Shaping up for the Summer

It’s the time of year when you start to realise that you are going to be baring flesh very soon, and that maybe you have a little too much to bare!

Maintaining a healthy weight is something that should be thought about throughout the year, as excess weight may also affect your health – heart disease, diabetes, hormone problems, arthritis and digestive issues may all be related to being overweight, and may be helped by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Following a healthy eating regime should be a life-long plan, not just a six-week diet to ‘crash’ the weight off.

The following tips should be taken into account when planning your daily healthy eating regime.

Never Skip Breakfast

Research has shown that eating breakfast helps to reduce cholesterol, as well as helping to control your blood sugar levels. This in turn should help to maintain energy levels and avoid the feelings of fatigue or cravings for sweet foods later in the day.

Eat Little and Often

Maintaining blood sugar balance is one of the most important things for helping to control weight – if you eat little and often you will not get the highs of lows of blood sugar imbalance that can cause stress to your body. Handy snacks such as a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts or seeds, or a couple of oatcakes with houmous, or a healthy flapjack (see the great recipe on page 28) mid-morning and mid-afternoon should help with eating smaller portioned meals too. Always include protein in your meals and snacks as this also helps maintain blood sugar balance.

Eat in a Relaxed State

Never eat whilst on-the-go. Your body will be under stress and unable to absorb all the important nutrients you are eating. Chewing food thoroughly also helps break-down and absorption of those nutrients and may help you to feel full before you eat too much!

Include All Food Groups

For the body to be healthy, it requires nutrients from all the food groups – carbohydrates for energy, protein for repairing and rebuilding, essential fats for brain function and fat burning, and all the vitamins and minerals to help all the systems in the body to perform correctly.

Avoid Refined and Sugary Foods

Refined foods, such as white bread and pasta tend to be high in glucose (sugar), so may upset the blood sugar balance more. Choosing unrefined foods, which release sugar slowly, may help to maintain energy levels over a sustained period. Aim to fill up on healthy vegetables and protein so you don’t reach for the sugary foods.

Stay Well Hydrated

Water is an essential substance in every system in the body, so ensuring you are adequately hydrated is very important. Drink plenty of water, herbal teas or diluted fresh fruit juices throughout the day.

Remember – this healthy eating plan is for life, not just for Summer!

Joy Skipper is a Nutrition Consultant, based in West London.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.

Register an Account