PLAY BY THE RULES

These will carve out health­ier be­hav­iour with­out be­ing so strict that they seem un­achiev­able

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - COVER STORY -

NEVER EAT AT YOUR DESK

You’ve heard this one be­fore, but it bears re­peat­ing be­cause it’s a rule that’s com­monly bro­ken. Ac­cord­ing to a poll from 2017, 37pc of peo­ple rarely leave their of­fices at lunchtime. Most of them eat at their desk. The prob­lem with this is twofold. You don’t get any in­ci­den­tal ex­er­cise, be­cause your body is static; and you don’t switch off from work, so your brain doesn’t get a breather.

JC

GO TO BED 15 MIN­UTES EAR­LIER

It’s a bug­bear that I will prob­a­bly take to the grave with me: the sim­ple fact that we’re not mak­ing enough time for sleep. Re­search shows that peo­ple on av­er­age lose an en­tire night of sleep ev­ery sin­gle week. You could seek to re­verse that trend by go­ing to bed just 15 min­utes ear­lier than nor­mal ev­ery night. You will wake up feel­ing more re­freshed and happy.

GM

FOL­LOW THE TWO AND FIVE RULE

Get­ting my al­co­hol con­sump­tion un­der con­trol has had a pro­found im­pact on vir­tu­ally ev­ery as­pect of my life – sleep, weight, re­la­tion­ships, bank bal­ance. I used to work in the City and live a boozy life, but it wasn’t sus­tain­able, so I adopted the two and five rule: no more than two drinks in a night and no more than five drinks in a week. I soon re­alised that I didn’t need to drink more than two beers a night to en­joy my­self. And the good news is that once you’ve learnt to con­trol your be­hav­iour, you can loosen the ropes a lit­tle, be­cause now you’re in charge.

ML

NO MORE PHONES IN THE BED­ROOM

We know the re­search about the light on our de­vices in­hibit­ing mela­tonin pro­duc­tion and de­lay­ing the on­set of sleep. Even if you have a blue light fil­ter it doesn’t stop the cog­ni­tive stim­u­la­tion we get from our phones. It’s just not help­ful to have all your work­ing and so­cial life next to you all night. Leave the phone out­side the bed­room and in­vest in an old-fash­ioned alarm clock. GM

PUT 10 AL­MONDS ON YOUR POR­RIDGE

Most peo­ple don’t eat enough pro­tein, and break­fast is tra­di­tion­ally quite carby. In a bid to in­clude pro­tein at ev­ery meal, add 10 al­monds to your por­ridge – or a scoop of soya pro­tein pow­der, which won’t af­fect the taste but will boost the pro­tein punch. Pro­tein feeds our mus­cles – if you don’t feed them, they get bro­ken down for en­ergy. All you’re left with is your fat stores. Gasp!

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EAT – STOP – EAT

De­cide on your meal. Eat it. Then stop eat­ing for at least three hours. Drink only wa­ter. Try that for a week if your snack­ing habits are get­ting the bet­ter of you.

AD

THE 80/20 RULE

There’s a lot of con­fu­sion about nutrition. Should you be eat­ing carbs, a high-fat diet, or go­ing ve­gan? Fun­da­men­tally, I al­ways say that if you’re cook­ing from scratch with real in­gre­di­ents, you’re on the right path. To help pro­pel you fur­ther down the road, adopt the 80/20 rule: for 80 per cent of the time, take care to get your nutrition right – that means good qual­ity dairy, nuts, lots of veg­eta­bles, fruit and fish, and no pro­cessed food. And for 20 per cent of the time, eat what­ever you like. ML

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