How to Eat Healthy Every Day
At Fresh Fitness Food, we love to help our clients meet their goals by providing them with healthy food that they love, but what clients sometimes seem to struggle with, is knowing how to eat healthy food DAILY.
Sometimes it’s knowing what types of food to eat and in what proportions, other times it’s dealing with ‘cravings’ or anxieties around certain foods.
To help with this, we’ve put together some pointers to hopefully help you eat healthy food every day, and actually enjoy it!
Managing your Thoughts
What’s your Motivation?
To start with, it’s important to determine your motivations for eating ‘healthy’.
- Do you have specific health concerns? Cholesterol levels, blood pressure or diabetes?
- Are you trying to lose weight?
- Wanting to increase your energy levels?
There are many, many reasons for wanting to eat healthy food, but pinpointing a specific motivation can be extremely helpful.
Often, healthy eating is perceived synonymously with a desire to lose weight. However, it is certainly possible (and normal – or at least it should be) to want to keep your body healthy without there being any weight motivations.
Eating healthy food does not necessarily mean you want or need to lose weight (but if it does, that’s okay!).
Celebrate your differences
As everyone is entirely different, what works best for your body may not necessarily work for someone else. Even if we all ate the same and exercised the same we would still all have different bodies, which is why you’ll never find us using a cookie-cutter approach to our lovely clients’ nutritional needs.
Acknowledging this can help you to stop comparing yourself to others and allows you to listen to your body give it what it truly needs – oftentimes, this ends up being a variety of fruit and veg and lean protein, and not burgers and beer, as you may initially suspect.
The Forbidden Fruit Effect
The Forbidden Fruit Effect is the psychological process by which something that is labelled as prohibited, unattainable or out of reach instantly becomes more attractive and desirable.
Psychologists commonly encounter this in the context of dating, relationships and dieting.
It may sound counterintuitive to your goals, but ensure you don’t completely ‘forbid’ foods that you enjoy.
This makes the food more desirable, increases the likelihood of overeating said food, and therefore makes your diet or lifestyle less sustainable.
Not only this but completely restricting certain foods can lead to anxiety around food(s) and even developed intolerances (depending on how long the item is restricted for).
(Note – this is not applicable to those with allergies or health conditions that can be somewhat managed through nutrition!)
We have previously covered this in more depth in our post on Improving Your Relationship with Food.
Shift your Perspective
In the same vein, eating ‘healthy’ food typically becomes easier when you remove any aesthetic-motivated connotations from food.
For example – having a salad because it allows you to have a huge variety of vegetables and a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat (much like our Thai-inspired Salad!), rather than it being a way of ‘earning a summer body’.
Shifting your perspective and motivations from ‘this will make me lose weight’ to ‘this is a food I enjoy and it makes me feel great’ is a vital change that can make or break your diet and lifestyle.
The more that this is practised, the more you’ll likely start to notice that foods that you previously could not stop thinking about start to lose their appeal, and that you feel more in control of what you’re eating.
With that, nourishing your body with
Or reducing your intake of saturated fats can help reduce cholesterol and decrease your risk of bowel cancer.
Managing your Diet
Building your Plate
Knowing what to put on your plate can be half the battle when it comes to eating healthy food.
As some baseline guidance, try to include at least one source of protein, carbohydrates and fat with each meal or snack – take our Peppercorn and Dijon Roasted Bavette meal below.
This contains a generous source of sliced beef, served with roasted sweet potato for an added energy boost, tender stem broccoli to get those micronutrients in and our special FFF pesto, full of unsaturated fats to help reduce your risk of heart disease.
However, due to its saturated fat content, red meat is not something that should be consumed every day, so here are some more specific pointers to help you fuel your body with healthy food throughout the week.
- Lean sources – chicken, turkey, white fish, tofu.
- Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, herring.
- Red meat – beef, lamb, turkey.
Generally, it’s best to limit red meat consumption to 2-3 times per week (unless intentionally buying ‘lean’/reduced fat red meat, or personally removing the fattier elements of the cut).
Government guidelines advise at least two portions of fish a week, with one of them being oily.
Otherwise, try to opt for the lean protein sources outlined above.
Vegetarian and vegan protein sources are, generally speaking, quite lean. Just look out for the amount of saturated fat stated within the nutritional information – men should try not to consume more than 30g of saturated fat a day, and women no more than 20g.
If possible, it’s best to incorporate the following types of carbs into your diet. These are complex carbohydrates, which tend to be higher in fibre, helping you keep more satiated.
- Wholegrain/brown carbs – brown rice, whole grain pasta,
- Grains – quinoa, lentils, oats, buckwheat.
- Vegetables – sweet potato, beetroot, squash.
- Fruit – banana, pineapple, apple, grapes.
On average, most Brits consume just over half the daily recommended fibre intake, so swapping your carb source for the above will also help you hit your daily fibre intake too.
Other carb sources such as sweets, pastry and energy drinks, for example, should be moderated where possible.
At FFF, we like to prioritise low GI carbohydrates, but there is room for everything in a healthy, balanced diet, which is why you may still receive delicious white rice on occasion.
Fat’s are essential for the human body, and help us absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. These are all fat-soluble vitamins, which means they can only be absorbed with the help of fats.
There are two main types of dietary fat:
- Saturated fats – red meat, dairy, confectionery.
- Unsaturated fats; these are split into two types:
- Monounsaturated fats – nuts, avocado, oils (olive, sunflower, peanut, sesame).
- Polyunsaturated fats – seeds, walnuts, oily fish
As mentioned above, it’s best to be wary of your saturated fat intake.
Whilst fine to eat in moderation, consuming saturated fat in excess can increase your risk of heart disease, as well as your cholesterol levels.
Try to ensure that most of the fat you consume is from nuts, seeds, oil and fish, rather than from red meat and dairy.
Combining all of the above, we’ve pulled together what a healthy day of meals may look like from our FFF menu:
- Breakfast – Islands Chocolate and Banana Bread Protein Waffles, Fresh Fruit Salad, Almond Butter and Maple Sauce, Coconut Flakes
- Lunch – Creamy Coconut Salmon, Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Green Beans, Steamed Greens, Spiralised Carrot with a Tahini Sauce, Spiced Brown Rice, Citrus Dressing, Pomegranate
- Dinner – Chickpea Gyros, Roast Fennel, Sugar snap pea and Rocket Salad, Greek Salad, Quinoa and Lentil Tabbouleh, Tzatziki, Pomegranate & Parsley
- Savoury snack – Peri Peri Chicken Tenders with Crunchy Corn
- Sweet snack – Miso and PB Fudge Cups
Hopefully, with the above in mind, you now have an arsenal of nutrition nuggets in the forefront of your mind. However, if you are still struggling with knowing how to eat healthy food every day, feel free to book a call with one of our all-knowing nutritionists. They can discuss your needs and make any suggestions based on your current lifestyle.
Have all the information you need but just don’t want to cook? Give our General Health a go with £50 off your 5-day trial with code BLOG50 – Order Now.
Meghan Foulsham, Fresh Fitness Food Nutritionist, BSc Biochemistry & MSc Eating Disorders and Clinical Nutrition