Healthy Food Tips

Here are 5 healthy food tips that are proven to help with maintaining or loosing weight!


Diet tip 1: Avoid quick fixes/treatments

  • Fad Diets: no carbohydrate diets, restricting whole food groups, excessive calorie restriction. More abouts diets in the “type of diet sections”
  • Diet Pills: either prescribed by your doctor or bought off the internet. These are likely to have side effects and once you stop taking them your weight/appetite returns



Diet tip 2: Weight loss comes from the right balance of healthy
                       eating and exercise:

  • There are no good and bad foods and no food is “off limits” you need to learn how often you can eat these foods and regulate your portion size and anything can be included in a healthy diet.
  • Healthy food tips include allocating a day of the week where you have a treat food so that you look forward to it. Or you could have a very small portion of your treat (i.e a square of chocolate) every night if you prefer. But nothing is off limits in a healthy weight loss plan.



Diet tip 3: Cut the fat

  • More healthy food tips are to reduce the amount of fat in your diet.
  • It is well known that dietary fat is more easily stored by the body as fat whereas carbohydrates and proteins are used for energy first then excess amounts are converted to fatFat has almost twice the kilojoule/calorie content of protein and carbohydrates.
  • Fat has almost twice the kilojoule/calorie content of protein and carbohydrates
  • High fat foods are calorie dense for their volume i.e a handful of crisps has the same calories as 1 tub of low fat yoghurt or 1 medium bowl of cooked vegetables yet the latter options are larger in volume therefore more filling and satisfying. Vegetables and fruit also have a high water content (average 90%) which makes you feel full yet has no fat
  • Saturated fat is bad for your heart (full fat dairy, skin and fat on meat/chicken, cakes pastries and biscuits made with butter or cream)
  • High fat foods generally provide less nutrition compared to carbohydrate and protein rich foods. It does have a role in absorbing fat soluble vitamins and high fat, plant based foods are very nutritious (i.e avocado and nuts contain vitamin E, essential fatty acids magnesium and folate) but in general you get more nutrition out of carbohydrate and protein rich foods.
    1. (Carbohydrates (especially wholegrains): B1, 2, 3, Fibre
    2. protein: zinc, vit B12, iron (Red meat, shellfish). Essential amino acids)
  • Healthy food tips for fat: to eat less fat try reading food labels for everything you buy and you might be surprised of the fat content. Also be aware that some healthy foods like nuts, avocado and olive oil are quite high in fat and whilst good for your heart and have other benefits, need to be eaten in moderation if you are trying to lose weight actively. 
    Approximate fat intake to aim for daily:
    For Women 40-60grams dailyFor Men 60-80gramsBreakfast: 5-8gramsSnack 1: 3- 5 gramsLunch: 10 gramsSnack 2: 3- 5 gramsDinner: 10- 15gramsSnack 3 (optional): up to 5 grams(Use the upper end of the range if you are male, the lower if you are female and try to include this with the rest of your healthy food tips)



Diet tip 4: Exercise

  • So you thought you could lose weight without engaging in some physical activity, you were wrong!
  • For some its enough to increase incidental activity such as walking to work or to the shops, running around with children/grandchildren. These activities do burn more calories compared to sitting or standing only
  • For most people regular physical activity sessions for at least 20 minutes (aim for over 30 minutes to maintain weight and 45 for active weight loss), 3-4 times a week.
  • It can be team sports, an class at your local gym, tennis with a friend, a brisk walk or long cyle in a hilly area as long as it is SUSTAINED for at least 20 minutes and of moderate to high intensity (think slightly puffing but still able to speak to someone)



Diet tip 5: Take ownership and set goals

  • Set 3 monthy goals: either weight loss goals or changes to your current diet and exercise regime such as (I will eat less take away food). Be specific and have a measureable outcome (I will only eat takeaway one a fortnight).
  • For weight loss goals be realistic: if you were never within your supposed “healthy weight range” in all of your adult life, perhaps aim for a weight which is out of this range but less heavy than you are now. Even 10% weight loss reduces the risk of many lifestyle-related conditions and improves energy levels and confidence in most people.
  • Give yourself time to lose the weight. The longer it takes the more likely the weight loss has been due to true lifestyle changes rather than a new diet. Half to 1 kg a week may be appropriate for you but consult a Dietitian if you are unsure. It could take you 12 months to get to your goal weight and keep it off but that is much better for your healthy than yo yo-ing up and down every few months.
  • Use your support networks: friends, family, your GP, Dietitian, Personal Trainer if you have one. These people can help you keep up your motivation to continue your healthy lifestyle.
  • Find ways to keep motivated: take pictures of yourself before you start changing your lifestyle, keep photos of a slimmer you on your fridge to remind you of what your goals are, stick notes on the fridge to remind you to eat when you are hungry if you are a fridge raider or “grazer”