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Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Why putting more thought into food choices is a good thing

Avocado is ideal for a good quality fat source
Avocado is ideal for a good quality fat source
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In this week’s column I’m putting on my personal trainer hat, and at the same time, focusing on one of my favourite things … food!

Firstly, because I love eating it, and secondly, because I get asked so many questions about what to eat in order to improve health and body fat reduction.

Many people starting out on a lifestyle change journey dive straight in at the deep end when it comes to food.

They cut out food groups completely, and restrict themselves heavily.

This tends to work for a few days before it all becomes too much and the cravings and hunger become too strong and result in a binge.

For many this escalates into a never ending cycle of ‘being good’ and ‘falling off the wagon’, so how do we break this cycle?

For me the first step is to simply ‘clean up’ your diet.

Nowadays we all know which foods are nutrient dense and ‘good’ for us and which foods are on the not-so-beneficial to the body list, so to start off just have more of the good stuff such as fresh meat, fish, fruit, veggies and eggs for example and reduce the amount of processed food such as chocolate and crisps, and alcohol you consume.

Don’t feel that you have to be a food extremist and wave goodbye to your favourites, just focus on making better choices.

Next it’s time to take a look at portion size and be mindful about how food makes you feel.

As a general rule, using your own hand as a guide works well. Aim to have each meal made up of a palm sized portion of both protein and carbohydrate, half a palm sized portion of good quality fats, and top it up with a palm sized portion of green veggies.

To put that into a real-life plate of food, your protein source could be turkey steak, carbohydrate could come from sweet potato or rice and the good quality fat source might be avocado or nuts. Then you can top up with some green beans and spinach.

As you consume your meal take your time with each fork full. Chew your food thoroughly and tune into how full you feel. You should aim to finish your meal feel satisfied but not stuffed.

Simply putting more thought into your food choices can have a very positive effect on your body fat and overall health, so give it a go and see how you feel.

It can be tough to eat healthily when you’re busy, out and about or fancy a takeaway, especially in Sunderland, where the choice is limited.

However, the good news is, that is about to change, so I’ve heard … but I’ll tell you more about that in next week’s column.

Tweet me, and let me know how you get on or feel free to ask me any questions relating to nutrition, to @KatieBulmer1