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WHEN it comes to healthy eating, choice is everything.
We all love to indulge in a takeaway or sweet treat once in a while but it’s important not to feel too guilty about our sweet cravings.
Tamara Willner nutritionist at NHS-backed healthy eating plan Second Nature reveals how to eat the things you love while staying healthyCredit: secondnature
A healthy lifestyle should be easy, practical, tasty and non-restrictive!
As long as you follow an enjoyable healthy balanced diet every day, it’s okay to indulge in your favourite treats in moderation.
Tamara Willner nutritionist at NHS-backed healthy eating plan Second Nature says: “One of the most important but overlooked aspects of making healthy changes is making sure that we still incorporate the foods we love in our diet, rather than entirely restricting ourselves.
“This means we’re far more likely to stick to our lifestyle changes in the long term, which is more important than seeing short-term results and reverting to our old ways.”
Add more vegetables to your meal is a great goal to aim forCredit: secondnature
Here, she reveals her top five tips for eating healthy food every day – while still being able to indulge in your favourite treats…
ADD EXTRA VEGETABLES
A good goal to aim for is to have half of your meal made up of non-starchy vegetables, says Tamara.
The nutritionist reveals adding additional vegetables to your lunch or dinner is a great way to ensure you’re eating healthy – while still enjoying tasty, wholesome meals.
She says: “If you have a favourite pasta dish, for example, still enjoy it but consider ‘can I add any more veg?’, such as diced courgette, chopped mushrooms, or grated carrot.”
MAKE SMART SWAPS
Tamara advises that making smart food swaps and being mindful about our cravings is important.
She says: “When we really crave our favourite foods, it’s important to let ourselves have them and just try to enjoy them mindfully.
“However, there are many healthy swaps we can make without sacrificing flavour.
Try using fruit as a sweetener when you’re craving sugarCredit: secondnature
“For example, if you want some cheese and crackers, consider swapping white cheese crackers for homemade seed-based crackers.”
USE FRUIT AS A SWEETENER
Having a sweet tooth is extremely common and therefore, nutritionist Tamara says we can use fruit to sweeten our meals, especially at breakfast time.
One of her top tips is to use fresh or frozen fruit as a healthy choice compared with sugar, honey, or syrups.
“Consider adding a piece of chopped up fresh fruit to porridge or natural, plain yoghurt, or microwaving a handful of frozen berries to make a coulis,” Tamara suggests.
“Similarly, when you want a dessert or sweet snack, you can bake with fruit to sweeten a dish as an alternative to refined sugars.”
TRY A ‘FAKEAWAY’
Sometimes we need a comforting meal and it’s easy to opt for a takeaway.
But Tamara from Second Nature, says next time you fancy getting a delivery, consider making a ‘fakeaway’ yourself.
The homemade options are healthier than takeaways and usually save money too.
She says: “There are hundreds of simple, quick recipes to try that taste just as delicious (if not better) than a takeaway.
“Plus, you don’t have to worry about it arriving cold! For example, here are my favourite healthy pizza recipes.”
OPT FOR DARK CHOCOLATE
Usually milk or white chocolate are the favourites.
However, Tamara says it’s possible to slowly adapt your tastebuds to enjoy dark chocolate, even if it tastes too or bitter at first.
She says: “Try having a square of 80%+ dark chocolate when you get a chocolate craving.
“If you don’t like it, start with 40%+ and slowly increase the %. Dark chocolate is richer, so it’s harder to overeat and can satisfy our chocolate cravings just as well as milk chocolate.”
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