Ask the Experts: ‘Healthy’ Foods and Weight Gain

strawberry-730447_1280Q: So what’s the deal with healthy eating? What exactly is it? And why are some people switching their diets to contain ‘healthy’ foods, only to find themselves gaining weight?!

It may be that you find yourself with an intolerance (gluten for instance), that you find you no longer like the way you feel after sugar or that you’ve decided losing a few extra pounds would be something positive in your life. Whatever the reason for changing your diet, you’re now faced with making decisions and choices that benefi t you and are in alignment with your health, well-being and chosen body image.

Some people transition into this new way of eating with ease and understand what it is their body does and does not require for healthful living. Others, not having knowledge in this area, follow the ‘expert’ advice of what does and does not fall into the category of healthy foods, only to trip up on the all-too-common misconception that if it’s healthy, containing ‘good’ ingredients, the quantity you may consume knows no bounds. The truth is, this is simply untrue.

Once again we’re back to the golden rule of balance – a little of what you fancy does you good. Everything in life, not just food, should be approached with the rule of moderation. Just because a food has passed the ‘good for you’ test, that doesn’t mean you need to overdose.

blueberries-690072_1280I think we can all agree that foods such as nuts, avocados and salmon are up there on the list of the top 10 healthy foods, but consuming vast quantities of these and other foods alike will not help you in a bid for weight loss. They contain healthy fats, but when abused and eaten in abundance, these fats will be anything but healthy. Again, be aware of portion control – eat what your body needs, recognising when you’re full.

The other bump in the road when switching to a healthy eating regime without body awareness or prior knowledge in this area, is the belief that you can continue to enjoy all the sweet treats and ‘junk’ foods as long as you’re eating healthily in between. This is a no go I’m afraid! The truth of the matter is this; there’s no way around the rule of balance. Of course enjoy a treat here and there, I’m not big on denial, but if you want to promote healthy living using the 80%/20% rule, a bag of penny sweets on a regular basis and a slice of chocolate cake after each evening meal is not going to cut the mustard!

Eating well is common sense. I cannot stress how important it is to know yourself and your own body to assess what is best for you. You are the only one who can determine how you feel when consuming different food groups, ingredients etc. If you need to, keep a food/mood diary so you can see if there are links between the way you feel and the foods you’ve eaten on that day – whether it be physical or emotional symptoms.

You get out of life what you put in, so if healthy eating is important to you, spend some time looking into the areas that are of interest so you can stand on a solid foundation of knowledge in order to make the best decisions for you, your body and your life.

Enjoy and eat well!



Lisa Roukin - Profile ImageLisa Roukin – CHEF, TEACHER AND WRITER

Lisa is a chef, teacher and writer, her main focus is developing gluten- and wheat-free recipes. She runs her own business teaching private cookery lessons and demonstrations, based around her healthy way of eating. She has cooked live on BBC Radio, and was a finalist on Gordon Ramsey’s The F Word. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post and provides gluten-free recipes to Ocado.


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