1. Drink water
Aim for 1.5-2 liters minimum per day. Try to carry around a water bottle or set reminders on your phone to encourage you to drink water throughout the day. Water will also help to moderate your appetite and help you distinguish whether those hunger pangs are really from you being hungry, or whether you just haven’t had a sip of water for a while.
2. Veggies - aim for 5
Write a chart and give yourself a tick for every day that you achieve 5 serves of vegetables. Remember one serve is equal to one cup of raw salad vegetables or half a cup of cooked. Try including greens with your breaky (add some spinach to a morning smoothie), have carrot/celery/capsicum/cucumber sticks with some dip for a snack or eat a big salad with your lunch or dinner.
3. Increase your fibre
Fibre is important for keeping a healthy colon and helping you feel full. Go for wholegrain foods such as brown rice/pasta, rolled oats, quinoa, as well as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
4.Limit processed foods
Your body doesn’t need that packet of chips, biscuit or soft drink that you thought “it’s okay, it’s just one”. These foods are often high in saturated (bad) fats, added sugars and added salts – an evil combination that make these foods so “moreish”. Instead swap that sugary craving for a piece of fruit or that savory craving for a piece of wholegrain toast with peanut butter.
5. Add a bit of fruity variety
Go to the markets or even the supermarket and pick out a fruit that you’ve never tried before. Available but often unpopular “weird” fruits you can find include dragon fruit, longans, kiwiberrys, starfruit and persimmons. Talk to your local fruit shop assistant for help on finding a new fruit.
6. Pack your meals with plant based protein
Never tried tofu or tempeh before? This weeks the week that the kitchen’s calling your name for you to try cooking with some new foods. Begin with a simple recipe of cutting a block of hard tofu into small pieces, fry on a low heat and turn until fully cooked, add a splash of flavouring of your choice – honey soy, hoisin or satay and fry for an extra few minutes. Serve with some stir fried veggies on a bed of brown rice.
7. Switch out the salt
Look for products with less than 300mg sodium per 100g. The definition of “low salt” is less than 120mg of sodium per 100g
8. Go for healthy fats
Swap butter and margarine for plant-based oil spreads, peanut butter, avocado and include foods such as nuts and olive oil for a healthy diet. Look for products with the lowest saturated fat content per 100g when comparing products.
Go for a morning walk or afternoon jog, whether it be intense exercise or a casual stroll – get outdoors into the sunshine and aim for your 30 minutes of exercise a day. Invite friends to join you to kill two birds with one stone.
10. Meal prep
Dedicate one night per week to do a big cook up of a variety of meals for you to easily heat up and serve on busy days or nights. Transfer the dishes into various takeaway-containers and label to ensure that you’re having variety throughout your week.