Healthy eating is important, and we know it. A national Omnipoll survey indicated 52% of Australians want to improve their eating habits and lose weight, however, only one in twenty of us actually meet daily recommended fruit and vegetable servings. If you’re just a ‘beginner’, changing the way you eat can seem daunting and overwhelming. But it doesn’t need to be. Here are 7 easy tips to get you started on your healthy eating journey.

Prepare more meals at home:
Nine times out of ten, what you make in your own kitchen will be lower in fat, sugar and salt. You are also more likely to serve yourself a smaller portion.

Plan ahead:
Take five minutes at the end of each day, or twenty minutes on a Sunday, to plan out your healthy meals and snacks. Make sure you have the ingredients you need, and if required, schedule some time to buy them. This will cut down your nights of takeaway and 2-minute noodles!

Follow the ‘Healthy Plate’ guidelines.
Have you seen the ‘healthy plate’ before? Half filled with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter is filled with lean protein, and the final quarter is for low GI carbohydrates. Keep to these proportions and you will be well on your way!

Try one or two new recipes each week:
Learn to love healthy food by researching and preparing new recipes that pack flavour – there’s heaps out there! Make sure you plan these nights in advance, inviting friends over for dinner is the perfect incentive!

Make the most of leftovers:
When planning your meals for the week, consider when you might benefit from having leftovers, and prepare extra portions on days or nights when you can cook. You will love coming home to a home-cooked meal after a long day, and the money you will save by not buying lunch.

Always have a fridge stocked with vegetables:
As per point 3, your lunch and dinner plate should always be half full with vegetables, so make sure your fridge is ready! Get the most out of your veggies by storing them in the crisper, and become familiar with shelf-lives, so you know which ones to use first.

Have a ‘contingency’ plan:
Some days, all planning and good intentions go out the window. Always keep some frozen veggies and steamed-fish pouches in the freezer. Soups are also a great option; just make sure there aren’t too many preservatives or salt.