Trainer Kristy Robertson of Auckland's Spa at the Pullman shares her tips for achieving optimum health. This week she looks at staying on track with her six ways to stick to a nutritional plan.
1. Keep a detailed food diary and send it to a friend, a trainer or keep it for yourself to reflect on at the end of each week. Having a conscience means you are less likely to make poor food choices.
2. Establish a routine or set an alarm to mark regular eating times. Aim to snack every three hours, as cortisol levels which influence fat storage (particularly around the abdomen) do not peak until up to four to five hours after eating.
3. Do a regular supermarket shop so you always have healthy food options on hand. Low-fat, high-protein staples are essential: baked beans or chickpeas, tins of tuna, corn, beetroot, brown rice crackers and eggs.
4. Eat a high-fibre, low-GI breakfast made of oats, bulghur wheat or wheat flakes, or try higher-protein, gluten-free ancient grains such as quinoa or amaranth. People who eat breakfast are able to burn more calories during the day because they've sped up their metabolism straight away.
5. Changing out foods every week is great for motivation. Swap cottage cheese for ricotta; hummus for organic peanut or almond butter; tuna for sardines, mussels or salmon; almonds for 2-3 brazil nuts. Plus. keep up your flaxseed and linseed intake.
6. Eating a variety of foods is the best way to replenish vitamin and mineral levels such as magnesium, chromium, selenium and vitamin C - these ease everyday mental or physical stress.