Post-Summer Nutrition - fruit piled together

A Guide to Getting your Post-Summer Nutrition Back on Track

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(Meal) planning is the key to success

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Whether you were lucky enough to escape to sunnier climes this summer (and ended up overdoing the gelato) or have simply let British BBQ season de-rail your healthy eating, start afresh this term with Lara Isaac‘s tips and tricks.

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A Guide to Getting your Post-Summer Nutrition Back on Track

Reflect on recent habits

Looking back and identifying the less-healthy habits you’ve got into is key. For some of us, it will have been the lure of late nights and over-indulgence in alcohol that led to unhealthier eating, whereas others might have found that having less of a routine led to more snacking or skipping meals (both of which can contribute to lethargy and fatigue). Simply recognising the main vices you’ve succumbed to will help you settle into a more balanced frame of mind.

Start with one meal

There’s no need to plunge yourself into an overly restrictive diet – in fact, being overly strict with your food choices will almost certainly work against you (as recent science demonstrates, diets really don’t work). Instead, begin by focusing on increasing the nutritional value of just one meal a day, everyday. Breakfast is usually the easiest one to start with and comes with the added benefit of balancing your blood sugar levels (meaning you’re then more likely to make better lunch and supper choices). Consider swapping your morning croissant for a piece of wholegrain toast with a boiled egg and a handful of spinach, or replacing sugar-laden granola with rolled porridge oats with almond milk, almond butter and some blueberries.

Post-summer nutrition - Meal prep

(c) Ella Olsson, Unsplash

Fill the cupboards

Plan in advance (anticipating those evenings when you’re exhausted and will want to reach for the quickest option) and stock your cupboards with nutritious staples. Low-glycaemic load carbohydrates such as tinned chickpeas, butterbeans, kidney beans and cannellini beans are great for whipping up nourishing meals within minutes. Having good supplies of things like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, ready-cooked quinoa and sensible options to snack on such as oatcakes, lentil crackers and tahini will also reduce temptation to turn to Deliveroo.

Cook once, eat twice

The benefits of cooking more than you need for one meal can’t be overstated. Preparing enough food to tide you over for lunch the next day (and even a few weeknight evenings if you freeze extra portions) will make it far easier to stick to your healthy eating plan. Things like bolognese, soup, veggie chilli and casserole dishes freeze particularly well, and can easily be enjoyed with additional portions of dark leafy green vegetables to further increase the nutritional content.

Be kind to yourself

Try to listen to your body and re-train yourself to recognise the difference between true hunger and hunger that stems from boredom or habit. Begin today, not tomorrow – there’ll always be a reason not to start, but forgive yourself for any slip-ups you might make; health is about the choices we make day in, day out and a little indulgence is good for the soul.

Featured image: Brooke Lark, Unsplash

Find Lara: lagombylara.com

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