Often Spring is seen as a time to make a fresh start, as a representation of a new day & a chance for a reset. So, with these feelings in mind, over the next week I will post some tips to inspire (perhaps re-inspire) you on your health journey, tips you can use in your everyday life.
A little about me first I am a bachelor qualified Clinical Nutritionist (BHSc) & have a passion for helping others who want to lead healthier lifestyles through good nutrition. It is about everyone’s health every day. My deal – I love food, always have. It’s amazing to think how our food choices can impact our health & wellness. No one is too young or too old to learn how diet can influence their health.
OK, two great general lifestyle tips to start your health journey.
#1 Ditch the sugar!
Depending on your diet, reducing sugar can be a seriously hard task; BUT the benefits of that decision are huge. The impact of high amounts of added sugar in your diet link with so many medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease to name just a few.
OK, so why is it hard to give up? Sugar affects the brain’s reward system & that reward system helps us to survive; however the downside is that same mechanism is linked with addictive behaviour. Basically, it is a vicious cycle – eat more sugar, want more sugar, need MORE sugar to get the same feeling, & repeat.
A great idea is to flip any food packets & read the labels because sugar goes by a lot of other names. Some common ones are dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, maple syrup, sucrose, malt, maltose, lactose, brown sugar, caster sugar, maple syrup, raw sugar, sucrose.
Also, don’t drink your sugar. What do I mean? Sugar lurks in a lot of drinks, so cut out the soft drink, processed fruit juices, & sports/energy drinks. Oh, & don’t forget to look at what you add to your tea or coffee, or even how much alcohol you are consuming. Seriously, sugar in your drinks creeps up quickly! Try keeping the alcohol for occasions (not a sundowner celebration every day, tempting as it is). If you are thirsty, go for water.
#2 Cut back on the refined carbs.
Unsure what that means – refined? When you hear refined, think processed – so as an example, grains that have had the fibre & other nutrients removed. Some common examples are white flour, pasta & breads. Why skip them? These foods are low in fibre, which means they are digested quickly, consequently they are not keeping you full, nor are they giving you much nutrition.
Choose complex carbs for a higher fibre content as they digest slower. This makes them more filling, so you stay fuller for longer making them great for weight control. THINK: whole grains, fibre rich fruits (apples, raspberries, bananas, & pears), fibre rich vegetables (carrots, beetroot, broccoli or green peas), & beans or legumes. There are, of course, many more nutritional benefits also.
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