With the lazy days of summer, it’s easy to let good eating habits slide but keeping your body fit and healthy all year round doesn’t have to be a challenge – it might surprise you how much small diet tweaks can impact your moods and energy levels! Dr Rahul Lakhera, our GP and MSK & Sports Performance Specialist has provided his best tips to keep our diet healthy and ensure we are always feeling our best.
#1: No more night snacking
Having a 12 hour gap between your evening meal and following breakfast will be amazing for your gut’s microbiome (this is the ecosystem of organisms that live in our digestive pipes!) and your insulin will be far more sensitive to whatever comes its way when you break your fast in the morning. Remember insulin resistance is the enemy! During your fasting gap you can drink water to curb the urge to snack and keep hydrated.
#2: Eat the rainbow!
The bigger the variety of colour on your plate the better. Focus on having lots of colour and variety with more vegetables than fruit. The varying colours in fruits and vegetables can tell us a lot about their nutritional value and each different colour will provide us with different vitamins and minerals and help us hit those fibre, complex carbohydrate and antioxidant intakes. A useful tip to remember when preparing your meals is that half of your plate should be made up of veggies!
#3: Watch out for liquid calories
Fruit juices, smoothies and alcohol, just to name a few, often contain hidden calories. This can cause unwanted blood sugar spikes without the nutrient nourishment that you want. Blood sugar spikes can often be the culprit for things like fatigue and headaches – so if you can avoid snacks, do! It does your stomach a world of good to take a break from working all the time.
#4: Stay hydrated
You should be drinking at least 2 litres of water daily. Some hacks to keep your thirst quenched are to kickstart your day by drinking 1-2 glasses of water in the morning or flavouring your water with fresh fruit. Keeping a re-usable bottle with you everywhere you go is also a fantastic hack! You can get your water bottle re-filled free of charge in lots of high street stores making it easier than ever to stay hydrated on the go.
#5: Eat your proteins and healthy fats to stay fuller for longer
A healthy diet will naturally be made up of 15% protein, meaning you will need to make up the rest of your meal composition. It’s good to focus on healthy fats like avocado, nuts and seeds in your meals as the high fat content makes these foods satiating, a building block for your hormones and what’s more, your gut will love them. If you have enough veggies on your plate, then your complex carbohydrate intake should be taken care of and you can add some wholegrains if you must.
#6: Avoid processed foods
Eat fresh, unprocessed foods as often as possible. If it is in a packet and has a huge ingredient list that includes things like emulsifiers and chemicals you have never heard of, then you probably shouldn’t be eating it. An easy way to avoid heavily processed foods is to prep well, whether that be the night before, the choices you make during your food shop or even your sweet snack options. Healthy, homemade alternatives can be less time consuming than you think!
To find out more about Dr Rahul’s services, give us a call on 01423 568 212!