This week is the British Nutrition Foundation’s Healthy Eating Week, which is all about raising awareness for the charity and educating the general public on how to eat a little healthier, to live a little better, and longer! When it comes to nutrition, people's opinions can vastly differ and rapidly changing advice can be extremely confusing. So, we thought we’d take things back to basics, focusing on the 5 simple principles we recommend following to stay healthy and well…
You’re probably bored of us saying this if you’re a regular reader of the Neat blog, but everything in moderation is key to living a healthier lifestyle. Just because bananas are nutritious and universally agreed to be good for you, doesn’t mean that you should eat 10 in one day (unless you want to give yourself potassium poisoning!). Likewise, never be afraid to indulge a little, but try to form a healthier mindset around treats instead of restricting yourself, only to give in to a full-pack of biscuits and a family-sized chocolate bar.
Go with Your Gut
We’re full of clichés today: everyone’s bodies are incredibly unique, so when it comes to your nutrition, you need to listen to your gut. Instead of taking anyone's advice as gospel, tune in to your body and start figuring out what foods make you feel good. Eating a low-carb diet might work for your colleague, but it might make you feel tired and irritable. Similarly, piling your plate with endless veggies, nuts and seeds might make one person feel full of energy, but for someone else, this might make their stomach bloated and painful, and a more balanced plate of simple ingredients would be better.
Go Back to Basics
When in doubt, go back to basics and eat real food. We know many of you are time-poor, but when possible, try to cook as you can at home and avoid eating too many processed, packaged foods. As long as the majority of your diet is full of a variety of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates, then you’ll be doing pretty well!
Water, Water & More Water
This is another one we harp on about all the time, but proper hydration couldn’t be more crucial to how well your body functions. Treat yourself to a reusable bottle that you can keep with you all day, and aim to drink 2-4 litres, depending on the temperature and how active you’ve been.
Although not strictly to do with healthy eating, getting active comes hand in hand with eating well. Especially when scrolling social media, it can be confusing to know what you’re meant to be doing to stay healthy and fit, and many of us are guilty of making it way more complicated than it really needs to be. Our advice? Stop worrying about who’s workout programme or gym class you should be doing, and instead focus on moving your body regularly in whatever way you enjoy - whether that’s a dance class, solo weights session, football match or even just a long walk.