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Learn to Eat, Not Diet: Week 5

We are in the midst of Lent, which is a fantastic opportunity to explore eating more healthily. Whether you’re giving up chocolate or trying to eat more vegetables, it’s all positive progression. I was asked this week what I was giving up for Lent –I haven’t really given up anything food-related since my diet is generally pretty good, but I have vowed to vary how I use the gym. Like many others, I am guilty of doing the same workout repeatedly. Why? Because it becomes habitual and when I go into the gym I can just listen to music and not think about what I’m doing. But I’ve noticed that over time my workout has becomes less exerting and therefore it’s time for a change.

Having said this – don’t be a slave to the gym. Eating healthily is a huge part of being healthy, and too often people believe that if they regularly work out it is fine to eat whatever they like. You wouldn’t put cheap petrol in a sports car, so don’t do the same to your body.

Let’s recap all of the rules so far:

What to Eat:

  • Combine the Food Groups
  • Good Hydration is Essential
  • Avoid Sugar in all Forms
  • Fat doesn’t Make you Fat

How to Eat:

  • Spend Wisely
  • Eat Consciously
  • Avoid Uncontrollable Hunger
  • Know Your Differential

This week’s new rules are:

Rule 9/ WHAT TO EAT: Start the Day Smart.

It is essential that you eat a healthy breakfast; the old saying that it is the most important meal of the day is no myth. Investing a little time to make a decent breakfast is vital in regulating your appetite. Start the day as you wish to continue it.

Is it time to reconsider your ‘healthy breakfast’?

A lot of people consider a cup of tea and a bowl of low-fat cereal a good start to the day. Do not eat this. The cereal lacks any protein and thus is converted into glucose very rapidly in the body, meaning it doesn’t produce long-term energy. The caffeine in the tea (or coffee) may make you feel satisfied but it won’t last — by 10am you will have the munchies and cravings for sugary foods. Hello, biscuit tin.

Build a Better Breakfast

If you eat a balanced, healthy breakfast then you shouldn’t feel hungry until eleven at the earliest, perhaps even lunchtime. Build a breakfast with the right combination of protein, carbohydrates and fats and your energy will be sustained. There are so many options to choose from and they are quick and easy to prepare.

These are a few simple ideas but you can eat anything that combines the right food groups:

  • Vegetable Omelette with whole-grain bread
  • Porridge with Greek yoghurt, nuts and berries
  • Whole-grain bagel with smoked salmon and cucumber
  • Smoothie made with a little fruit, yoghurt (for protein) and nuts (try adding spinach for extra fibre)

Try and limit yourself to one caffeinated drink per day. Caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands and produces adrenaline – after the adrenaline has gone you will have an energy slump and often crave sugary foods, or more caffeine.

Milk and Cereal

I often get asked, “Should I drink skimmed milk or semi?” To be honest, any of the milks are fine as even full-cream milk is only 4% fat. You could also try almond or soy milk, which contain healthier fats than cow’s milk. (Make sure they’re unsweetened.)

If you have to eat cereal, go for the plain, boring ones and jazz them up yourself. These include Weetabix, shredded wheat and plain brown rice puffs. By adding some fruit, yoghurt or nuts to a cereal you can make it far more palatable.

Rule 10/ HOW TO EAT: Save It.

Good food is hard to waste. In a world with food insecurity, rising food prices and environmental concerns, I understand why people do not like to waste food that they’ve ordered in a restaurant. Instead of overeating– a bad habit– try and get your server to give you a doggy bag and pack up the rest of your meal.

Restaurant portions are often ridiculous and by saving what you cannot eat, you have another chance to enjoy the beautiful meal you had the previous night.

It is economical, healthier than stuffing yourself and means you don’t have to cook another meal. A little bit of leftover steak sliced over some salad with a sprinkling of nuts and dressing makes a lovely lunch the next day. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for your leftovers to be packaged for you: it’s common practice in America and always remember that you’re the customer. If you are tempted to overeat because you don’t want food going into the garbage then you are actually equating your own body to a bin. And that’s not smart, economical or sensible.   

 

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

Hello, my name is Caspar and currently I am student at the University of Bristol. I study Social Policy and also have a modelling contract with Gingersnap Models. I enjoy many things including sport, fashion, art and culture. I grew up in Hale, Cheshire but now consider myself a bonafide Londoner.
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