Counting calories can be problematic. Often, it’s not a very sustainable healthy living strategy and it may be a reason for you to think about food even more than you did to begin with.
If you’re looking to add extra nutrition to your diet, it’s important that your intentions become manageable habits so you’re more likely to stay committed.
So, let's look at the ways you can stop counting your calories.
EAT A RAINBOW, EVERY DAY
Now, you might be asking: How do I eat a rainbow every day?
Well, it’s simple. Pack as many differently coloured fruits and veggies as you can into your diet because each colour has its own unique health benefits. For example, fruits and veggies that are red contain a natural pigment called lycopene, which can reduce the risk of cancer and keep your heart happy.
Calories in processed food can often be much higher, so grab your reusable shopping bags and head to the local farmer’s market to make the most of the fruit and veggie colour spectrum.
SEEK BALANCE IN YOUR DIET
Moderation is important, right? Just because you’ve committed to eating healthily, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself with a bit of chocolate after dinner. However, if you’d normally have that chocolate with a glass of wine, choosing to have one or the other might be a useful way of keeping your cravings in check.
Here are a few tips for maintaining a balanced diet:
- Eat off smaller plates, without going back for seconds
- Don’t drink calories, avoid soft drinks and adding sugar to coffee
- Drink a glass of water between meals instead of snacking.
With so many external distractions in our day-to-day lives, it can be a real challenge to tune into the needs of your body. One way to tap into this is through mindfulness, which is a great way to practice being present.
You can practice mindfulness while you’re doing just about anything, like washing the dishes or walking. Mindful eating is another way you can give it a crack. You might like to smell your food, think about where it has come from or hold it on your tongue to savour its flavour or feel its texture.
Another benefit of mindful eating is that by slowing down, you may find that your body has a chance to let you know that its fuller, sooner.
FIND ANY EXCUSE TO MOVE
It doesn’t matter whether we sit or stand at work during the day, the key to staying healthy is being active. If you can, take the stairs instead of the lift; or try cycling to work instead of driving or taking public transport.
SCHEDULE GYM TIME INTO YOUR WEEK
At Virgin Active, we prefer to think about counting endorphins rather than counting calories. If you schedule gym time into your week, you’re not only being accountable for your health and wellbeing, you’re also locking in a time that’s almost guaranteed to boost your mood.
Classes are the perfect way to get in on your favourite workout, or try something new.
Virgin Active offers many ways of getting active, from boxing to yoga. Explore what’s on offer and even discover how many calories you’ll burn for each activity (if you’re into that kind of thing).
As you can see, healthy habits need to be realistic. Do you have any hot tips for making friends with calories? Jot them down in the comments section below.