by Rhiann Fowlds
People are constantly exclaiming ‘new year, new me’ on the 1st of January as they nurse their hangovers. They make promises of healthy eating (once all the Christmas chocolate is gone, of course) and spend hours searching the latest fad diets.
Haven’t we learned from our mistakes already? How many times has the promise of the new diet seemed like a distant memory by February…
What about trying something a little different and swapping your favourite food and drink for slightly healthier alternatives?
Chocolate is the ultimate temptation but we really need to get away from thinking of it as a daily staple or a comfort food and think of it as a treat. Swap in your super-size bar of Galaxy for something a little smaller. Maltesers, Crunchie, Flake, Smarties (now made with natural food colouring) and Milky Bar are all good options at under 200 calories. Even better than that the Milky Way has under 100 calories.
Biscuits are the perfect accompaniment for your tea at any time of the day but it is all about knowing what ones to buy. The McVite’s brand is always a good call: their Ginger Nuts, Digestives and Rich Tea biscuits all come in at under 50 calories each. Perfect for guilt free dunking but try resisting eating the whole packet.
Crisps are slightly harder to find healthier alternatives. Many brands like Walkers have made lighter versions of themselves (Sunbites, Lites, French Fries) which all expectantly rank low calorie wise. However, if you are looking for a bit more of a treat: Quavers, Skips and Wotsits all have less than 100 calories per bag.
It is almost impossible to resist the call of Two for Tuesday Dominos but why not save yourself money and calories and make your own. It can even be something fun to do with friends and family! All major supermarkets stock wheat or spelt pre-made pizza bases so you just have to add your tomato sauce, cheese (try using a part-skim mozzarella) and toppings. Obviously use as many veggies as you like but chicken, turkey and Parma ham are good meat options too.
Pasta is everyone’s go to meal. It’s the perfect option for a quick fix after a long day at work or uni but most of the time it’s nothing but bad for us. However, there are so many ways to make it that little bit healthier. Swap your favourite kind of pasta for a whole wheat version. Swap pre-packaged sauces for pesto, hold back on the cheese and change the garlic bread for a side salad.
We are students, drinking is what we do but alcohol is a world of hidden calories. The most important thing is to avoid fizzy mixers in your spirits swap them for soda and fresh lemon or lime or slimline tonic. Avoid liquors, beer and large glasses or wine and swap them for spirits or bubbles.
Buy brown bread instead of white.
Give up fizzy juice. Drink sugar free diluting juices or water instead (I know it’s boring but we really don’t drink enough water).
Also drink fruit juice, it’s a great way to sneak in one of your five a day.
Use light oils to fry things in. Although always use your oven or grill where frying can be avoided.
Eat sweet potato instead of normal potatoes (its health benefits could be a whole article in itself).
Cereal and nutrition bars are a great alternative to snacking (you get chocolate ones and everything).
Cook from scratch as much as possible, there’s so many easy recipes out there that only basic cooking skills are required – it’s important to know what you’re eating!