As September approaches and the back-to-school season begins, it's the perfect time to embrace a fresh start. While it's common to think about making positive changes in January, why wait when you can start feeling better today? We all want to be the most energised and best versions of ourselves, and the new school year can be a fantastic motivator for implementing new habits.
1. Prioritise Nutrient-Rich Foods
Healthy eating isn't about following a specific diet; it's about nourishing your body with nutrient-rich foods. Instead of obsessing over calorie counts, focus on the quality of your meals. When hunger strikes, aim to satisfy it with filling, nutritious options. Think nourishing, not depriving.
2. Cook at Home, Aim for 80:20
Diversify your diet by preparing most of your meals at home. We suggest adopting an 80:20 approach. If you ensure that 80% of your meals are healthy, home-cooked, and packed with nutrients, you'll have room for flexibility in the remaining 20%. Master a couple of essential recipes and consider meal-prepping your lunches for a manageable approach.
3. Balance Protein and Fibre
Craft meals and snacks that are rich in whole food proteins and fibre. Pair your snacks like apples with a handful of almonds or opt for smoked salmon on oatcakes. These balanced choices will keep you feeling satisfied for longer.
4. Stock Up Your Kitchen
Prioritise grocery shopping to stock your kitchen with healthy staples. Choose a combination of tinned, frozen, and fresh foods. A well-stocked kitchen, fridge, and freezer make it easy to whip up nutritious meals. Plan your shopping trips once or twice a week to keep your fresh ingredients replenished.
5. Embrace Plant-Based Foods
Make plant-based foods the foundation of your diet for every meal and snack. Incorporate vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts into your daily routine. The extra fibre will leave you feeling fuller for longer and contribute to better digestion, hormone balance, and a stronger immune system.
6. Stay Hydrated
Don't underestimate the power of water. Challenge yourself to drink 400mls of water before consuming any food or caffeinated drinks in the morning. This sets a positive tone for your digestive system and ensures you start the day well-hydrated.
7. Minimise Ultra-Processed Foods and Liquid Calories
Make an effort to cut down on ultra-processed foods as much as possible. Additionally, be mindful of liquid calories. Regularly consuming sugary drinks like fizzy sodas, energy drinks, or calorie-laden coffees can hinder your health progress.
Why not choose three of these steps to start implementing before the year is out? By January, you'll already be well on your way to a healthier, more energised you. The back-to-school season is the perfect time to kickstart these habits and set yourself up for success in the months ahead. Here's to a fantastic start to the school year and a healthier you!