Swapping overeating for healthy eating

Feeling lethargic? Gained a few lockdown pounds? It’s never too late to get healthy.

While there should be no pressure to lose weight or feel ‘bikini ready’ (or ‘trunks ready’) this summer, it’s important to do everything we can to keep our bodies in good nick. That may mean swapping bad eating habits for good ones and making sure we’re getting the nutrients we need without any of the nasties. Here are six simple ways to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Work out why you overeat. Many of us overeat for emotional reasons; because we’re tired, stressed, hormonal, tired or even bored. If this is the case, try to find another ‘cure’ for your perceived hunger. Consider taking a nice long walk with a friend or grabbing a power nap, for example.
  2. Ditch the sugary drinks. You’d be amazed how many calories you’re consuming in that can of lemonade, sugary coffee or glass of wine, not to mention any other unhelpful substances. Replacing these with water will give you more energy, better skin and a fuller wallet! Fruit juices and smoothies are ok in small quantities but may also contain high levels of sugar, so don’t overdo them.
  3. Try to get your five a day. The usual recommendation is that we eat five portions of fruit and veg a day (though there’s no law against exceeding this!). Doing so will not only give you a vitamin and mineral boost, but will also fill you up so you’ll be less tempted to eat fatty and sugary foods. If you’re not a huge fan, try disguising veggies in a spag bol or chilli con carne, and tempt yourself with delicious summer fruits like strawberries, raspberries and peaches that you’ll really want to eat. Nuts, pulses and legumes are also healthy additions to your diet.
  4. Prepare in advance. Some of our worst food faux pas tend to be committed because we don’t feel we have the time to make better choices. Steer clear of the fast food and the frying pan, and embrace home-prepared meals and snacks instead. Plan what you’re going to eat each day before you do your weekly shop, and eat (healthily) before you shop so you don’t end up overbuying.
  5. Enjoy some exercise. If you want to be healthier all round, it’s a good idea to get moving. You don’t have to hit the gym five times a week, but try to do something that gets you out of the house and away from your fridge on a regular basis. Make it sociable by joining a dance class or heading out for a bike ride with a friend. You’ll almost certainly notice a positive impact on your physical and mental health, which may in turn make you less inclined to comfort eat.
  6. Don’t give up! With the best will in the world, there’s every chance that you may have little lapses in your new healthier lifestyle. That’s completely normal, and it may even be a positive thing to treat yourself or to take an exercise holiday from time to time. Just don’t allow yourself to slip back into bad habits and turn your back on your new approach altogether due to a couple of tiny slip-ups. You can do this!