4 Steps To A Healthy New Year!
Healthy diet, meditation, giving up alcohol and keeping fit – make 2019 the year you take them all up!
Whatever your plans for a healthier new you, they’re bound to involve tweaking your diet. But where to start?
With so much conflicting advice, it’s tempting to ignore it all and just eat whatever you fancy. In fact, studies have shown that it is possible to eat your normal diet but still lose weight and improve a raft of health problems by simply changing the timespan within which you eat your meals. The research shows that consuming all your day’s food within an eight or ten hour window, then fasting for the remaining 14 or 16 hours, has numerous benefits – and ones you’ll love.
“It can help you manage type 2 diabetes and also has anti-ageing effects by giving your cells a restorative break,” says Dr Campbell Murdoch, a GP, Chief Medical Officer of DIABETES.CO.UK, and Clinical Advisor to the NHS England Sustainable Improvement Team.
Within this plan, if you’re sticking to an eight hour window, you may start breakfast at 9.30am and finish supper at 5.30pm. For a 10 hour window, you could eat breakfast at 9.30 and finish supper by 7.30pm. After this, you must eschew all snacks, alcohol, and sweet or milky drinks until your next day’s eating window starts.
In theory you can then eat what you like. But in reality you should stick within healthy eating guidelines, points out Kirsty Bamping of the British Dietetic Association. “That means eating from all the food groups and including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, along with high fibre and wholegrain foods, protein (pulses, meat and at least two portions of fish in a week, one of which should be oily), as well as some dairy.”
For Dr Murdoch, you can get all the benefits and your necessary food and calories if, within your eating window, you have one or two decent sized meals and no snacks, instead of the typical three meals and two snacks a day that a lot of us still live by.
You may also need to look at your portion sizes. That’s because our calorie needs decline with age. By your 50s you may only need 1,600 or 1,800 calories a day to maintain your current weight.
Changing what and when you eat is never easy, but it becomes a whole lot more appealing once you start seeing pay-offs like increased energy, a trimmer waistline, and glowing skin.