Every day we're bombarded with new theories about what constitutes a healthy diet.

But for Gemma Flynn, Olympic athlete and wellness specialist, she knows exactly how to eat the right food to support her health and fitness endeavours.

If you're wanting to improve your diet but aren't sure how to get started, here are Flynn's top tips to start making some positive, sustainable changes.

1. Your relationship with food

Gemma says it's important to have a healthy relationship with food.


"You can't out-train a bad diet so choose good food that will fuel your body," she says. "I focus on eating well so that I can perform well."

2. Know what you're eating

Gemma encourages people to take an interest in what's in their food to better understand the nutrients and calories they're getting from their diet.

"I typically eat plenty of protein, good fats and I cut right back on sugar. I do eat carbs but it's important to select the right ones - as a general rule of thumb, reduce the 'white' in your diet."

3. Treat yourself

Gemma says she maintains a healthy diet around 80 per cent of the time. "I do like to treat myself if it's a special occasion like birthdays and Christmas, but my real motivation is to eat well to support my training goals.

"Remember, one bad meal doesn't make a bad habit or undo all your good work, as long as you get back on the wagon."

READ MORE: • Gemma Flynn's top tips for getting fit

4. Eat more, eat less

Gemma recommends replacing processed, packaged foods with whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables and says to aim for a balance of 10 per cent fat, 20 per cent protein and 70 per cent vegetables, grains and fruit.

• Increase the colour of your diet: Real food that's full colour is typically high in nutrients and low in calories.

• Reduce the white: Large quantities of carbohydrates, particularly sugars, play havoc with your blood sugar levels.

• Go above ground: Opt for more above-the-ground vegetables, which are typically higher in nutrients and lower in calories.

• Drink more: Stay hydrated, don't mistake thirst for hunger.

The breakfast club

For Gemma, it's crucial to start the day with a good breakfast. Before an early morning training session Gemma likes to down a green smoothie with ice, coconut water, banana, spinach and yoghurt.

Plan ahead

To make eating well easier, you need to be organised. By planning out your meals, you'll be less likely to reach for fast, unhealthy options.

Portion control

You may have been taught to finish your plate, but Gemma says it's important to watch your portion size, stop eating before you get full, and to not go to bed on a full stomach.

Gemma Flynn is currently an ambassador for the AIA Healthy Kids Challenge.