As if there was not enough in our lives to stress about! What time should I eat breakfast? Can I skip lunch if I’m busy? I don’t have time to cook dinner every night so is it ok to have takeaway every now and then? These are just some of the questions that we ask that eventually turn into excuses for not planning and preparing meals that are healthy, nutritious and beneficially to our overall wellbeing.
Did you know that your dietary habits could be a contributing factor to your stress levels at work and completing everyday tasks?? But it really does not have to be this hard. Let’s look at some simple facts about your diet requirements and then some tips on how you can effectively implement them for yourself and your family.
This is so important and is not a step that has to involve a huge amount of your time. Just set aside a part of your weekend or maybe the day you decide to do your grocery shopping and set out some meal plans for the week. Not only can this assist in making sure your meals are nutritious, but it can also take away the stress of shopping for groceries and not knowing what to buy. In addition, going to the shops with a concise list of ingredients may stop you reaching for quick and easy meal options or snacks that may be high in fat and simple carbohydrates.
People often misconstrue eating ‘healthy’ for ‘eating food that won’t taste good’. This is certainly not the case, and is one of the most important keys to succeeding in maintaining a healthy lifestyle after weight loss has occurred. When you are planning your meals for the week, seek recipes that include foods you like, and then complement those with fresh, raw ingredients that contain vitamins and nutrients essential for brain health and energy provision. Don’t eat something that does not taste good to you, just because someone said it was ‘healthy’.
Again, if prepared in advance, portion control can be a great tool for weight loss. It can also make your job as the meal provider for your family a lot easier. Here is a tip for any meal about the amounts of basic carbohydrates, proteins and fats. If you are consuming 5-6 portioned meals day, they should contain 45% complex carbohydrates (vegetables, unrefined grains), 30% protein (this is best in its natural form i.e. egg, red or white meat, legumes or whey protein powder), and 25% essential mono-saturated fats (nuts, olive oil, fat content in meat, some vegetables). This will also assist you in meeting the RDI for vitamins and nutrients within the body.
This tip particularly applies to families with children but affects adults as well. No one wants to eat something that does not look appetising. Even something as simple as a whey protein shake can be amplified by adding some frozen berries, oats and using oat milk so that it looks more like a colourful dessert than ‘just another shake’. Make sure you use lots of colourful ingredients and present them so that everyone, even your children, want to finish their whole meal.