CSF’s 10 Commandments of Healthy Eating
1. BE ORGANISED. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Plan your weekly meals in advance and shop the ingredients. Only buy what you need, and resist treat foods when grocery shopping. Set aside time to grocery shop and never shop while hungry. Prepare meals in 1-2 dedicated times per week and cook in bulk. Pre prepare rice, grains, vegetables and a selection of protein sources either in large batches or individual meals. Store in the fridge or freezer. Take an insulated bag or lunchbox to work or school with you. Having food on hand will minimise poor choices.
2. BE CONSISTENT. Aim to eat a consistent amount of food each day and don’t skip meals. Watch portion sizes and invest in a kitchen scale or track your meals if you are struggling to stick to eating well. Estimating portion sizes can often lead to overconsumption. If you do make a bad choice, don’t go all out and binge. Get straight back on track, your body will thank you.
3. EAT YOUR GREENS. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Each and every meal should contain a vegetable and you should aim for 1-3 servings of fruit per day. Fresh or frozen is one. Aim to fill your plate each meal with mixed coloured non starchy vegetables. If your goal is fatloss, eating more greens will help you stay fuller for longer.
4. GET ENOUGH PROTEIN. Protein is not just for bodybuilders. A diet rich in protein won’t turn you into a huge bodybuilder, it will instead allow for greater recovery, better performance and build lean tissue. Each meal for both men and women should contain a protein source. Choose whole foods first and use supplements such as protein powders to fill in the gaps. Avoid replacing entire meals with shakes. Men have slightly higher requirements than women, and if you are training regularly this is especially important. Eating protein foods will not make you bulky. Protein is essential for a balanced diet.
5. DITCH THE SOFT DRINK. Nutritionally bankrupt soft drink and fruit drinks should be considered a treat for special occasions and shouldn’t be part of your regular diet. Choose plain water, mineral water, flavoured sparkling water instead. Keep a jug in the fridge and carry a water bottle with you at all times. Drink more water!
6. DON’T FEAR THE FAT. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Healthy fats play an important role in our metabolism and are essential for hormone regulation, brain development and function and blood clotting. Diets too low in dietary fats can lead to health problems. Adding modest amounts of healthy fats to the diet provides essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce, eating fats also help your body absorb important vitamins such as A,D,E and K. Fats are a great energy source.
7. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR FOOD CHOICES TO BE CONTROLLED BY HUNGER OR EMOTIONS. Waiting until you are starving to make food choices is a recipe for disaster. Avoid fast foods and take away. Avoid eating when highly stressed and do not use food as a reward for yourself or your family. Food is for nourishment and should not be used as a punishment or a reward. This can lead to disordered eating behaviours and unhealthy relationships with food later on.
8. SET THE EXAMPLE FOR YOUR FAMILY. Eat with them and teach them about food. Even with our busy schedules, it is still important to eat meals together whenever possible. Avoid mindlessly eating while driving, in front of the television or on the couch. Don’t let kids eat in their rooms. Don’t cook separate meals for your family and introduce a variety of foods from a young age. Avoid exposing your children to fast food and make nutrition a priority. Bring back family dinners and encourage your family to prepare food with you and have some input in their food choices.
9. AVOID ALCOHOL. Alcohol has detrimental effects on the body in terms of health and performance. Regular drinking will set your performance back and prolong recovery from training sessions. Alcohol slows muscle growth and recovery and dehydrates the body as well as impairing our food choices while we are intoxicated and with 9 calories per gram, alcohol isn’t diet friendly.
10. EAT FOR LIFE. DON’T DIET. A healthy lifestyle requires commitment all year round. Making small changes to your daily routine will add up. Healthy living is not a diet. It’s a way of life. Restrictive diets are not sustainable in the long term. Instead eat a balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, wholegrains, lean protein sources and some low fat dairy every day. Eat well. Live well.
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