Create a manageable diet to stick to
Whatever the season, it seems that there is a national obsession with dieting. Whether it’s Christmas, the summer holiday season, a wedding or a special occasion, millions of people find themselves wanting to lose weight to accommodate it.
Many experts believe that so called “yo-yo dieting” not only fails in the long term but also leads to feelings of inadequacy and failure. They suggest that lifestyle changes and an overhaul in the way many of us think about food, exercise and nutrition could bring about long term results which not only slim the waistline but also benefit our long term health.
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The majority of us know the basic rules of dieting. It’s quite simple when you think about it: eat less and exercise more and you’re more likely to lose weight and tone up those unsightly bits. However, there’s a little more science involved than you might realise.
Food is divided into five groups and we really only need to eat from the first four in order to sustain ourselves. The first four groups are fruit and vegetables, starchy foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes, protein rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and beans and then milk and dairy as the fourth. The fifth group is foods which contain fat and sugar.
To guide long term healthy eating, experts recommend eating three staple meals a day featuring the first four groups in decreasing amounts. We should eat more of the first group than the second, more of the second than the third and so on, and try to minimise or avoid foods from the fifth group.
On paper this all seems very easy. However, the temptation to eat those foods from the fifth food group can often be overwhelming.
Mid meal snacking is often the downfall of many and there’s no shame in having a snack as long as it’s healthy. The problem of course with many healthy snacks is that they have a tendency to be boring. The decision of whether to eat a handful of seeds versus a bar of your favourite chocolate is often a “no brainer” and all good intentions can quickly go to waste.
The key then is to find mid-meal treats which are not only nutritious so as not to ruin the healthy eating lifestyle but also tasty enough that they satisfy the desire. It stands to reason that tasty snacks developed especially for those with an interest in their health are the key.
Almonds, for example, are a great source of nutrition and in a product such as Blue Diamond flavoured almonds, both the diet and the taste buds get a treat.
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