Forget the extreme detox diets, start 2009 with a healthier regime that will keep you fit and healthy all year round…here are ten top diet tips to get you started this New Year;
1. Keep hydrated! The best way to flush out the Christmas excesses is to drink lots of water.
Every process in our body occurs in a water medium. Aside from aiding in digestion and absorption
of food, water regulates body temperature and blood circulation, carries nutrients and oxygen to
cells, and removes toxins and other wastes. It’s also calorie free! Aim to drink 1.5-2L of fluid daily
2. Make sure your diet is full of colour with lots of fruit and vegetables. Ensure there is some colour
at every meal; fruit with your breakfast, salad or vegetable soups at lunchtime and fill half your
plate with vegetables at your evening meal. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low fat and filled
with important immune boosting vitamins to keep flu and colds at bay.
3. Chose fibre rich foods. Fibre clings to the more harmful products of digestion and helps to
eliminate them from the body. Fibre rich foods help you feel fuller for longer but most importantly
a high fibre diet reduces the risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Chose high fibre breakfast
cereals and go for brown bread.
4. Get Active! 41% of us who are inactive say that we have ‘no time’ to exercise. Well it’s time to
make time! Exercise will not only help you burn off those extra Christmas calories it will help boost
your mood and also protects against muscle and bone loss. We should all aim for about 4 hours of
activity per week.
5. Make sure you diet is rich in all of the B vitamins…B vitamins help us metabolise food and are
essential to mental and emotional well-being. They can be destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars
and nicotine so it is no surprise that many people may be deficient in these after the Christmas
season. Oats, bananas, dairy and green vegetables are great sources of B vitamins.
6. Reduce your salt intake…The average daily intake of salt in Ireland is 10g per day. We need to
reduce this figure to 6g or less per day (1 tsp). About 70-75% of our salt intake comes from
processed food & about a third of Irish people add salt in cooking and a third adds salt to their
food. Hide the salt shaker and reduce your intake of processed foods.
7. Reduce your caffeine intake… Caffeine is a mild stimulant but too much caffeine can elevate your
heart rate. Try cutting your intake by substituting non-caffeinated drinks for tea and coffee. E.g.
water, juice and herbal teas.
8. Reduce you alcohol intake… In small amounts alcohol can help you relax but it in larger amounts it
may increase stress as it disrupts sleep. It is a good idea to have 3-4 alcohol free days per week
and never more than 2-3 units in a night.
9. Eat less sugar… Sugary foods and drinks provide an immediate but temporary energy surge. But
once the energy surge is gone you may go looking for more sugary foods to boost your energy
level. Avoid sugary treats and drinks. Chose fruit and juices instead which will provide natural
sugars with lots of vitamins.
10. Taking supplements…vitamin supplements can play a role in your health by complementing your
regular diet. But taking a supplement does not mean you can you skip your daily servings of fruits
and vegetables! Supplements can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods.
Chose a multivitamin that will provide 100% of your daily vitamin & mineral requirements.