People often ask us for tips on being healthier. So here are some of the most important things we’ve learned, from experts we love and trust, to help you on your way.
1. Cook your own food
As soon as you start to make your own meals from scratch, you’ll automatically cut out artificial, processed food and give your body real food it will love. It’s a guaranteed way to cut out 90% of the crap. Start reading food labels (if it contains an ingredient you wouldn’t find in your own kitchen, ditch it), fill your fridge with fresh ingredients and arm yourself with recipes you love the look of. Save time by making large batches for the rest of the week. See 8 of our quickest meal ideas here.
2. Load up on veg
Are you getting enough? Experts say we should fill half our plates with vegetables at every mealtime (particularly the green, leafy kind). The powerful chemicals that give fruits and veg their bright colours have been proven to help prevent certain diseases and keep our bodies healthy. Vegetables are also high in water and fibre so they fill you up on fewer calories = bye bye excess body fat. We steam a load of greens in one go, ready to add to meals throughout the week.
3. Make time for breakfast
There’s a reason everyone talks about this. Eating breakfast has been proven to help in so many areas of wellbeing – namely weight loss, concentration and energy levels, and an increase in metabolism. We also find that a good breakfast sets our healthy habits in place for the rest of the day. Avoid sugary cereals (which provide little in the way of nutrients and won’t keep you full) and instead load up on oats, eggs, avocados, nuts, plain natural yogurt and fresh fruits. For 5 ways to better your breakfast, check out our free recipe ebook here.
4. Drink more water
Herbal, naturally caffeine-free teas count too. A well-hydrated body improves every bodily function – including fat burning, according to research. Keep a watch on your caffeine intake. Experts say it can raise stress levels in the body, resulting in weight gain. We’re getting our ‘coffee’ fix with Barleycup – which tastes amazingly like coffee, but it’s caffeine- (and gluten-) free. Win win.
5. Eat more protein
Not just for the body builders… protein is vital for every cell in our bodies and maintaining good health. It’s known as the building block for our bodies. The British Nutrition Foundation says that protein-rich foods also keep us fuller for longer. The UK Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) of protein is 0.75g of protein for every kilo we weigh. So if you weigh 60 kilos, you should be aiming for a minimum of 45g protein – more if you exercise regularly. Try monitoring your intake for a few days using an app like myfitnesspal to see how much you’re getting. Protein power players include lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, quinoa, beans, lentils, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.