At Nairn’s, we believe that it is possible to lead a healthy lifestyle without resorting to extreme measure, and a few simple changes can make a world of difference.
Whether you are in training for a marathon, looking to shift a couple of pounds, or simply want to feel a little healthier in yourself, we all go through periods where healthy eating is a must. And the impact of making a few improvements can be great, often providing us with more energy and a renewed determination to exercise as a result.
Yet in trying to improve our diets we can sometimes lose sight of one simple truth:
A little bit of what you like never hurts.
The danger of the detox is that although we may feel like we are doing ourselves good, in the long-term it is often of greater benefit to take a more sustainable approach.
In our rush to be more healthy it is tempting to put a blanket ban on all the things we like. Fatty, sugary foods such as chocolate and carbohydrates like bread are often the first to go. Some diet-plans even tell us to do exactly that. But while it is important to eat those foods in moderation don’t be too hard on yourself – studies have shown that crash dieting can lead to more sudden weight gains in the future and, remember, our bodies do require some fats and carbs to function effectively.
The other problem with suddenly depriving yourself of all your favourite foods is that your general mood will probably suffer as a result, and the prospect of ditching the diet and returning to your comfort foods will be even more tempting!
There are better means. If you are a lover of cake, for example, don’t deprive yourself, just eat it less frequently and in smaller portions.
Snack like a Pro
The key to sustained energy levels is to snack frequently – it is certainly no sin. So instead of banning any foods between mealtimes, as some fad diets advise, our advice is to actually increase your snacking frequency and snack on the right things. Doing so will help you stay energised and motivated – the important thing is to choose your snacks wisely and keep everything in moderation.
Nairn’s oatcakes are jam-packed with slow releasing complex carbohydrates and make the perfect snack, being portable and well suited to a whole range of toppings and flavour combinations.
Got those elevenses hunger pangs? Treat yourself to a Nairn’s fruit and seed oatcake. They’re packed with soluble fibre to help keep you going and are delicious even on their own.
For between lunch and dinner why not munch on our oatcakes with a topping of hummus and red pepper. The oaty options are endless!
A few small substitutions can improve your diet greatly and won’t leave you feeling like you are missing out. Here are a few tried-and-tested examples:
Refined Sugar for Honey: Diets without sweet things are no fun, so bring a little sweetness back into your life by cutting down on "added sugars" - found in confectionery, fizzy drinks and refined sugar – to favour "simple sugars" like glucose and fructose. Honey is high in fructose and can replace the use of refined sugar in tea.
Cheese and Crackers for Nairn’s Cheese Oatcakes: Cheese wedged between two crackers: what could be better? Nairn’s cheese oatcakes, that’s what! With each oatcake containing just 39 calories yet packed full of soluble fibre, they make a healthy, tasty and all-round better alternative. You will never go back!
White Bread for Nairn’s Fine Milled Oatcakes: Nairn’s oatcakes can also make a great replacement for white bread and are certainly healthier. While white bread can often leave you feeling stodgy and bloated, oatcakes contain slow-releasing carbohydrates that keep your energy levels consistent throughout the day. And they’re just as tasty! Now we’re heading into the winter months, why not try having oatcakes with your soup instead of bread for a more wholesome lunch.
Have Fun with Food
Food is one of life’s great joys and no diet should take away from that. No matter which approach you take to getting healthy, try to be creative in your methods and experiment with new combinations and dishes as much as possible. And don’t be afraid to eat a little of what you like!
Looking for more tips?
Have a look at Amanda Hamilton's post on how to keep everything in moderation and maintain a balanced diet.