SHAPING UP: Paying attention to what you eat and your food choices can really pay off

"For the next few days, really pay attention to your food.""For the next few days, really pay attention to your food."
"For the next few days, really pay attention to your food."
Today I want to talk about nutrition … and I’ve got a tip that will give you a major pay-off both right now and into the future.

But first, I need to start with a big question.When you sit down to eat, do you pay attention to your food and how your body feels while you’re eating?Or are you scoffing it down in front of the TV or while scrolling your phone/computer?Paying attention to how you fuel your body – and being intentional about your food choices – can seriously transform your results.By being intentional, I mean paying attention to:Where your food comes from,

How you prepare and serve it,

What it tastes like and how satisfying it is (every bite), and

How it makes you feel after you eat it.

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Check this out! According to a study, the average person spends two and a half hours a day eating.But for more than half of that time, we’re not paying attention to what we’re doing – we’re watching TV, working, on our phones, reading, etc. More than half!The problem with that is that being intentional helps you figure out which foods are working for you or against you.By that I mean, meals that keep you feeling fuller, longer or make you feel bloated, tired, and/or hungry two hours later.Try this: For the next few days, really pay attention to your food.Before you eat, think about where the food came from and how it was prepared.

Take a moment to think about what purpose it is serving for your body, health, and goals.

Taste and enjoy every bite.

Notice if/when you feel full or satisfied.

Note how you feel one to two hours later.

You might be (you will be!) surprised at what you discover.

Gov.UK says: “A healthy diet is important for oral and general health.

"Surveys consistently highlight that the population of the United Kingdom is eating too many “free sugars”, too much saturated fat and salt, and not enough fruit, vegetables, fibre and oily fish.

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"As a population, we would benefit from eating a variety of fruit and non-starchy vegetables, consuming at least five portions per day.

“The two most important elements of a healthy diet include:- eating the right amount of food, relative to how active a person is to be a healthy weight and eating a range of different types of foods in line with the Eatwell Guide.

"The Eatwell Guide encourages us to:-

“Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (A portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g. Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced all count. One portion of dried fruit is only 30g which could be three dried apricots or one tablespoon of raisins.

It is important to limit fruit juice and smoothies to a combined total of 150ml per day. Just one portion of fruit juice or smoothie (150ml) counts as one of (at least) five-a-day.);

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“Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates, choosing wholegrain versions where possible;

“Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks); choosing lower fat and lower sugar options;

“Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including two portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily);

“Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts

drink six to eight cups or glasses of fluid a day,

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“If consuming foods and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.”

Go to the Gov.UK website for more advice about healthy eating – the do’s and the don’ts - and how to keep your body fit and well.