When it comes to creating and maintaining healthy eating habits, there are a few mistakes people make which will set them back, according to Cayman- based holistic nutrition educator Andrea Hill.

1. Avoid diets

Andrea Hill

Her first piece of advice is to avoid dieting because it’s not sustainable in the long term.
“To eat healthy and live well, you should embrace something that is doable for you and something that works within your lifestyle,” she says. “The only thing diets teach you is deprivation and willpower.”

Instead, Andrea suggests using a food tracker like MyFitnessPal, which is a free app that can be installed on your tablet or smartphone.

“A food tracker will help you register whether you’re eating the recommended seven to 10 servings of vegetables every day that make a massive difference to your quality of life and ability to shed pounds,” she adds.

2. Ditch sugar, processed foods

Her second tip: avoid sugary and processed foods; instead reach for super foods that are high in protein and essential fatty acids. She gives the examples of fish oil, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.

“There is no question, good fats help you lose weight,” says Andrea. “Adding anywhere between a teaspoon and one tablespoon of fish oil, for instance, will help you break down fat, stay full longer, and help prevent the storage of fat on the body.

“Foods that have a tremendous amount of protein and essential fats help to switch off ghrelin, a.k.a., your hungry hormone. So, snack on pumpkin seeds instead of that granola bar or try hemp seeds in your breakfast fruit smoothie.”

3. Increase fibre

Her final tip: don’t count calories, but rather fibre. “Fibre plays a huge role in helping you feel satiated,” she explains. “Lentils, for example, are super-high in fibre (8 grams per 1/2 cup) and will keep you feeling satisfied for hours.”

Andrea points out that although salads are great, they provide less fibre than one might think (2 cups mixed green salad equals just under 2 grams of fibre).

“Most people barely get the recommended 30 grams per day,” she says. “Fibre equates to fullness and ultimately a trimmer waistline.”