When it comes to weight loss and diet, advice is changing faster than it takes to write your weekly grocery list. That’s why we’re clearing the confusion around healthy eating and seeking some expert advice to set the record straight. Enter: leading nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill.
Jacqueline is a highly sought-after Nutritional Medicine Practitioner and accredited member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, plus she most recently added Eimele Expert Panelist to her impressive repertoire. Eimele is a specifically formulated range of nutritionally dense, plant-based and seriously delicious meals for healthy, sustainable weight management. We asked Jacqueline for her advice on how to make healthy eating habits, that last!
1. There’s no best before
This isn’t old news, but it is easy to understand why we so often get tempted by those sexy taglines guaranteeing instant results in a matter of days. We can all dream. But the reality is that rather than looking at your eating habits with a start and end date, you should look at them with a long-term approach to health.
For long lasting change, Jacqueline suggests making, “Small frequent changes rather than trying to overhaul everything all at once (like a yo-yo or fad diet approach) which don’t create habits in your lifestyle, and instead just creates stress and pressure.”
2. Portions please
Portions are arguably one of the trickiest parts of the puzzle when it comes to healthy eating. Eat too much and you won’t see results, don’t eat enough and you’re likely to end up head first in your snack drawer come 3pm.
“Crowd your plate with vegetables, then add the rest,” Jacqueline advises. “I recommend people add three handfuls of low starch vegetables to their plates first to provide the bulk of the meal, then add a palm-sized portion of protein, a small fist size portion of carbohydrates from wholegrain or starchy vegetables and some healthy fats such as 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or 1/4 avocado to balance the meal.”
3. Smarter snacking
Pressing pause on constant grazing is easier said than done, but if you’ve increased the amount of wholefoods and vegetables in your diet (see step two) you won’t actually feel too peckish between meals. And when you are feeling the tummy rumbles, look for snacks high in protein and fibre that will give you long lasting energy. Here are a couple of Jacqueline’s favourites:
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Eimele Soups or their delicious Snack Bars (the Acai Berry bar is her personal fave)
- Two to three tablespoons cottage cheese on sliced apple or pear
Why the fuss when it comes to the green stuff?
“Making vegetables a priority improves your intake of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants) and fibre which is essential for digestive wellbeing and weight loss,” Jacqueline explains.
“Fibre plays a key role in weight loss as it helps provide greater satiety and for long periods, whilst also slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream and sustaining energy levels.”
5. Bottoms up
If you’re looking to lose weight, make water a priority in your day.
“Begin the day with two filtered glasses of water and ensure you drink up to 2-3 litres throughout the day in between your meals,” Jacqueline recommends.
“Herbal tea (aside from black, green or other caffeinated options) counts as water intake too, so over the cooler months consider increasing your herbal teas to stay warm and improve your hydration.”
6. Say adios to the three amigos
If you’re serious about making healthy eating choices it is time to bite the bullet and say see ya to added sugar, excess salt and unhealthy fats. Before you put this whole healthy eating thing in the too hard basket, listen up – it isn’t as difficult as you think.
“When you shift your eating to whole foods, you naturally reduce your intake of sugar, fat and salt,” Jacqueline says.
“By supporting your body with better nutrition, you’ll feel more satisfied by your meals and be less likely to go back for seconds. All of these factors support healthy weight loss and sustainable weight management.”
7. Stop, rest, digest
There’s no denying it, we’re busier than ever. That means meal times become an opportunity to multi-task (hello, Insta feed, to-do list and all of the errands).
This is bad news for your body.
“It’s vital for the body to actually ‘rest and digest’ and not be forced to ‘multitask’ your digestion too,” Jacqueline says. “Sit for all meals and avoid (digital) distractions.”
When we’re not focusing on our meal we are more than likely to not feel satisfied after a meal and potentially over eat.
#Mealprep is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram with over 10 million snaps to date, and it’s no wonder why. Planning (and prepping) your meals in advance is a game-changer when it comes to adopting healthy eating habits.
“Meal prep is a wonderful way to support weight loss and can take only an hour per week.”
A newbie to the prepping game? And not sure exactly where to start?
“At the very least have 3-4 lunches and dinners planned and have an easy breakfast on hand to grab,” Jacqueline recommends.
And meal prep doesn’t always have to mean time in the kitchen – Eimele offers a convenient, nutrition-packed range of meals and snacks that are easy to grab on the go (no slicing and dicing required).
If you’re looking for more inspiration, you can find plenty of Jacqueline’s veggie-loaded recipes on the Eimele website.