Eating healthy is not difficult. Sure you can get caught up in the details of how many carbs should I eat or do bananas have too much sugar or should I eat small or big meals, etc. But the main thing here is to eat REAL food. And eat food that is less healthy in moderation. As long as you do this, you will become a much healthier person!
REAL FOOD = things that grew in the ground or on trees, or once lived…. Foods like:
LESS HEALTHY FOOD = highly processed food
Highly processed foods have more than just sugar, salt, or fat added to them. These foods also have artificial colours, extra flavouring, and preservatives added to them. They usually don’t require any preparation, and most often they are low in fiber and nutrients:
So you’re probably thinking – OMG do I need to cut out everything that comes out of a packet?! You don’t have to cut it ALL out! I’m not saying you can never have it again. Just try to minimize it. Make small changes; don’t try to do it all at once.
For example, start taking your lunch and snacks to work instead of buying lunch or getting something from the vending machine everyday. Or stop having your sugary cereals for breakfast and swap it for something like eggs and avocado on toast.
I have a blog post dedicated entirely to processed food and how good or bad each type of processed food is for you so make sure to give it a read. :)
Thinking of healthy meal ideas can be a bit of a pain (but also fun!) so I’m doing all of the work for you! Here are some ideas on what to eat for meals and snacks.
I have already done a pretty extensive post on healthy breakfasts. Check out this blog post for 5 super healthy (and yummy) breakfasts.
When I first started getting healthy, my main go to lunch was toasted sandwiches and wraps. And there’s nothing wrong with this! These days I choose not to eat as much gluten, but eating these foods can still work, plus they’re super easy! Try to include some of the good stuff such as spinach, avocado, carrot, and lots of salads / vegetables! But it is also OK to add some cheese, pesto, or a bit of mayo, butter, or whatever else it is you want to put on it. Oh and don’t forget the protein. Chicken is my favourite!
My other favourite is to have leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. Make a bit extra to last you a few lunches, so you don’t really have to do any food preparation.
And if all else fails and you forget to do the groceries, my back up option is boiled eggs and avocado on toast, brown rice sushi or a takeaway chicken and pumpkin salad!
My favourite dinners are those that are simple. I love having BBQ meat (such as beef skewers, or marinated chicken breast), with some homemade sweet potato chips and green vegetables. Other healthy dinner options that can be used for leftover lunches include stir fries, roast meat with vegetables, curries, soups, casseroles, etc.
I have around 2-3 snacks per day as I prefer to eat smaller meals, but this is a personal preference! If your meals are larger and you don’t feel like you need a snack, that’s OK too.
My favourite snacks include: fruit, nuts, boiled eggs, protein shakes, carrot sticks (or sometimes crackers) with healthy dips, or my own homemade treats such as protein balls or healthy slices.
I have also put together some clean eating guidelines so make sure you have a read of these too!
OK so I’m just going to touch on this stuff, because it is important to know. The calculations say that to lose one pound of fat (around 0.5kgs), you need to be eating at a calorie deficit of 500 calories. This means eating 500 calories LESS than what your body actually needs. But I usually tend to eat just 200-300 calories less than my body needs. If I try eating at a calorie deficit of 500 calories, I get too hungry and it’s just not sustainable for me.
To find out how many calories you should be eating for your body, check out my previous blog post here.
I recommend tracking your calories for around 1 week. You can use the free app “myfitnesspal” to work out how may calories you’re eating. Record absolutely EVERYTHING you eat and drink! This will give you an idea as to how much you’re eating and how much you need to cut back. If you’re eating 2000 calories a day, dropping back to 1500 calories might be difficult, so cut it back slowly.
This method of weight loss does work so it’s good to get a handle on it so you know roughly how much food your body needs and you don’t overeat. Just try not to get too caught up in the numbers!
If you are still a bit unsure of where to start, you can try my 7 Day Lean legs Meal Plan that is designed to help you eat healthy and lose weight. You can download it for free :)
The next blog posts in this series is my beginner’s guides to running and weights. Stay tuned!
Love Rachael xx