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8 Tips to Never Diet Again

Kate Freeman

If I got a dollar every time I met someone who was starting a random diet, I’d be much richer than I am now.

The diet industry is booming. Firstly, due to our deep dissatisfaction with our bodies and health and secondly because we fall for every good marketing campaign that pops up in our news feed.

Hopefully, by the end of this post, you won’t give another dollar to a crazy diet, shake or detox program. These eight tips are all you need to shape the healthy eating pattern you’re after!

Create a healthy environment.

The more you have unhealthy food available in your home, the more you will eat it. Research about the food environment shows very convincingly that when food is  ‘there’ you will eat more of it! I’m sure you’ve experienced eating a block of chocolate or bag of chips and found that before you knew it, you ate the whole thing. Why? You weren’t hungry, it was there, in front of you, waiting to be eaten.

Habit: Only buy food for planned meals and snacks. Don’t keep extra snacks or unhealthy food in your home.

Plan your afternoon snack.

Be intentional about planning yourself a filling, nutritious and easy afternoon snack. Most of us are hungry at this point in the day and there’s no point ‘hoping for the best’ and trying to make a healthy choice at the time. Plan exactly what you’re going to eat, get it out or bring it to work so when the afternoon hunger strikes, you’ve got something ready to go.

Habit: Write out your snacks for the week and pop the list on your fridge. Make sure you have the ingredients/foods available through your weekly grocery shop.

Drink water first.

Love coffee? Alcohol? Soft drink? Sometimes it can be hard to cut back on these drinks if you’re drinking too much of them. The best thing to do is, not make a strict rule about not drinking them, but before you do reach for your next latte or vino, is grab a big glass of water first. Satisfy your thirst and you’re less likely to drink too much of the other drinks.

Habit: Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Drink from it all day.

Eat more vegetables.

Salads. Steamed. Blanched. Stir fried. It doesn’t really matter how you cook them, just learn to love them and eat more of them. My new book, Everyday Eats, is a celebration of vegetables and how to eat them easily each and every day. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, but you can’t eat healthily without adequate vegetables. It’s as simple as that!

Habit: Add vegetables or salad to whatever else you’re eating as often as you can.

Choose whole food protein sources.

If you’ve spent time on Netflix, you’ve probably come across the documentary: ‘What the Health’. This was a very poorly-argued film with biased and very misleading information that was presented out of context.

Yes, too much red meat has been associated with an increased risk of cancer; however, there are MANY other factors that also affect cancer risk that need to be accounted for when you look at an individual person, their whole diet and their lifestyle.

There is plenty of good nutrition in animal products so if you’re happy eating them, you can continue to do so, just follow these tips:

  • Choose unprocessed meats, poultry and seafood. It’s processed foods that are less nutritious and more closely linked with poor health. Go easy on the bacon, ham, salami, schnitzel and other processed meats.
  • Build your diet mostly out of plants. Animal products are completely fine to eat but you don’t want to build your whole diet out of them. Build your diet out of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruit.

Habit: Keep your fridge and freezer stocked with whole food protein sources: chicken breast, steak, eggs, fish fillets, salmon, etc.

Stop setting rules.

As soon as you create a food rule to follow, you set yourself up for failure. Rules are for breaking so stop setting rules. You’re a grown adult. You can make choices. Create yourself habits and routines that support healthy choices and you’ll never have to set a rule again!

Habit: Focus on the daily routines and rituals that make the healthy choice the easy choice!

Ditch the perfection mentality.

The ‘all or nothing’ mentality means that one Tim Tam can quickly turn into 10 Tim Tams, two glasses of wine, a packet of Twisties and a bowl of ice cream. Had you just stopped at one Tim Tam, acknowledged the choice and moved on, you’d have saved yourself a crapload of excess calories. Stop trying to eat perfectly and start trying to eat well consistently.

Habit: When you eat something that wasn’t what you planned, just smile, enjoy every mouthful and then get on with your day. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

Work on your fussiness.

Are you a fussy eater? Most of my clients are and it’s a major barrier to making healthy lifestyle changes. The good news is, just like toddlers, you have the ability to like new foods by persevering with them! Regular tastes of new foods mean that you can begin to develop a palate for them in as little as two weeks! I taught myself to like tomatoes, avocados, olives and seafood!

Habit: Try one new food each week! Or pick one food and keep trying it till you like it!

Need help with creating habits to support long term health? My team at The Healthy Eating Hub is ready to help!

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Kate Freeman

Kate Freeman is a Registered Nutritionist and the founder and managing director of The Healthy Eating Hub. Kate’s healthy eating philosophy is all about whole, fresh foods, being realistic about life and creating long term healthy eating habits. She doesn’t believe in detoxes, fad diets or quick fixes. Once you’ve finished working with Kate, you’ll be empowered to feed yourself well for the rest of you life!

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