The Growing Well Growing Healthy team are here to offer advice on how to eat a bit healthier to ensure we live healthier lives. It is not our job to put you on a diet; our practitioners are here to help you make subtle and sustainable changes to your current lifestyle to help support a healthier weight and way of life.
To eat healthier it is important to understand that lifestyle should be about balance. Although we should eat plenty or fruits and vegetables, eat protein from lean sources and maintain sufficient carbohydrate intake, we must also enjoy our food and once in a while indulge a little in the things we love.
So we can do this, we must ensure our energy balance is right. This means the calories we consume can be used appropriately by the body to ensure we do not gain excess body fat.
Energy balance is the process of calories in versus calories out. If we consume more calories than our bodies can burn off then we will gain weight. If we consume less than we use then we will lose weight. Although there are many diets on multiple platforms either online or in the community, they will ultimately follow this principal due to there being no other scientific evidence which contradicts it.
Have a look at our resources and tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle here:
Small swaps from your usual products to healthier varieties can make a huge difference to your overall lifestyle. Some examples of swaps you may want to try include:
White Carbohydrates – Wholegrain or Wholemeal Carbohydrates
White carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice tend to be considered processed foods which are stripped of much of their nutritional value. This means they hold less vitamins and minerals from which they started with. Switching to wholemeal or wholegrain varieties means much of the nutritional value remained in the process of putting those foods on supermarket shelves. Wholemeal and wholegrain varieties can help with feeling fuller for longer and the digestive process, which can help us from over snacking and over eating
Refined Sugar – Natural Sugar
Refined sugar is the sugar we find in candy, some soft drinks and much of the fun stuff we like to eat. This is fine to eat once in a while however refined sugar holds no nutritional value what so ever and are considered empty calories. Eating too much of these sugars aren’t only bad for our health but are also bad for our teeth. By switching refined sugar for natural sugar we can be healthier, feel more satisfied with what we are eating and have a healthier smile too! Natural sugars are found in fruits, vegetables and some dairy products.
Fried Food – Grilled Food
Grilling good is a great way to allow fat in foods to drip out though the cooking process. Frying food means that fat is added to the food through absorption. As fat is the highest concentration of calorie, it is important to not increase the calorie value through adding unhealthy fats to our foods. Switching to grilled meat and fish is a great way to get good lean protein into your body.
Full Fat – Low Fat
Reducing fat is an important choice when losing weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As fat holds more calories than any other food type, it is important to keep them low. So try changing your diary product like milk, cheese and yogurt to low fat or even fat free variety to save on some unnecessary calories in your diet.
Usual Snacks for 100kcal Snacks
Check the calories on your snacks and change for alternative which hold only 100 calories per serving. Snacks are a great way to help you feel satisfied until your next meal. Too many snacks however can cause excessive calorie intake.
High Fat Meat – Lean Meat
Certain cuts of meat can hold fat which can be high in calories. Try cutting off fat from food or buying leaner options. This can be food like chicken breast, turkey or pork medallions. Cutting the visible fat off bacon and switching to chicken sausages can also have a big impact on reducing the calories and fat in your diet.
Top Tip: Alternatively you could introduce plant based protein into your diet. This may come from beans and pulses as well as tofu, quinoa and nuts.
Getting in your 5 a day can be a difficult task. However the Government advice around the Eatwell Guide shows us that we can in fact get more from our 5 a day in the foods we already eat. Frozen, tinned and fresh vegetables all count towards your 5 a day. This means sauces made from tinned tomatoes, microwave packet vegetables and everything you see in your local produce department all count!
Sugar from refined sources such as sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks are considered empty calories. This means that these foods hold no nutritional value what so ever. Reducing sugar is an excellent way to become healthier. Switching to low sugar cereals at breakfast times would be highly advantageous as well as reducing fizzy drinks and opting for low sugar cordial, water and low fat milk. A small amount of sugar is important to a healthy balanced diet. It is recommended that children sought their sugar intake from natural sources like fruit. However, a sweet treat once in a while is also okay. Have a look at snacking section for more advice on appropriate snacking and the reduction on sugar.
Children require their own amount of food which is appropriate to them. This is called portion control. Portion control allows children to consume the right amount of food without over eating. To learn more about portion control, check out our portion control section here.
Your Local Team
If you would like support from the Growing Well Growing Healthy service, get in touch below
0333 3202 301
Send Us a Message