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Michelle Bridges: Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating

Bridges advises that you "don't leave the house starving" (otherwise you'll be tempted by quick and easy take-away food when you're out and about) and that you're armed with healthy snacks. "Have some fruit in your handbag or eat a small tub of yoghurt before you go out to take the edge off your hunger".

  • Bridges advises that you "don't leave the house starving" (otherwise you'll be tempted by quick and easy take-away food when you're out and about) and that you're armed with healthy snacks. "Have some fruit in your handbag or eat a small tub of yoghurt before you go out to take the edge off your hunger".
  • Number one - do not, whatever you do, walk down the sweet or biscuit aisle in the supermarket. "There are sections of the supermarket you shouldn't even walk down. The ones that are full of lollies and chocolates and chips and soft drinks - why even bother going down there? No point."
  • If you're trying to turn over a new leaf with your eating habits, Bridges strongly suggests you enlist support from family and  friends by announcing what you want to change and why it’s important to you. “Letting people know can be a light bulb moment all round – family and friends feel they can offer support, the person who wants to change can feel like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, especially if there are feelings of guilt or denial about their eating – or perhaps about how much they drink."
  • Rather than taking a 'softly softly' approach with your diet overhaul, Michelle recommends going cold turkey. "If you or your family's diets feature a lot of junk and processed food, go cold turkey for just three days. You will be amazed at how much better you sleep, concentrate, relax, and enjoy life. This will motivate you to change your eating habits for good!"
  • Do yourself a favour and remove temptations from your home. "Go and get your wheelie bin from outside. Bring it into the kitchen. Open the pantry, fridge and freezer. Now, start chucking. Throw out every bit of crap food that's holding you back."
  • Get into the habit of planning your meals in advance. "The more organised you are with your meals, the more you're likely to maintain or lose weight if that's what you want to do. The more spontaneous you are, the more likely it is that you'll turn to meals higher in fats and salts and lower in nutrition," she says.
  • Bridges advices that we snack, but snack carefully ."Eating regularly - three main meals with two snacks in between - helps us to maintain a steady metabolic rate and therefore helps us to keep our weight under control, provided we don't ingest more kilojoules than we burn." Suggested healthy snacks include a punnet of fresh strawberries or blueberries, apple slices with a dollop of low-fat cottage cheese or a small tub of low-fat yoghurt with a sprinkling of untoasted muesli on top.
  • Bridges is a firm believer that generally, we eat too much. "I think people get into the habit of going back for seconds. Train yourself to not go back for seconds. It won't take long - a couple of days," she says.
  • Try not to let your social life affect your eating habits."Try not to let others rule your way of life," says Bridges. "Instead of having some pub grub with mates on a Sunday afternoon, why not instigate doing something different - a picnic in park, or a game of cricket? Or if you end up at the pub, it doesn't mean you have to drink beer and order the lamb hot pot with chips," she says. Grilled fish, octopus and lean steak are some of the healthy alternatives Bridges suggests.
  • Bridges encourages people to throw away take-away menus and venture into the kitchen to cook up some fresh, healthy meals. "It's not rocket science. It's not a coincidence that healthy nutritious food is low in calories. Stuff that comes out of the ground, that comes off trees is low in calories - it doesn't take a brain surgeon to work that out."

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