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Is it me, or does it seem like the media has made eating healthy almost impossible?

All you have to do is fast for 19 hours, breathe deeply in a headstand for three hours and drink lemon water for the other hour. And once you’ve finally nailed that ‘diet’, a new diet pops up to tell you it’s the key to longevity, maintainable weight loss and ultimate happiness, and, of course, you start all over again – it’s exhausting!

Eating a healthy diet doesn’t need to be complicated, make you feel deprived, or like you’re a failure when you grab a piece of chocolate. Nutrition can (and should) be straightforward, unrestrictive and leave you feeling full of energy with clear skin, minimal digestive discomfort and able to maintain healthy body weight.

It’s time to go back to basics. Below are my top tips for eating in a nutritionally-balanced and maintainable way.

  1. Focus on what you can eat more of, not less. I encourage you to fill your plate with nutrient-rich fresh produce and vegetables, good-quality proteins and fats. Moving away from a ‘diet mentality’ and focusing on eating foods that are good for you in abundance can do wonders for your physical health and mental wellbeing.
  1. Speaking of protein, most of us don’t get enough of it. Protein keeps us satiated, stabilises blood sugars, regulates hormones, assists the immune system and is essential in optimising muscles. I recommend consuming a palm-sized serving of protein at every meal.
  1. Get rid of the idea of being perfect. I believe in the concept of 80/20, where you mostly eat unprocessed fresh foods and allow for treats 20% of the time. Allowing treats in moderation will stop binge eating and the inevitable cheat days that come from over-restriction.
  1. Drink more water! While the amount of water each person should be drinking varies, the health-promoting benefits of water are endless; it supports energy, allows for healthy weight loss and improves the appearance of the skin. For every cup of coffee, caffeinated tea or alcohol you drink, drink another glass of water.
  1. While I prefer to focus on the foods we should be eating, I recommend looking at reducing your intake of processed grains, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. These foods can be a real energy buzz-kill and aren’t great for the digestive system either.
  1. It’s not just about diet! Make sure you’re moving your body daily in a way that you enjoy, are getting adequate sun exposure and are doing activities every day to help reduce your stress.

If you want guidance along the healthy eating journey and are ready to stop feeling so tired, minimise those headaches and manage the mood swings, the 7-Day Nutrition Reset Program is for you. The 7-Day Nutrition Reset Program makes the foundations of nutrition and healthy eating accessible and easy for everyone. Together, we’ll go through what you should be eating, my healthy food mantra, detoxing your pantry, clearing up any food confusion and more. Find out everything you need to know here.

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About the author

Belinda Kirkpatrick is an expert Nutritionist and Naturopath in Sydney. She specialises in natural fertility, family and women's health care. She is the author of Healthy Hormones (a practical guide to balancing your hormones) and is the founder of the SEED Concept and also Seed App for iPhone.

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