Healthy Habits for Autumn/ Winter 2012-13

I always find that September is a good month to review what I have been eating and see what changes can be made.  I think that everyone relaxes somewhat over the summer as there are so many social functions, BBQ’s, family picnics, and just so many other reasons to over indulge.

As the cold months are just around the corner, it is a great time to get back in the swing of eating lots of fresh produce, clearing out any junk food that may have made its way into your cupboards, and concentrate on clean eating before the run up to Christmas. Yes Christmas, which believe it or not is only 17 weeks away.

Healthy eating does not have to mean boring either.  As soon as healthy eating is mentioned most people think of only being able to have salads and vegetables.  Instead opt for more fun, quick and easy options such as homemade burgers, wraps stuffed with grilled chicken and salad, different fish dishes, the list is endless.  Even pizza which is often a family favourite, can be made healthy by making your own and adding a variety of vegetables and cutting back on the cheese.

Have a look online to gain some inspiration, the BBC Good Food website has some great recipes along with the time that it will take you to prepare them.  The thought of being in the kitchen for hours trying to prepare something healthy can be very off putting, most of the meals on this website are ready in under 30 minutes.

Social drinking is something else that we do more of over the summer months. Whether we are meeting up with friends after work, cracking open a bottle to enjoy in the garden, or at a social function it is very easy to drink more and forget about how calorific alcohol can be.

If this describes what you have been doing then it may be a good time to decide that you will only drink once a week, and even then, limit yourself to one or two.

Make September, October, and November months where you will try new recipes, think about what you eat and be more active. As the evenings get shorter and it becomes colder it is easy to eat stodgy foods and rush straight home. Make the effort to wrap up and take walks, go to the gym, or do some indoor exercise with dvd’s or Wii computer.

Always remember the 80/20 rule: it is what you do 80% of the time that makes the most difference.  If you eat healthily 80% of the time, the 20% when you relax and have things that you fancy will have little effect.  It is impractical to think that you will eat healthily every day and never allow yourself treats.  Having a cheat day, within reason, has enabled many people to lose weight and keep it off successfully.


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