4 Steps to clean up your Diet

Are you trying to get healthy in 2016? Here are some great tips from our Nutritional Expert

I personally was glad to have Christmas over and back to the normal. I gave away all my chocolates, biscuits and sweets. The receivers were delighted with my donations.With the slight overloading and indulging in food were all trying to clean up our diets and get more active! It’s not about empting out all the kitchen presses; it’s about making little but effective changes that can make an impact on your health and well-being. 
Here are some tips on cleaning up your diet:
  • Keep your diet as clean as possible. If you have been eating clean Monday to Friday allow yourself to have a treat at the weekend. By eating clean I mean avoiding sweets, biscuits and cakes. Sugar is highly addictive and has been researched to be more addictive than cocaine.  It also plays havoc with your blood sugar levels. Refined flour is quickly broken down into sugar which causes a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Our bodies respond rapidly by secreting insulin. 
  • When you eat large amounts of processed food they contain hydrogenated fat; this type of fat is full of tran’s fats. This is a man-made fat that has been linked with increased risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, increased pain and inflammation. One of the other nasty effects of processed or refined food is that it modifies your neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. So all in all there are no benefits of any kind to your body if your diet is full of these foods noted above.
  • The gym and exercise classes are really bumper to bumper. This is great to see but we must remember that the formula should be 80:20. 80% food and 20% exercise….abs are made in the kitchen. You can do all the exercise and workout you want, but if you don’t follow it through with a clean eating regime, you will not see the results. Just to highlight the main advantages of exercise; lungs operate more efficiently, blood vessels become enlarged, increased oxygen supply, tissues in the body get more oxygen, great for the heart, helps you eat, digest and eliminate  waste better, increase endorphins, changes your basal metabolic rate. The more you move the better you will feel.
  • Our bodies contain approximately 66% water and without it we would be die within 4 days. Under normal circumstances in a 24 hour period we lose 1.5 litres of water in urine, 750ml through skin, 400ml in the breath and 150ml in faeces. In total that is 2.8 litres; is it any wonder we need to drink a minimum of 1.5 litres per day. We need water for so many functions such as flushing out the kidneys, dissolving minerals, acting as delivery systems, lubricant and temperature regulator. Sometimes we have mistaken the thirst reflex for hunger. If you feel hunger in the afternoon have a glass of water, maybe you’re not hungry after all!  Filling a glass of water and leaving on your work bench is a handy way to remember it. Some of my clients say that they don’t like the taste, so a handy way to flavour it is chop some fresh mint, lemon, limes or strawberries and let it sit for a while. They just add a subtle taste to the water and are especially nice for the kids to drink.
So there you have some very simple, back to basics tips. Avoid eating processed food, exercise more and drink more water! We will all be happy and healthy for 2016.
For more information on nutrition and exercise checkou my Facebook page Betty O Neill Nutritional Therapy
Read more from our Family Nutritional Expert Here
Health and Happiness 

Betty O'Neill

Betty O'Neill is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and a registered member of the NTOI (Nutritional Therapies of Ireland). She is extremely passionate about all things to do with food and nutrition.

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