We’ve all been through failed diet experiments or cutting out large food groups from our lives but nothing lasts forever so the key to a healthy life is moderation and self-awareness.
It’s a constant battle we all fight to feel amazing in our own bodies but if you follow these five golden rules, you’ll feel great no matter your shape or size.
1. Watch your proportions. Half of your plate should always be vegetables (greens and fruits). One quarter should be your protein, (fish, beef, chicken, tofu, eggs or beans) and the other quarter should be your carbohydrates (grains). Opt for healthier carbs such as wild/brown rice, lentils, buckwheat or quinoa. Pumpkin and butternut could also replace your carbs.
2. Be mindful of your plate size. Studies show that people who eat food from a large bowl or plate, serve and eat more. When people eat from a crowded little plate, they eat less. This may seem like an illusion but don’t fool yourself (and your stomach!).
3. Eat consciously. Be aware of how much food you are eating at a time, and at what speed you are doing it. If you are starving and need to tame your belly, shoving food down your throat will only lead to consuming more food. Draw out the process, sit down, away from the TV and any other mindless distractions and take your time, resting in-between each bite. It’s been shown that people who eat in this manner cut their kilojoule intake.
4. Go for colour! Fruits and vegetables are full of fibre and bulk so they fill you up and tend to be low in kilojoules – and they also happen to be the most colourful things on your plate. Try consume three different colours from the five-colour wheel, which are:
Green: Leafy greens (spinach, rocket, lettuce, cabbage, etc), green vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, green beans, peas, baby marrows, etc.), fruits (kiwi, green apples and pears, limes, etc)
Blue/purple: Vegetables (eggplant, purple cabbage, etc), fruits (blueberries, figs, grapes, plums, blackberries, etc)
Red: Vegetables (beets, red bell peppers, red onion, radish, chilli peppers, etc), fruits (tomatoes, apples, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates, pink/red grapefruit, etc)
Yellow/orange: Vegetables (orange and yellow peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut, pumpkin, etc), fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, mangoes, naartjies, pineapples, papaya, etc)
White: Vegetables (cauliflower, onions, garlic, mushrooms, shallots, potatoes, etc), fruits (white peaches and nectarines, coconut, bananas, etc).
5. Quit mindless snacking. It’s so much easier (and cheaper!) to tear open a bag of chips when peckish but those unnecessary, empty kilojoules can be harmful. Our emotions can have a massive affect on how we see food. If an urge to snack is lurking, try a distraction, such as checking your FB or calling up a friend to chat – sometimes our brain sends a signal to our stomachs that we want to eat (when seeing the golden arches on your way to work or scrolling through recipes online, for example).