Running and healthy living come hand-in-hand, and if you’re really looking to kickstart a new health regime, you might be re-examining your eating habits, too. Whether you’re trying to boost your nutrient intake or shed a few pounds, it’s always great to get sound advice from the experts. That’s why we met with nutritionist and healthy-eating advocate, Jasmine Kryiakou. Read on for her top ten tips for metabolism, healthy-eating and weight loss.
1. INCREASE YOUR VEGETABLES RATHER THAN YOUR FRUIT
When people see the ‘eat 5 fruit and vegetables a day’ slogan they tend to opt for more fruit than veg. What people don’t know is that fruit still contains sugar, natural sugar, but it is still sugar and an overload of sugar whether it be natural or not is still bad for the body. So why not peel a carrot and dip it in some hummus or try cucumber and celery as other great dipping vegetables? 🙂
2. EAT LITTLE & OFTEN
Five small meals daily as opposed to three large meals will keep your metabolism running faster, will provide more energy, and will avoid snacking.
3. REPLACE BAD FATS WITH GOOD FATS
You can do this by avoiding saturated and trans fats such as margarine, fried foods and high sugar foods and replacing them with healthy unsaturated fats such as eggs, avocados, raw nuts and omega-3 rich fish like salmon and tuna.
4. DRINK A MINIMUM OF 8 GLASSES OF WATER DAILY
Water cleanses the body of toxins, keeps skin clear, regulates the body’s temperature, and is essential for the proper circulation of nutrients around the body. Try adding a slice of lemon to your water first thing in the morning for flavour and to help alkaline your body from the previous day’s acidic food.
5. WATCH OUT FOR MARKETING “HEALTH CLAIMS” WHICH MAY NOT ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR YOU –i.e. “Superfoods” and “Skinny Teatox.”
Many of these health claims actually have no solid evidence behind them and they are usually produced by the marketing gurus of the world to try and grasp your attention – but, trust me, they do not work! Tea will not help you lose weight, but a HEALTHY diet will! There is no evidence behind “superfoods” – there are foods that contain antioxidants and minerals that are good for you but taking a “super” food powder or spending money on overpriced superfood products will not necessarily make you feel better!
6. EAT PROTEIN WITH EVERY MEAL
This does not have to be meat type protein: beans, chickpeas, lentils, hummus, fish, rice, nuts and seeds are all great sources of protein. Protein is an essential macronutrient which will provide a slow release of energy throughout the day and will keep you going for longer!
7. TRY TO STICK TO A 5:2 RATIO DURING THE WEEK
This looks a little something like this: devote your 5 working days to being strictly healthy and leave your weekend for a little more balance –have that piece of chocolate you’ve been craving or that burger you have fancied for a while. This tip will actually help you create a long term healthy lifestyle as opposed to a quick fix diet which you will never be able to stick to.
8. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST
This is the most important meal of the day! Breakfast kick starts your metabolism and sets your body up for the whole day. Without breakfast you are not giving your body the fuel it needs first thing in the morning in order to function and thrive.
9. LEARN TO READ THE LABELS
Watch out for sugar in foods you may not have thought would contain it, and remember that the list of ingredients is always in order of quantity (i.e. if sugar is the first ingredient on the list, it is the largest quantity ingredient in the product)! Also, be mindful of the example of ingredient intake per grams. For example, sugar intake per 100g serving may only be a tiny proportion of the product and you may actually be consuming a lot more than 100g!
10. NOT ALL CARBS ARE BAD!
It is common to think that the fastest way to lose weight is to cut out carbs, but that is actually not true. We need some carbohydrates for energy and this is especially important when exercising. The carbs to avoid are refined carbs such as: white bread, baked goods and fizzy drinks –these are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream causing spikes in blood sugar levels. Unrefined carbs such as beans, legumes, sweet potatoes, brown rice and oats are slowly released into the bloodstream providing a slow rise in sugar levels which will give you a gradual release of energy.
And there you have it – top ten tips for a healthier diet. Stay tuned for our next chat with Jasmine, where she will share some delicious – and healthy – recipes to help you stay super charged and fuelled for your fitness routine.