Fitness

An introduction to healthy eating

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Exercising is all well and good, but your diet is the most important factor in shaping your body and your health. I am in no way advocating starvation here, nor am I promoting crash dieting to ‘get skinny quick’. I am simply endorsing health and wellbeing, both on the inside and on the outside. I’m hoping to make this a regular post, with recipes and information about certain food groups and how best to eat for your health goals, so keep an eye out for more from me over the next few weeks.

It may sound cheesy, but that’s the real reason I eat the way I do and regularly exercise: my health. Weight loss is perhaps an added bonus for some, but it is not a necessity! Eating healthy, nutritious food and taking up exercise is a lifestyle change, it is not a quick fix and it is not a fad.

I felt ‘healthy eating’ was an issue that needed addressing, since I can walk around the supermarkets now and see ‘Healthy Biscuit’ sections, and so many women religiously eating Special K to lose weight (you will not at all, too much sugar!). First, I want to tackle a few ‘diet myths’:

  • Contrary to popular belief fat in food does not make you fat (however saturated fat in high amounts is not good for you). Instead, try adding avocado and eggs into your diet.
  • Sugar is the real culprit for those ‘love handles’ and added pounds (always wondered why they are called that, I certainly DO NOT love them!). Simply: ingesting extra sugar causes an insulin spike, which in turn causes certain organs in the body to absorb this extra sugar/glucose which they probably do not need, and so this extra sugar is stored as body fat. Particularly around your mid-section.
  • Cutting out carbohydrates is extremely bad for you! Some forms of carbohydrate are better than others – we will get to this later- but cutting them out completely leads to fatigue, muscle loss, mood swings… I could go on. Instead of cutting carbs out completely, try sweet potato and quinoa instead of white pasta and breads.

I do not diet, I eat to nourish my body. Healthy eating really is simple as long as you are not taken in by adverts and packaging claiming a product is ‘healthy/low fat/0% added sugar’ etc. All these products are highly processed, full of chemicals and artificial sweetners: they are terrible for your body!

Unfortunately, the modern diet is based on this processed crap. I aim to eat as ‘clean’ as possible, all that means is I very rarely eat processed food (such as microwave meals, sugary cereal, fizzy pop) my diet is based around lean fresh meats, complex carbs, friuts and of course veggies! Eating in this way ensures my body gets all the nutrients, vitamins and essentials it needs to properly function efficiently. I’m not going to lie though, we all have a downfall and mine is chocolate. I love it; chocolate digestives, kitkats, cookies, Ben and Jerry’s… and yes I do still eat it!

A healthy diet and mindset means still eating those ‘naughty’ foods you love, but not basing your diet on them. Restricting foods such as chocolate is not good for the soul! Just keep it in moderation and you are good to go.

 

Words by Kelsie Marsden

Jess is your Deputy Editor

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