Improve Your Eating Habits The Easy (Well, Easier) Way. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a guest post from James Staring, lead trainer at Fit to Last. James will explore five ways to improve your eating habits that don’t require scales, weighing or calorie counting. Improving our nutrition doesn’t have to be a daunting task that involves calorie counting and strict portion control. Simple and easy ways to enhance your nutrition can help you feel better, increase your energy, maintain a healthy weight, and get more out of your exercise routine.
Improve Your Eating Habits The Easy (Well, Easier) Way
Some people enjoy calculating calories and weighing their food. Others would rather not feel they must count the number of peas on their plate. Here are five easy-to-follow and simple-to-implement approaches designed to help you improve your eating habits easily and without much thought. You’ll feel healthier with just a few minimal changes by trying them. So, take it easy, keep it simple, small steps, and don’t stress yourself by trying to do it all at once. Small changes are the easiest to make and the easiest to stick to.
Measuring portions of macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) with your hands is the simplest way to get all the nutrients you need without under- or over-eating.
The measurements are simple:
- Palms measure protein
- Cupped handfuls measure carbohydrates (try to consume this only after a workout)
- Thumbs to measure fats like nuts and butter
- Non-starchy veggies – eat as much as you want
By following this simple format, you’ll instantly know your meals are portioned correctly for you, as your own hands are the perfect measure for your own body.
These portions represent a personalised way to consume enough nutrients to eat healthily daily.
So, rather than weighing your food or counting calories, this method of working out how much protein, carbohydrate and fats to eat is much simpler and easier.
There’s always a lot of talk about how managing carbohydrate intake is the key to changing your body. However, regular protein intake can be a much more effective option for getting great results.
When you have protein with each meal, you will be able to:
- Manage your cravings
Protein helps to manage blood sugar levels. Protein takes longer to digest, slowing energy release into your bloodstream. This means your blood sugar levels remain consistent as opposed to dramatic spikes in energy caused by meals without protein. Dramatic spikes lead to equally dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which lead to cravings.
- Maintain lean muscle mass
Protein is a foundational element necessary to build and maintain muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you maintain, the more effective you’ll be at maintaining a healthy weight.
Different colours of vegetables mean different types of nutrients. The more colours (and therefore varieties) of nutrients you get, the better off you’ll be for two reasons:
- Increased protection from chronic diseases :
Different colours of vegetables and fruits have been associated with various health benefits.
- Improved gut health through developing healthy gut bacteria :
The healthier your gut bacteria are, the more likely you’ll fully digest the healthy things you eat.
Also, improving your healthy gut bacteria reduces the risk of inflammation. Inflammation is the foundation for many chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease. By fortifying your diet with colourful fruit and veg, you can help mitigate the risk of these illnesses.
And while it is true that it is ‘the more, the merrier’ when it comes to varieties of fruit and veg, it’s best to start with two portions on your plate and build up.
Low-fat choices are still widely considered to be a healthy option.
The problem is that fat is also a source of flavour (to test this theory, take a spoonful of low-fat yoghurt versus a spoonful of full-fat yoghurt…after you’ve finished off the full-fat version, you’ll know what I mean). To counteract this lack of flavour, sugar is often added.
In addition to improving flavour, fat (and by this, I mean good fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and butter) is an essential part of a healthy diet. It is not the enemy.
Healthy fats help your body produce hormones, lower the risk of heart disease, control blood cholesterol levels, and help balance blood sugar levels .
But despite these benefits, fats are still high in calorie content and thus should be consumed in smaller quantities. By choosing a smaller quantity of full fat instead of a low-fat option, you’ll be reaping more long-term benefits while at the same time managing your portions – Win-win all around.
Diets focus on deprivation, whether it’s calories or food groups. The assumption is that with just a little willpower, you can hold off on consuming the targeted items and achieve the goals you want.
This theory is flawed due to its unsustainability. Not only is willpower a finite resource that is extremely unreliable, but unless you plan on giving up the targeted food or the additional calories forever, the losses you achieve will eventually return with interest.
The occasional cheat is an easy method to improve nutrition because it will save your sanity. By allowing yourself the occasional indulgence, you’ll appreciate the healthy choices (and possible sacrifices) you’re making. By keeping things in balance and planning to give yourself something you enjoy occasionally, you’ll appreciate your journey and be more likely to stick to it.
I hope you enjoyed that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Staring is the founder and lead fitness coach at Fit to Last Personal Trainers, which offers a high-end, all-inclusive fitness solution for those who’ve tried everything in the past; crash diets, exercise fads, regular gyms etc., all with little to no success or results. Fit to Last works with you to create a personalised programme of exercise, nutrition (no calorie counting or weighing) and small, simple lifestyle changes to keep you on track to your goals, injury free and bursting with energy. See: www.fittolast.co.uk
 McManus, K.: Phytonutrients: Paint your plate with the colours of the rainbow: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/phytonutrients-paint-your-plate-with-the-colors-of-the-rainbow-2019042516501
 Woollams, C.: Gut microbiome study links Rainbow Diet foods to good health: https://the-rainbow-diet.com/articles/the-colourful-mediterranean-diet/study-links-rainbow-diet-foods-to-good-health/
 UCLA Health: Eating Healthy Fats has many benefits