Follow these 20 simple rules to achieve an award winning diet.

1. Eat 6 small meals per day.This has been proven to boost metabolism (rate of calorie expenditure) as you are continually feeding the digestive system with a steady stream of fuel to burn. Eating small amounts throughout the day means that your body is capable of burning the energy as you consume it, reducing the likelihood of storing excess energy as body fat. This in turn keeps a balanced blood sugar levels maintaining a healthy flow of energy.
2. Eat when you are hungry and only eat until you are comfortable. Your body only needs a certain amount of energy in one sitting, eating too much at once spikes your blood sugar levels and leads to a huge energy crash. Also excess energy will store as body fat, which hugely hinders your results. Remember you can eat again later so don’t fill yourself up now!
3. Drink 2 litres of water per day. Water speeds up your metabolism, cleans the body of toxins and generally helps to make everything in your body run smoothly.
Water makes you feel healthier in everyday life. It reduces headaches and migraines
Your body releases hormones to tell you when you are hungry. When you are thirsty your body releases similar hormones which can be misinterpreted for hunger. Often, when you are dehydrated your body will ask for food because it can be a source of hydration, but ultimately if you dehydrated you are likely to eat more calories than when you are not.
Water increases your energy levels. Dehydration leads to fatigue, which slowly eats away at your bodily functions you need to get through the day.
4. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. This is where you should get most of your carbohydrates from. Fruits and vegetables are your healthiest form of carbohydrates, most of which are slow released and packed nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fibre.
5. Always eat breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast with slow release energy will provide you with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals to see you through the morning helping you concentrate. Replacing your energy stores which have depleted over night.
Eating a healthy breakfast kick starts your metabolism and keeps hunger at bay meaning that you are less likely to snack on foods which will hinder your performance and success.
A high protein breakfast allows your body to repair itself after the previous days activities.
Last, but definitely most important: eating breakfast has a greater psychological affect on you. Knowing you have started the day off right gives you the feeling of full control and power over your life. When you have eaten breakfast you are more likely to make healthy food choices throughout the rest of the day.
6. Increase your protein intake. Protein is a nutrient required for the growth and repair of most bodily tissue including muscles, thus allowing your body to eat away at your body fat and not your muscle mass. This is particularly important for those who are exercising in order to repair and rebuild muscle tissue to increase your metabolism and burn more calories. Protein also helps keep you feeling fuller for longer as it is slower digested than most carbohydrates.
7. Try to decrease your carbohydrate intake to around 30g per sitting. This is a very broad figure and varies dependant on your weight, size, activity levels and body composition. Carbohydrates are your bodies preferred energy source, however If you consume more carbohydrates in 1 meal than your body needs the excess is easily converted and stored as body fat.
8. Avoid having high GI (sugary) carbohydrates in the last meal of the day. As excess carbohydrates are so easily stored as body fat it is advised you avoid consuming them within 2-3 hours of going to bed. This is because your body I shutting itself down to rest and does not need the energy so late in the day.
9. Avoid processed food and transfats. Processed foods such as microwave meals go through processes to preserve their shelf life. During this process many additives are introduced to food such as preservatives colourings and artificial flavourings. These are all very unhealthy for your body and not very easily digested.
10. Eat a wide variety of foods to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. Various foods are rich in a variety of different vitamins and minerals, to insure you have a wide array of different vitamins and minerals you should try to include as many different typesof food in your diet as possible.
11.Eat healthy fats, avoid unhealthy fats. Your body needs fats in your diet as it is; a source of heat and energy; padding and insulation for the organs and nerves; a regulator for the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K); and As a source of the essential fatty acids. Sources of healthy fats include nuts and seeds.
12.Never skip a meal. This may seem obvious however the dangers of skipping a meal can be more disastrous than it seems. If you miss a meal you are much more likely to binge eat on bad food choices at your next meal. It can also mean that when you do eat your body may store the energy in its fat shores in case you go along period without eating again.
13. Snack on fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These snack choices offer a more sustainable flow of energy and will help regulate your blood sugar levels, not to mention they are a great source of important vitamins and minerals.
14. Reduce your alcohol intake. It is best if you could avoid it, but if you cannot, make sure that you only consume alcohol in moderation. It effects your body’s capability to carry out its basic tasks and can severely hinder its ability to digest food. It decreases your bodies ability to produce muscle building testosterone, so if you want to gain weight, you will struggle if you binge drink. It also increase the feminine hormone, oestrogen and the stress hormone cortisol, causing your body to store fat!
15. Roughly 1/3 of every meal should be made up of vegetables or fruit. This is the ideal ratio of healthy carbs to proteins and fats. Vegetables are one of the healthiest carbs you can get your hands on, so load up on them!
16. Don’t eat on the run. The problem here is that you are likely to make very bad food choice when eating in a rush, meaning you will be packing in the calories and often they will be bad calories (sugars, sweeteners and bad fats). Also when we eat in a rush our brain will automatically register the food as a snack leading us to over consume on the following meal too.
17. Stop eating before you feel full. Your body releases hormones to tell you when you are hungry and when you are full. If you wait for this hormone release you may eat more than your body needs. Any extra calorie consumption is stored as body fat. Remember, you can always eat again in a few hours time if you are hungry.
18. Prepare your meals and snacks for the day. You could even do this for the following few days or even the week. Prepare a big salad, or rice or pasta dish to refrigerate and consume within a few days.
19. Eat Eggs. Egg whites area great source of protein, use egg whites to make egg whit omelettes. Omelettes make a great breakfast or lunch and can be cooked with many different ingredients such as meats (for an extra serving of protein) or mushrooms, peppers etc. The healthiest way to have an egg cooked is either poached or boiled.
20. Be realistic and don’t be afraid to break the rules once in a while. It’s important that you don’t relapse, so don’t try to take on the world alone. Treat yourself once in a while and take some time to enjoy the foods you like (just don’t do this too often!)