The internet is filled with health advice. And sadly, a lot of it comes from unqualified people trying to make a quick $.
In the lead up to summer and 2019, you’re going to be bombarded the latest detox diets, flat tummy teas, diet shakes, weight loss lollies, cleanses, appetite suppressants, diet pills….basically anything companies can cleverly market to make some cash from you. These products will claim to blast belly fat, make lose 10kg in 3 days and get bikini body ready instantly! And they will be marketed by influencers who are also jumping on the bandwagon to make some $.
Taking on health advice from those who aren’t qualified can be dangerous and a waste of money. Value yourself enough to get advice on your health from a qualified professional. And remember, even if someone you follow online is genuinely trying to help by giving health advice, if they aren’t qualified, it’s best to see a professional!
I’ve interviewed 23 qualified Dietitians from around the world to get their best health tips! These are nutrition tips you can actually take on board and try! Read through and choose your favourite one to work on. And if you have a question about health and nutrition, it’s these people you can ask for help!
TIP #1 from @Marikaday
“Stop at meal times, put the technology away, slow down, chew well and enjoy your meal. This can influence your hunger and fullness hormones to keep you full for longer, help stimulate digestive enzymes and help prevent bloating after meals.”
TIP #2 from @emmasmyth.nutrition
“Focus on what you should add more of (positive goals) rather than what you should eat less of (restrictive goals). For example, aiming to eat a couple of serves of fruit and loading your plate with a variety of vegetables each day. Other positive goals could be to include a handful of nuts each day and to eat 30 different plant foods each week (variety for gut bug diversity).
Positive goals help you include lots of healthy, nutrient-dense food without feeling deprived and suffering from the “Forbidden Fruit Effect” – where banning foods only makes you want them more!”
TIP #3 from @Aleishadeane.dietitian
“Consistency is key! It’s the small things you do everyday that add up in the long run! My best advice is to start small and work your way up. Sometimes it may not seem like much, but the more you do something to improve your health such as choosing a nutritious food and/or moving your body, the more sustainable this behaviour becomes. Aim to do 1 thing daily to improve your health. Note: health looks different to everyone, so remember to choose something that you enjoy and works for you!”
TIP #4 from Dr Jen Cohen: The Fussy Eating Doctor
“Vegetables are so important for both kids and adults to eat but don’t wait until dinner time to try and eat all your serves of veggies. Kids are especially tired at night and less likely to eat their veggies at night. Aim to have veggies in all meals and snacks throughout the day and your family is more likely to meet their recommended serves of vegetables.”
TIP #5 from @the.guthealthdietitian
“Eat more Potatoes! I love this tip because most people are scared of potatoes and because potatoes are so nutritious, being rich in vitamin C, potassium, B Vitamins and fibre. Most importantly, they are high in resistant starch, especially when cooked and cooled, which selectively feeds our good gut bacteria. With so many people feeling ‘gut sick’ these days, I think potatoes are a must have in most diets (unless of course you are allergic). And, no need to worry about the calories as less calories are absorbed into our bodies from cooked and cooled starches as they ‘resist digestion’ in the stomach and small intestine.”
TIP #6 from CollegeNutritionist.com
“You have to do what works for you. You are the expert of your own life and body. Try as much as possible to drown out the excess noise in the media and from (albeit well meaning friends and family).”
TIP #7 from @adietitiansmission
“Everyone knows what to do to be healthy – but many people do it for the wrong reasons, one reason is focusing on how you look over how you feel. This can be counter-productive, because many of the problems people face with maintaining healthy habits are often a result of making ‘aesthetics’ their only goal. Health is more than just escaping a negative body image. start focusing on how you feel rather than how you look – this way, you follow a healthy lifestyle for the right reasons: because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself. When you lead ahealthy lifestyle for positive reasons, you will start to enjoy the process so much more. The benefits of ‘looking good’ will come, but allow them to just be a bonus to the increased energy and health you gain. Forget “80% diet / 20% exercise” – If you really want to transform your health, you need to devote 100% effort to self love first.”
TIP #8 from @simone_austin
“Everyone can ‘Eat Like An Athlete’, Fuel yourself to perform in this endurance event we call life! Does your meal- have protein to maintain muscle mass, nutritious carbohydrate to fuel you (quantity to suit you) and fruit or vegetables with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to heal you! My new book, “eat Like and Athlete’ will be on shelves February 2019.”
TIP #9 from @movingdietitian
“Volume eating for weight loss and help with hunger! Make at least 50% of your plate non-starchy veg, and stick with 1 portion of lean protein and starchy carbs so you get a high bulk, nutrient and fibre rich meal without over doing the calories. And if you find you need huge meals – add more veg instead of extra starchy carbs.”
TIP #10 from @LM_nutrition
“Don’t just rely on dinner for your veggie intake for the day. Only 4% of Australian’s are eating the recommended 5-6 serves of vegetables per day. One serve is not equal to one type of veggie. 1 serve = 1 cup of salad or 1/2 cup of cooked veg. Vegetables are essential for key nutrients and fibre for gut health, lowering cholesterol and keeping you full. By only having vegetables at dinner, you’re less likely to eat enough. I like to include spinach in my smoothies, mushrooms, broccoli and tomatoes with my eggs or in an omelette, having leftovers for lunch or simply adding salad to your sandwich.”
TIP #11 from @healthyhappyhabits
“Keep it simple. If you look at a dinner plate, make sure at least half is veggies (the more colour the better) a quarter of the plate is protein (things like lean meat, poultry and fish, eggs, tofu etc.) and a quarter of the plate is a serve of low GI carbohydrate (brown rice, quinoa, pasta, cous cous etc.) Use this as a guide for every lunch and dinner and you can’t go wrong!”
TIP #12 from @nude_nutritionist
“Real health isn’t about cutting foods out of your diet, it’s about adding in healthier options. Taking your favourite foods off limits will leave you feeling deprived and make healthy eating hard. It doesn’t have to be. Practice ‘crowding’ instead. Instead of creating a list of forbidden foods (e.g. chocolate, alcohol), add in healthier options like fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. So instead of saying, “I can’t eat chocolate anymore”, begin to say “when I have a sweet craving, I’m going to snack on fruit”. It sounds really simple but simple works. Aim for 2 serves of fruit and day at least five serves of vegetables (though aim for even more).”
TIP #13 from @jess_spendlove_dietitian
“Every meal and snack should contain some colour! I often tell my clients and athletes if their meal or snack is only brown and white it is not complete. Adding some color, i..e fruit or vegetables, to every meal and snack helps ensure you are meeting your nutritional requirements, diversifying your intake and optimising each opportunity you eat. The various colours in whole foods reflect their different nutritional composition, so getting a variety of color in your diet isn’t just about making your meals look pretty, it is about making you feel good from the inside out.”
TIP #14 from @authentic_spoon
“Include 1 cup of vegetables with each main meal! Now it sounds clichè for a Dietitian to say, but it’s so important! This is to ensure we get our recommended serves of veggies, whilst also contributing to a range of different vitamins, minerals and fibre. Below is an example (predominantly just focusing on the veggies) of how we might sneak in those veggie serves:
Breakfast: A protein banana smoothie, with 1/2 cup added spinach/kale and 1/2 cup frozen zucchini ( trust me you can’t even taste it!) Total = 1 cup veggies
Lunch: It might be a chicken, quinoa salad with 1 cup of green leafy vegetables, then additionally some cucumber, tomatoes, avocado ect. Total = 1 & 1/2 cups veggies.
Dinner: Might be salmon, with 1/2 cup of roast pumpkin and 1/2 roasted broccoli with garlic and ginger ( my personal favourite). Total = 1 cup veggies.
That’s just over 3 cups done!”
TIP #15 from @dietitianedition
“Focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t. As a Dietitian, the number one thing I come across with my clients is the exclusion or restriction of certain foods and whole food groups for no reason other than that they ‘heard it was better for them’. If you have to remove something from your diet for the management or prevention of an illness or diet-related condition, then that is completely acceptable. If you are doing it without any knowledge as to why or have not been advised by a qualified health professional to exclude that particular thing from your diet, then there is absolutely no need to. I feel like a lot of people are looking for an excuse to cut-out certain foods with the hope that this will bring about some sort of benefit to their health, whether it be weight loss, clearer skin, greater energy, improvement in mood, the list goes on! Don’t be fooled friends, a lot of these claims don’t have scientific evidence to back them up. The number one thing I can encourage you all to do, is to avoid excluding foods and food-groups from your diet for no given reason.
I completely understand how confusing it is to make a decision regarding your diet when there is so much controversial nutrition advice floating around the internet, but cutting out food groups may and can potentially lead to major nutritional deficiencies, imbalances in your gut microbiome, deprivation followed by cravings, and even changes to your mental state. Remember, everything you eat poses a benefit in one way or another. May it be nutritional, enjoyment, to fuel a workout, because it reminds you of a childhood memory, or maybe you choose to consume it because it’s just plain delicious. If you are confused about your diet or are considering cutting out certain foods, be sure to consult with an Accredited Practising Dietitian for individualised advice.”
TIP #16 from @thenakedtruth.au
“My number one health tip is to become a planner! We live in such a fast-paced world which presents many challenges for maintaining good health. We all seem to be living increasingly busier lives with the large majority of our time being taken up attending to various commitments such as work, family or friends to name a few. Quite often these commitments are prioritised ahead of ourselves which can be detrimental to our long-term health and wellbeing. This is why my number one health tip is to become a planner! Select one day of the week to sit down and plan the week ahead. Consider all of your commitments (this includes things such as your work roster, birthdays, social events, kids sport, university assessments etc) and identify what you are going to do to care for your health around these. What you do will look different for everybody, but may include a focus on nutrition, exercise or mindfulness. If you have an upcoming day of back-to-back work meetings then you can schedule in a morning workout to ensure that you make time to move your body that day. If you have an evening exam then you can meal prep ahead of time to ensure that you have a healthy dinner on hand at home. Perhaps you find meditation useful for managing your mental health, in which case you can plan to make time to practice your meditation each day. The list could truly go on. Whatever it may be, thinking and planning ahead is a simple yet powerful strategy that everyone can do to not only prioritise them self, but also their overall health too. Give it a try…I bet you will be surprised at how helpful this is!”
TIP #17 from @thehealthylabel
“If you’re trying to improve your health and nutrition, you might come across recommendations to track your calorie and macronutrient intake. While this definitely works for some people, for others it can seem overwhelming and time-consuming. For a simplified approach, you can try the balanced plate method! This helps you to automatically create a balance of macronutrients in your meals and helps to regulate the energy content. Start off with filling 1/2 of your plate with low-starch vegetables (such as tomato, carrot, zucchini, leafy greens, cabbage and broccoli). Then, fill 1/4 of your plate with a source of protein (such as eggs, fish and lean meats or plant-based protein sources such as tofu, tempeh and beans). Fill the remaining 1/4 portion with a source of fibre-containing starchy carbohydrates (for example wholegrain bread or pasta, potato, sweet potato, brown rice and quinoa). Top off your meal with a source of healthy fats to upgrade the taste and texture even further. Sources of healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds and nut or seed pastes such as tahini. This method helps you to create balanced, satisfying meals that promote energy throughout the day – without focusing on numbers.”
TIP #18 from @plantnutritionwellness
TIP #19 from @thesavvydietitian
TIP #20 from @chloe_mcleod_dietitian
“Drink plenty of water to make sure you remain well hydrated. This helps promote gut health, improves sport performance, improve concentration, and simply helps you feel better! Check the colour of your urine and aim to remain pale yellow/colourless.”
TIP #21 from @Nourish With Melanie
“I find many of my clients know what to eat, but they struggle to eat well, especially when everyone around them is indulging in junk foods. As with any change in life, the secret is to know your why. If you have a good reason to eat well, you’ll be more likely to do so. One of the best reasons is our egg health. Even if you’re not ready to have children yet, the food that you eat now will impact your eggs which contain the genetic material for your future babies. So, before taking a bite, ask yourself whether that food will be nourishing your eggs or doing them damage. It’s a great way to change the way that you think about food.”
TIP #22 from @the_dietitian_kitchen
“Start the day with a healthy breakfast. I always remind people that they don’t need to eat the minute they get out of bed in the morning but encourage everyone to aim to make the first meal/snack of the day a healthy one. Why? It can really help set you up for the day ahead and as the saying goes – “Start as you mean to go on.” I have a busy lifestyle and tend to eat breakfast after a morning workout, either when I get to work or on the run, but no matter what, I always make sure I have time for it. My favourite quick and easy healthy breakfasts are: Overnight Oats, Porridge, Breakfast Burrito, a Smoothie packed with oats, fruit and Greek yoghurt and healthy banana bread/banana muffins! Because I love to workout in the morning, I always make sure I have a rich carbohydrate and protein source at breakfast to make sure I refuel my muscles appropriately!”
TIP #23 from @dietitian.approved
“Learn to eat to support training load. Too often I see people eating the same thing everyday, but training differently every day. My number 1 tip for performance in training and life is to learn to scale up on big days and scale down on easy/rest days.”