Do you know the feeling of enthusiasm when you decide, yes I am going to eat only healthy food in the rest of my life… and is familiar the recognition that you are following the old bad eating habits again just two weeks after your vow?
Why some people can eat healthily and why others fail? What is the secret of sustaining a healthy diet?
Healthy food can mean very different for different people. For me healthy eating means that I eat as less processed food as possible, I follow a varied and healthy diet and I eat only that many calories as many my body needs. Sounds pretty simple and straight forward but all these presume that I know my body, I know my food and I make healthy choices in the majority of the cases.
In the last ten years, I worked hard to have all the knowledge to get to this point and I know that the learning process has not finished yet. It has been a really long and bumpy road to recognizing my body’s needs and there is no weight loss system what could spare us this experience. We are all different with different lifestyle and different nutritional needs, you can get general advice what works in weight loss, but you have to do the hard work and find out what really works for you.
However, there is one really important recognition in these years, what I would like to share with you.
I have found that every single person – who follows a healthy diet – does this.
This is not a very complicated thing, indeed the simplest advice ever, but it does not mean that it is not the most important in weight management.
There is no such thing that chips “only for visitors” or chocolate “only for the kids”. Once they are in your cupboard you will eat them at one point – if not earlier, – when you putting them in front of your visitors. Crisps, chocolate bars, sweets, biscuits have a particular ability: once they sit on the shelf of your cupboard they can call you anytime, in any situation “come and eat me“. Yes, they can make you forget all about lovely fruits, all about your weight loss goal and the whole healthy lifestyle thing.
What can we do?
And here is the secret
The healthy food products in your house = healthy eating
Fill up your cupboard, fridge and freezer only with healthy products and this way you can reduce the risk of unhealthy eating. The first and most important step is to shop right food. Whatever is in your shopping trolley and later in your cupboard- you are going to eat it.
Do not worry, you do not need to swap all products at the same time, this is a long process. Focus on one at the time, make a habit of reading food labels and keep looking for the healthiest version. When you make these basic swaps, it always takes a time to get used to the new taste. I know it can be hard first as less sugar, less salt and less artificial taste enhancer means a more modest taste, but it gives an opportunity to can re-discover real flavours again. Adding herbs and spices can give a good balance to our dishes.
Very often the flavoured version of a basic product mean more additives. Good example cereals: the unflavoured original whole grain products usually contain less sugar and additives than the flavoured versions. Okay, nobody wants to chew on tasteless wholegrain box, but you always can add some fresh or dried fruit, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, cocoa powder or no-sugar jam to create your own favorite. They bring not just a better taste, but an additional nutritional value too to the dish and this is also a huge benefit.
Healthy & basic cupboard items
As this blog meant to be practical, I collected the most important items what should be avoided and also their substitutes below. Stock up on these, find recipes to use them and the basics of your healthy eating habits will be strong enough to face with other temptations outside, like in your workplace or at a social event.
Healthy food choices
Crisps; salted; spiced nuts; yoghurt- or chocolate coated nuts; biscuits; cookies; jam tarts; shortbreads; crackers; breakfast biscuits and breakfast bars; chocolate bars; sweets
raw or oven roasted nuts, seeds& seed mixes, dried fruits: raisins, prunes, apricots, figs, dates, nut butter, oat cakes, plain rice cakes, plain bread sticks (check the label), high cocoa content quality chocolate, fresh fruits
Granola; clusters and cereals; instant porridge; flavoured Weetabix; morning spreads like Nutella; Danish pastries; Croissant; pre-packed bakery products like pancake, scone, malt-loaf, yoghurt desserts or other dairy desserts, fatty bacon, salami and sausages, cheese spreads, processed cheese slices
Shreddies; Weetabix original; porridge oats; no-added-sugar muesli; no-added-salt and sugar nut butter like almond or peanut butter; natural live yoghurt, greek style yoghurt, or just slightly flavoured yoghurts (check the ingredients list), lean bacon, ham and smoked fish; eggs; high quality cheeses, preferably low-fat; cottage cheese,
Canned pasta and soups; Pasta kits; Spice mixes; pasta sauces, meal kit; ready made cooking sauces, dips, fatty cut meat, beef dripping
Tinned vegetables: beans, pulses, chickpeas, sweetcorn, tomatoes; passata; some tomato sauces (check the label); dry pulses and pulse mix: lentil, beans, grains; spices, dry and fresh herbs, fresh ginger, chilli; Dried pasta (durum or brown); grains: barley, bulgur, quinoa, couscous, rice(preferably brown), oats, millet; tinned fish: tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, vegetables in jar: grilled pepper, artichokes, olives, pickles: cucumber, beets, peppers, fresh or frozen organic fish, lean meat, poultry & game
frozen ready meals like pizza, garlic bread, pies, lasagna; processed potato products: waffles, chips, fat roast potatoes; frozen party food; battered and breaded fish
Frozen vegetables: pea, carrot, spinach, sweetcorn, broccoli, vegetable mix; Frozen fruits: berries, banana, fruit mix, frozen yoghurt, frozen fish, frozen lean meat, mince, Quorn