I used to be the diet queen. It wasn’t until I decided to give up dieting and become a healthy person that my life changed; I was finally able to lose 35 kilos and have been in my healthy weight range for over 22 years.


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To have good health and wellbeing you must have an eating regime that includes a balanced intake of foods from all the food groups in moderate portions. You should also include regular exercise.

Don’t think of it as a short-term ‘diet’ but a long-term lifestyle change.

Here are my tips for switching to healthier food choices:

1) Make changes gradually

Don’t expect to become a healthy person overnight, if you change your habits too dramatically then you may find it hard to stick to the routine.

Make changes gradually and permanently e.g. if you hate skim milk, start with trim and after a while progress to skim milk.

2) Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and veggies

The best way is to experiment and try lots of different ways to cook using these food groups.

It is recommended to have between 2-4 serves of fruit and 3-5 serves of vegetables a day. And when it comes to grains try to have wholegrain instead of white bread, rice or pasta. My El Dorado Salad is a tasty salad option; with the added protein from kidney beans this recipe can be a complete vegetarian meal or enjoyed with a serve of meat.

3) Eat moderate portions

The recommended serve of meat for a main meal is around 90 grams (cooked) or similar in size to the palm of your hand. A serve of fruit should be a medium piece of fruit or around 150 grams.

The perfect plate of food should be 1/2 vegetables or salad, 1/4 carbohydrates, and 1/4 lean protein.

4) Know your weaknesses

To become healthier, you first need to know what you are doing wrong. A great way to see where you are going wrong is to write down everything you eat for a few days, underline everything that is unhealthy and circle everything that is healthy. If there are too many lines, you know it’s time to change. If there is one food you are eating too much of, make sure it doesn’t end up in the supermarket trolley.

5) Quit dieting

Remember dieting doesn’t work. All you achieve on a diet is hunger and deprivation then once you quit the diet all the weight goes back on and usually more.

All food can be enjoyed in moderation. There is no need to feel guilty every time you have a biscuit or bowl of ice-cream; as long as you eat in moderation as part of a healthy balanced plan.

Overeating is one of the main causes to obesity.

You have to start somewhere, why not start with by working on one of the above each week; at the end of five weeks you will have created some great new healthy habits.

Do you have any other tips to add to the list? Please share in the comments below.

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  • These are really great ideas. Completely doable and not at all a shock to the system


  • Very sound advice here!


  • Gardening brings me so much happiness. Great article.


  • I have kept a food diary in the past as a good way to review what I am actually eating. It didn’t stop me from eating junk but it made me conscious of my intake and where I could make improvements.


  • I agree with stopping the idea of dieting and switching to a healthier lifestyle. There are some great tips in this article for the new year!


  • Some great tips and perfect timing for my household.


  • some great tips, a fantastic read.


  • Thanks for the great suggestions.


  • Great suggestions! I too have learnt this recently


  • Great tips. I think the initial realisation and step to change bad eating habits is the most difficult.


  • I want to start eating brown rice as it is much healthier than white rice. My sister in law made brown rice today but Iknow the kids wont like it so was suggested to mix it with white rice. Hope this will work ….


  • Thank you and thank you again for pointing out that diets do not work! I have been listening to so many people talking about their upcoming New Year fad diets! :(


  • I also think that in order to be successful with being healthy, you have to actually be committed to changing. Strategies for dealing with relapses and not being too harsh on yourself are essential too otherwise it’s easy to get back into a mindset of “it doesn’t matter what I eat now.”


  • yeah i agree with this being a lifestyle change vs a diet or quick fix. i think that the more that you get into the mind set, the easier it becomes as you form the habit.

    • Lifestyle change really is the only to go for long term results and changes.


  • Great tips Annette. I like the first one, so many people just expect to make big changes suddenly and they don’t work often. I think when you start off small and make gradual changes, then you’re onto a winner.


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