Many people will start to think of that awful word ‘diet’ and how as the New Year has rolled in they are about to embark on one. The reason I don’t like the word diet is that it makes everything sound very restrictive. I was on the starve yourself thin diet for many years and I would not recommend it to a friend. Nowadays I would recommend a healthy eating plan. To me this sounds like the better plan and I thought I would share my top tips for helping you stick to your plan.
(*Have you been on a restrictive diet before or do you prefer a healthy eating plan? Let me know in the comments below and please don’t forget to like and follow me.)
My first tip is to eat up the Christmas leftover that are filling the cupboards. That’s right before I started a life without processed foods and sugars I ate what was left of the not so good stuff. Then I tried to keep it out of the house for as long as possible. In my house nowadays is a six year old who does like a sweet or two occasionally. Although, I try to limit his intake of sweets they do tend to creep into the house from time to time. Since giving up processed foods and sugars even the smell of these items makes me feel sick. So I’m not tempted but I do think that that not having them in the house is even better.
There are times however when I’m tempted by sweet foods so I try not to have an all or nothing approach to food. Most of the time I make my own sweet treats so I know the ingredients I put in them will not be bad for my body. As long as I don’t eat too many. So I try not to have an all or nothing approach. I try to be good for five or six days of the week and then I have one day off. If I have to eat processed and packaged foods then I do. It’s very rare now but I find it helps to keep me sane.
One of the ways I try to keep balance in my diet is to make a menu for the week ahead. I find a time that is convenient to me and I sit down and write a menu for the week. Once I have decided on meals we will be having for the week ahead I then start to write a list from that menu. Occasionally I will swap over days if we don’t fancy what’s to eat on a particular day. But a menu for me is one of the best ways to stick to a healthy eating plan. I find this a great way to stay focused on what we are going to eat every week rather than go to the shops and not knowing what to eat.
Hunger between meals can be a killer for me. I’m not good without food in my tummy. So if I’m out and about you’ll probably always find I take a piece of fruit and either a healthy shop bought cereal bar or nuts. I find that if I carry snacks with me I’m less likely to reach for the sweet, sugary stuff when I’m peckish. I know I will always get hungry so I make sure there is a small item of food in my bag. Plus, if I do buy a shop bought snack there are lots of really healthy cereal and date bars that will help keep me going until my next meal.
At my meal times I now try to practice mindful eating. In recent years I have been reading a few self help books that talk about eating. In the books I read they talk about taking time to eat your meals. I now try to take at least 20 minutes to eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner. They talked about sitting at the table with no distractions. The first thing I do is to try not to have my mobile or laptop at the table with me when I eat. I also try to chew every mouthful and savour the food that’s in my mouth. All of these tips have helped me to slow down my eating and enjoy the food that is in front of me.
For me, food today is tasty, fun and nourishing. It’s no longer hard work and an effort. I find by planning and taking a little bit of time my meals are easy. It’s another reason why I use the healthy eating plan rather than diet. When I was on the starve yourself thin diet I did lose weight but I can honestly say I wasn’t happy and I was always hungry. Now I’m on a healthy eating plan I enjoy my food and I have found the joy in it again. I hope these healthy eating plan tips help you and good luck.
Thank you. xxx