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5 easy ways to make healthy eating work for you

Do you find the thought of preparing healthy food overwhelming? Fear not - here are 5 simple methods to make healthier eating work for you.

1. Shop in advance

Planning a week’s worth of meals in advance and shopping once for the week ensures your fridge and pantry are fully-stocked with the key ingredients to cook healthy meals. Plus, not only will you be more organised when it comes to your cooking, but by spending less time wandering down supermarket aisles, you’ll also have more time to spend on doing things you enjoy!

Nutrition Australia advise spending 60% of your shopping budget on “eat most” foods, like fruits and vegetables, cereals and legumes - and 30% on “eat moderately foods”, like dairy, meat, eggs and nuts. They recommend spending no more than 10% on “eat in small amounts” foods such as oils and processed snacks.

2. Adapt your favourite dishes

A lot of your favourite meals can be adapted, not abandoned, if you think creatively. If you love lasagne, for example, substitute mincemeat for lentils and mixed vegetables. If you’re a potato fiend, combine cauliflower with your potato puree - you won’t even taste the difference!

According to The American Heart Association, sensible substitution has numerous health benefits: It helps you cut down on saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol - and you’ll notice little, if any, difference in taste.

3. Live by the 80/20 rule

The idea behind the 80/20 rule is simple: Healthy eating doesn’t have to be extreme. As long as you’re eating well the majority of the time, don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up.

Teresa Cutter, nutritionist and author of The 80/20 Diet: 12 Weeks To A Better Body, says that if you eat well 80 per cent of the time, it’s fine to enjoy a little indulgence the rest of the time. The 80/20 approach allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the long term.

4. Reduce your portion sizes

Perhaps it’s not what you’re eating but the amount you’re eating that’s problematic. Portion sizes have been getting larger for some time - so review the portions in your diet. Reduce the amount of large-sized foods and drinks (coffee, juices) and stick to palm-sized portions of meat, chicken and fish.

The World Health Organisation have pointed out that portion size plays an important role in moderating dietary intake because, as children age, internal hunger and feelings of fullness might be less effective at helping to control food intake.

5. Eat your veggies first

Fill up on greens before anything else, and you’ll feel fuller faster - with less room for any potential less healthier options.
Research indicates that vegetables can help to make you feel fuller more quickly because their fibre absorbs the liquid in your stomach. If you eat protein first, your digestive system slows and doesn’t digest other foods properly. Raw veggies are considered the healthiest of healthy veggie options, too.

Do you have any simple tips that make healthy eating work for you? Share them below

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