Are you struggling to overhaul the ‘bad’ nutrition habits you’ve pick up during lockdown?

Here are 6 simple steps to help get you back on the path to clean eating.

1. Prepare in advance

Preparation is the key to success in any diet overhaul. The best intentions to eat clean often get derailed due to a lack of prep.

When we don’t have an accessible healthful meal on hand when we’re strapped for time or stressed, we tend to resort to unhealthy substitutes.

If you’re really interested in turning your nutrition around, you have to set aside some kitchen prep time. Cook meal in advance, or increase portions over weekends to batch and freeze for the week ahead.

A range of readily available base ingredients will make mealtimes quick and convenient, leaving you to go about your day without worrying about preparing wholesome meals from scratch each time, which isn’t realistic with all the pressures of lockdown.

2. Shop smart

The supermarket aisles are riddled with diet no-no’s, so make a shopping list of the things you need and ignore the rest. And don’t go shopping while you’re hungry or stressed, as you’ll end up making impulse purchases.

And if you don’t bring temptations into your home, you won’t be able to snack on them throughout the day or at night when those cravings strike.

3. Stay away from processed foods

Refined and processed foods contain very little nutritional value and tend to spike blood sugar levels, which can leave you hungry and craving sugar.

It is better to stick to complex carbohydrates like brown rice, rolled oats or quinoa.

4. Practise portion control

Stress eating and mindless munching amid the lockdown stress or boredom can send daily calorie counts spiralling out of control. So reign in those numbers by regaining control of your portion sizes.

Keep your meals light, lean and clean with this general guide:

One portion of…                    Should be the size of…

  • Protein                          The palm of your hand
  • Fats                                A matchbox or your thumb
  • Carbohydrates             A clenched fist

5. Spice up your meals

Cooking with herbs and spices will also make food taste flavourful. Some spices may even help to speed up your metabolism, while others could provide immune-system support.

Products like turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, and ginger are all great options that can help to liven up your lockdown eating and keep you satisfied with your meals.

6. Pile on the veggies

Every meal should contain a serving or two of vegetables. Other than their nutrient density, they are also packed with fibre, which will make you feel satiated and keep blood sugar levels under control.

You can also bulk up meals with leafy greens and non-root vegetables to fill your plates, without blowing out your daily calorie budget.