Bored of New Year weight loss talk already? Us too. Forget the faddy January diet and anti-diet advice – just implement these simple diet hacks into your regular routine, keep your food choices simple, seek evidence for any claims you hear around nutrition, pack in the veggies and you’ll be well on your way to long-term health and sustainable weight control!
Eating well really doesn’t need to be difficult at all, just a little bit of organisation is all you need to stay on track. Employing these 5 simple diet hacks regularly will stop you slipping back into the kind of old habits that lead to poor nutritional choices:
1. Plan your meals
Plan your weekday meals. Gather a bank of healthy recipes that you really enjoy making and start planning your weekday meals from them. We suggest weekday meals simply because we believe the weekend is a time to be a little more relaxed and enjoy some more freedom around your meal choices. Remember, the best way of eating is one you can do consistently for the long term. Planning meals means you have one less thing to worry about during your busy week as dinner is taken care of so you’re less likely to pick up the phone to the pizza place!
2. Shop to your plan
Go shopping after you have planned your week’s food and shop too the plan. List all the ingredients you need for the week’s planned meals and stick to that as your shop. A targeted shopping list will keep you focused, just make sure you keep away from those impulse buys that supermarkets often lure you into. Shopping this way will not only keep you focussed on your healthier choices but will save you time and money too.
3. Batch cook
When you have a little extra time, say at the weekend, spend some time in the kitchen cooking dishes in batches 4-5 bigger than you usually would. Get yourself some takeaway containers from the supermarket, and divide these meals out in single portions in these containers, then throw them into the freezer. You are basically starting to stockpile your own healthy ready meals. This can be an absolute godsend for those days where you have had the day from hell or end up getting home late and fancy comforting yourself with convenience food. Instead of hitting the junk, though, you just need to go to the freezer and you have good, healthy, wholesome home cooked food at your fingertips. Great dishes for batch cooking include curries, stews, chillies etc. Trust me, this one tip can save you so much time and money and keep your diet goals on track.
4. Have some pre-cooked staples on hand
Nowadays, with greater interest in healthier food, there are so many options in our supermarkets. Things like packets of pre-cooked brown rice, pearl barley, quinoa, pulses etc mean that you can have nutritious accompaniments that will be ready in minutes. Get some of these and keep them in your store cupboard. These can be perfect options to go alongside your batch cooked meals. A healthy meal at the end of a long day with minimal effort!!
5. Give your favourites a facelift
The final thing and we deem to be very important, is to not deny yourself the food that you love. Just learn how to pimp it up! If you love pizza – awesome, use a ready-made wholemeal bread mix to create a healthier base, top it with greens, red onions, and garlic. Do you like burgers? Awesome. Learn how to make homemade burgers that are bursting with flavour, free from preservatives and additives and more nutrient dense. You get the idea. Learn ways to make your everyday favourite foods healthier. This way you can enjoy the foods that you love AND eat healthier at the same time.