Here at Impulse Leisure we know it's important to eat well in order to maintain good health, and to help you look and feel your best. Eating a balanced diet, and being aware of your calorie intake, in conjunction with exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy body weight. This means you need to eat a variety of different foods, in the right proportions. 

The NHS suggests these Eight Tips for Healthy Eating...

1. Eat at least 5 Fruit and Vegetables a day

We all know this one, and it's easier than it sounds! Try adding a handful of berries or chopped banana to your breakfast cereal, swap your mid-morning biscuit for a banana, add some salad to your lunch, try a slice of pineapple or melon as a snack, have three heaped tablespoons of vegetables with your dinner. Remember that you can only count one smoothie/pure fruit juce as one portion.

 

2. Base meals on starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice or pasta

Starchy foods should make up just over a third of everything we eat. Try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Gram for gram the carbohydrate they contain provides fewer than half the calories of fat.

Try eating potatoes with the skin on, choose wholegrain or brown pasta and rice and wholemeal bread to increase your fibre intake. Fibre can help you to feel full for longer. Keep an eye on the fats you add though, such as oil on chips, butter on bread and creamy sauces on pasta.

 

3. Include dairy or dairy alternatives (such as Soya drinks)

Milk and dairy foods such as cheese and yoghurt are good sources of protein, and they also contain calcium which helps to keep your bones healthy. To get the benefits of dairy, without too much fat, try semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk, as well as lower-fat hard cheeses, or cottage cheese and lower-fat, lower-sugar yoghurt. Unsweetened calcium-fortified dairy alternatives like soya milks can make good alternatives.

 

4. Eat beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein

We all need protein in our diet, for the body to grow and repair itself, but in the UK we generally eat too much meat, and not enough beans, pulses and oily fish. Fish is a good source of protein, and contains many vitamins and minerals. You should aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish. Oily fish contains omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. Oily fish includes: salmon, mackerel, trout, herring and sardines.

Non-oily fish includes haddock, cod, tuna, plaice and skate. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned, but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt. 

 

5. Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, eaten in small amounts

We all need some fat, but it's important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we're eating. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. The average man should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day, and women should have no more than 20g. Children should have less than adults.

These foods are high in saturated fat: hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter and pies. For a healthier choice, use a small amount of vegetable oil, or reduced-fat spread instead of butter or ghee. Choose foods that contain unsaturated fats such as oily fish and avocados. 

 

7. Eat less salt

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. About three-quaters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6g (about a teaspoonful) a day. Younger children should have less.

 

8. Don't skip breakfast

Research shows that people who reguarly eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, so try to get into the habit of eating a morning meal. If you don't usually feel hungry then start off with a light bite such as piece of fruit, after a while your morning appetite will increase. If you're short on time in the morning think about simple and easy choices like low-fat yoghurt.

 

In general try to cut down on foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt and sugar. Have them less often, and reduce the amount. Most people in the UK don't eat enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre, so try to increase these foods in your everyday diet. 

The NHS Eatwell guide will show you how much of what you eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.

How to balance your calories in VS your calories out

Very simply, you need to balance how many calories you are eating, with how many you need and are using. If you eat more calories than you burn off, then you are going to put on weight. 

In order to lose weight at a safe and steady rate, it is recommended by the NHS that men limit their calorie intake to no more than 1,900 kcal a day, and 1,400 for women.

You can use the NHS Calorie Checker to look up more than 150,000 different foods and drinks quickly and simply. 

Get Active

The best way to achieve a weight and body shape you are confident with is to combine healthy eating with exercise. Make sure you have your Gym Induction, talk to your Gym Instructor about developing a fitness plan that works for you, and remeber to attend your regular assessments.

Your Technogym Wellness Key will help you to track your personal fitness goals too, and you Gym Instructor will also guide you through the Boditrax system which will provide you with a full body check before you get started.