extras, Sprinkle pumpkin seeds and some crushed walnuts to really get you in the swing of things).

Drink plenty of water throughout your day. Dehydration can lead to loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, headaches and tiredness. Remember: If you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated!! We need water to assist repairs within the body, it’s essential for digestion, and is used to transport nutrients around the body. Water even improves sleep, reduces fatigue and stress, dilutes the blood to prevent abnormal clotting and reduces the risk of stroke.

Tip for snacks: Always carry with your water a little bag of nuts, mixed seeds (sesame/sunflower etc) & almonds just to your next meal.  Do not wait too long and cause yourself to overindulge or even eat the next thing in view (the evil McDonalds and other fast food heavens). Stay away from low fat products that replace fats with sugars or worse….Artificial sweeteners!!  A yogurt fan?  Try Greek yogurt with honey!

With these basic eating habit recommendations, there is enough to start you on your journey to a healthier you. As mentioned in the beginning, by simply implementing 2-3 changes to your current eating habits, whilst exersicing a minimum of 3 times per week for 30 minutes you can expect results in as little as 2 weeks.

Remember dedication pays off in the long run. Is cheating worth your health? The answer is always no! Be honest with yourself, and the results will come.

Good luck.

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