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Are You Kidding Yourself That Your Diet Is Healthy?

Posted in Nutrition 03 Jun, 2015

The majority of us think that we eat healthily. So why are two thirds of the population overweight? Are we kidding ourselves or do we really not know what healthy is, anymore?

It doesn't help when we measure ourselves against the rest of a population that's creaking at the waistline. If everyone else is bigger, we feel better about our size - there's safety in numbers. BUT if you're a woman and your waist measures over 35 inches, you are at risk of cardiovascular disease. For men it's 40 inches - the smaller the better for once, lads.

Portion sizes

We know that Bran Flakes or scrambled eggs are the right breakfasting choices, but at 7am they just don't appeal. The traditional British breakfast is now a cup of tea with a fag, or nothing at all.

Take a good look at what's on your plate at dinner time. Is it heaped high? Is it full of meat, sugar, fat and carbohydrates with barely any vegetables? That's not good. At least half the plate should be veggies. When did we start moving away from that trend?

As well as overloading our plates we underestimate how much we eat each day, especially snacks. It's called 'mindless eating'. You won't remember eating a muffin or two at an 11am meeting when you are loading up your dinner plate. Even two custard creams a day over the course of a year can lead to an 8 pound weight gain.

Five a day

There's a lot of research around how many vegetable and fruit portions we should eat every day, but the most recent is sticking with five. That doesn't mean five is the maximum, you can eat more! It's thought that many people struggle to meet the five a day target and not everyone realises that carrot cake and Apple Tango do not count.

Keep a Food Diary

If you want to get real, scribble as you eat. It doesn't need to be exact portion measurements, but write it all down. Skin from the roast chicken, finishing off your kids meals, two glasses of wine because you 'free-poured' and topped up. Be honest. No-one else needs to see it. Then look at your week's intake to see if you are kidding yourself.

Get Enough Sleep

Tired people snack more and over-eat. It's a way of keeping awake and comforting our exhausted, overworked selves. Will power is almost non-existent when you are tired, so you are trapped in the cycle of eating unhealthily.

Drink Water

Our thirst and hunger signals are similar, so it's difficult to tell the difference sometimes. If you feel peckish, drink water first and wait five minutes. If you no longer feel hungry it was a thirst signal. Lots of people who only eat when they are hungry are overeating because they are actually thirsty.

If we are totally honest, are we shouting abuse at the 'Secret Eaters' to cover up our own eating secrets?

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