Building a healthy relationship with food is one of the best things you can do for your body, health, happiness and wellbeing in the long term. Modern lifestyles, however, can mean that it's not always easy to opt for the most virtuous foods when you're constantly on the go.
Perhaps you stick to low-fat foods, or even cut out certain food groups in an effort to lose weight? This might sound like the logical thing to do, but in actual fact, dieting can lead you to consume added sugars that are often worse for you than the full-fat versions. The key is to eat these foods in appropriate amounts if you are trying to cut down on your fat intake.
After a long day at the office it's easier to grab a takeaway rather than prepare a meal from scratch, but if this becomes a regular habit it can lead you to consume excess calories, sodium and fat, thereby contributing to weight gain. By learning how to cook, you can prepare healthier alternatives with less salt and fat overall. Get into the habit of preparing your own versions of your favourite takeaway meals. Not only will it be healthier, it can also be much cheaper too.
If you spend long days in the office, it's worth investing in a slow cooker or preparing enough food to freeze for later. Try beginning the meal in the morning by placing the fresh ingredients into a slow cooker and allowing them to cook gently during the day. In this way, if you're too tired to cook in the evening, you know there's always a meal available that you can serve straight from the slow cooker.
Why not take out a recipe book or watch cooking videos on YouTube and start expressing yourself through the creative medium of cooking? This could mean learning to prepare your own freshly made bread or experimenting with different herbs and spices in the kitchen to enhance certain dishes. Trying something different in the kitchen can improve your culinary skills and give you a sense of achievement. Good sources for inspirational recipe ideas are Pinterest and Instagram, whether you're looking for gluten-free grub, vegan or paleo fare, you will be sure to find some eye opening healthy and delicious food ideas.
If you fancy some cake or chocolate, then have it. As the old saying goes, 'a little bit of what you fancy does you good'. Avoiding certain foods can only make you crave them more in the long-term, this is why it's important to enjoy your food and not get too strict with yourself. Perfection can never be reached but good health is achievable with an eating regime that allows you to focus on following the 80:20 lifestyle – eat healthily 80% of the time and allow yourself a treat 20% of the time.