10 ways to change your surroundings to help you eat healthily
Generally, people know how to eat healthily. If you ask people they know that you should eat protein, 5 portions of fruit and veg per day and cut out sugary products. So why do people not do it then?
It is often down to the situation or surroundings they find themselves in where there is less time to think about the healthy options. Here is a list of my top 10 ways to manage the situations where it is harder to choose healthy!
Keep the junk out of your house.
If you find it hard to resist the lure of the icecream in the freezer or the biscuits in the top press the best thing is not to have it in the house at all! Do a shopping list before you go shopping and stick to that. Remember the SafeFood ad where the father says no to the kids buying crisps and biscuits? It needs that level of discipline.
If shopping is something you find hard here is our handy shopping tips! We can also help you by doing a shopping and kitchen audit with you to train you how to set the scene correctly.
Use a meal plan.
Decide what you are going to eat a few days in advance. Don’t make fresh decisions every day, or keep meal choices totally open-ended all the time. Instead, make decisions in advance and work from a template. When you go shopping only buy to that plan.
Keep chopped, ready-to-eat vegetables in the fridge.
Put them front-and-centre in the fridge so you see them and can get to them easily. This will make it easier for you to add them into meals rather than having to prepare them each time!
Never go food shopping on an empty stomach!
If you go shopping hungry you are more likely to put unwanted items in the trolly! So fill up before you go and follow your shopping list.
Turn family and friends into coaches.
To create a supportive environment, be explicit with loved ones that you’re trying to eat better and get fit — and why. They don’t have to eat healthily themselves, but ask them to help. That takes the pressure off them to do what you’re doing, and most people (especially kids) like “helping” in some way. (Kids love to nag, so hire them as your alarm clock and workout reminder.) Kids are the best to keep you accountable!
Fill your car with healthy snacks to eat healthily on the go
If you are out driving for work or a weekend drive, make sure you fill the car with healthy snacks like fruit and veg so that when you get hungry you have something to nibble on allows you to eat healthily for the journey rather than stopping off at the next garage and getting a chicken roll.
Avoid petrol station food
The absolute danger zone for people who want to eat healthily!! While the lure of a chicken roll or sausage rolls and a muffin is great, these are highly process foods and are full of fat, salt and sugar! A hot chicken roll has approx. 600-800 calories and is full of trans and saturated fats! While it may be chicken breast shaped in is far from real chicken! Even a latte or cappuccino will add another 200cal on top.
Eat as close to nature as possible
If you are going out to dinner try eating meat and veg etc that you can actually recognise the meat! If it is in a sauce or mashed/pureed it is full of added fat, preservatives etc. The average creamy mashed potato in a carvery or restaurant is nearly 50% fat with all the butter added. It is the same with pureed veg! So eat plain cuts of meat (Steak, Fish, Chicken) and try to get your sides looking like they should (baked potato, steamed veg). If it looks like how you know it should, then you know you’ll be able to eat healthily for the night!
Exercise when you can
Exercise does not need to be hellish where you run on the spot for 20 mins or lift your own body weight multiple times. There is a lot of benefit with low intensity exercise particularly if you are not used to it. So some of my suggestions are:
- Go to an art gallery at the weekend and walk around
- Walk up the stairs at work instead of the lift
- Walk the concourse at the airport instead of sitting down waiting for your flight
- If you are living on your own, call a friend to go for a stroll. Isolation is actually the biggest nutritional issue facing us today. Life Kitchen also run Dinner Clubs to get people talking so express an interest on our website and we will let you know when they are being organised.
Get healthy meals delivered in
If you find that you don’t have the time to cook or have low motivation to cook for one or two people, that is no excuse for you to not eat healthily, because now you can get them delivered! There are a number of companies out there that deliver meals into to your house. Make sure you use a service that provides healthy meals like Life Kitchen that provides you with 30g of protein and 3 of your 5 a day in every meal! We also deliver nationally so no matter where to are we can get it to you within 24 hrs!
Check out www.lifekitchen.ie and see what we do to help you manage your health and well-being.