As a research scientist I spend all day in the lab performing experiments. I also enjoy experimenting on myself by implementing different eating plans, trying out interesting new recipes and incorporating various techniques and methods into my training. Over the past 15 years I have tried many ways of eating including vegetarian, vegan, raw, low-fat, low carb and more recently, slow carb, and have participated and competed in a range of sports, such as kickboxing, triathlon and long distance running. I am now at a place in my life where my health and my performance are the most important factors in my decision about what I eat.

I have also observed that over the years the health and fitness industry has grown considerably and there is now an abundance of products and information out there, often with conflicting advice.  This can make it extremely difficult and confusing for people interested in adopting a healthier eating plan and losing some fat in the process. Not only can the amount of advice out there be overwhelming and confusing but, if you choose to take it on board, it can also be very expensive. The following 10 tips that I have compiled will help you get started on your way to better overall health and fat loss without the need to spend all of your hard-earned cash on gym memberships, personal trainers, supplements or diet shakes.

1.    Prepare meals at home as much as possible.

2.    Drink sparkling mineral water instead of soft drink/soda or fruit juices.

3.    Eat more beans and legumes. I find the canned version quick and easy.

4.    Use frozen vegetables, such as frozen spinach and broccoli, as a cheaper alternative to fresh vegetables.

5.    Go running. It is free and you can do it anywhere at anytime.

6.    Use effervescent tablets containing electrolytes with no added sugar dissolved in water as a recovery drink after exercise.

7.    Take cold showers. Studies have shown that intermittent cold exposure increases metabolic rate, however, for this to be an effective strategy there must be no compensation for the increased energy expenditure by increasing food intake [1].

8.    Consume whey protein powder in the form of a shake, or combined with coconut milk to form a pudding consistency, for a high protein snack.

9.    Shop at your local bulk food store for items such as dried beans and legumes, shredded or flaked coconut, nuts and seeds. 

10.  Log your eating with a free calorie counting App. This will allow you to keep track of how many calories you are consuming and will also make you aware of any mindless eating that you partake in.

These tips are easy to follow and to include into your everyday routine. You can follow these tips on any budget and they may actually help you save money. You can start now by preparing yourself a healthy, filling meal at home containing nutrient dense foods, such as green, leafy vegetables and a ripe avocado! For more information on the above tips and my self-experimentation with them, look out for my future articles.