Did you know that people in Nordic countries are doing even better than the Mediterraneans in keeping their weight and their health in check?
The answer involves decades of research but the message is beautifully simple: if you want to look and feel your best and achieve the fastest and most lasting results, it’s time to get back to the basics.
So here are my 3 top tips to help you look and feel as good as possible without dieting or feeling restricted.
1. Buy food from as close to home as possible, and eat what’s in season whenever you can
Locally produced food that’s eaten in season contains more nutrients.
Nutrients are crucial for your body’s ability to do things like burn excess fat for fuel, remove toxins, and repair itself from the demands of the day. The longer it takes your food to get from the farm to your fork, the fewer nutrients it will contain. And even more importantly, fresh local food tastes miles better than the comparably tired items that you’ll find on your typical supermarket shelf!
2. Make your own food - from scratch
The reason why people in Mediterranean countries aren’t doing as well with their weight and health anymore is because they are opting more and more for processed and packaged foods. The Mediterranean Diet isn’t nearly as healthy as it was back in the 1960’s when the term was first coined.
And the UK is lagging even further behind. The next time you head to your local supermarket, have a look at how many aisles of quick-prep and out-of-packet foods there are, in contrast to the number of aisles of fresh, natural food.
An apple a day is good for your health: in its natural form, it’s full of vitamins, minerals, water and fibre which work in perfect harmony to allow your body to break down and make proper use of the goodness you’re taking in. A packet of dried apple rings or a carton of fruit juice will contain some of this goodness, but much of it has been lost - or is out of balance - in the process of making these products last longer and more convenient. And, the ingredients that manufactures add in their place often aren’t good for you and may even be damaging to your longer term health.
But there is good news! It doesn’t take long at all to whip up a handful of spinach or kale and a couple of eggs for lunch. Or if you can get into the habit of cooking double portions at dinner time, you'll have lunch sorted for the next day without any additional food preparation time. And even better, you won’t have to grab a soggy fattening sandwich on the run.
3. Be present and enjoy what you're eating
Take the time to fully enjoy the pleasures of eating. This means trying to stay away from the TV, your phone and any other distractions during meal times. You’ll enjoy a much flatter stomach with less upset and bloating if you do.
When you're aware of what you're eating, you'll also realise when you're getting full. Your stomach is only the size of your fist, so aim to eat no more than 2-3 cupped handfuls in one go.
Chew each mouthful of food thoroughly and put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. And spend time eating with friends and family - it’s more fun than eating on your own.
So it really is that simple. There is no need for fad diets, calorie counting or cutting out food groups. Remember that how you're eating is almost as important as what you are eating - so eat real, natural food, make as much as you can at home and enjoy every, delicious mouthful!
If you're ready to learn more about the Nordic principles and change your relationship with food for good, why not join me on my 21 Day Nordic Energy Plan. Find out more and join online for just £67!