Many people enjoy making New Year’s Resolutions and more often than not they have to do with weight or healthy eating. Unfortunately a lot of people can be too tough with themselves and will give up by the end of January. The tips below aren’t drastic or gimmicky but they are some simple suggestions that will guarantee better health in a far more maintainable fashion.
1. Don’t do a “detox” or strict diet – you will set yourself up for failure and do more harm than good.
Detox diets are always very popular following the festive season however they are unnecessary and often are more harmful to your body than beneficial. With most detox diets, you are actually depriving your body of the essential nutrients it needs and putting extra stress on the body that then has to work harder to maintain normal functions. Healthy kidneys and liver will do all the detoxing for your body. All you need to do is eat a balanced diet, avoid processed foods, drink plenty of water and limit alcohol.
The same goes for strict dieting. Strict diets are a bad way to start your year because most people will be unable to maintain them – leading to discouragement when they fail early on and the weight is regained. It is best to follow a balanced, healthy diet and appropriate portion sizes.
2. Swap processed for fresh
Set a goal to buy less processed products and make more meals/snacks from fresh ingredients. This immediately cuts out a lot of unnecessary additives and will provide you with more nutrition.
3. Pre prepare/plan meals and snacks
Putting aside some time to plan and prepare your meals makes a huge difference to the way you eat. When you haven’t thought through what to eat for the week you end up relying on the minimal ingredients left in your fridge that will likely form a nutritionally inadequate meal. Alternatively, you turn to take away. Shop for simple meals and even bulk cook them so they will last you a few nights. Preparation and planning means you always have ingredients on hand and you have less excuses to buy food out. You will also save money by not buying lunches and dinners most days!
4. Eat out less
There is a big foodie culture these days and many people find they are eating a number of meals out each week – lunches, breakfasts, dinners. This means more fats, sugars, sodium and energy than our bodies need. Cutting back the frequency of meals eaten out will make a big difference to your health, weight and wallet. Follow the above point!
5. Limit added sugars
Avoid over indulging on chocolates, lollies, cakes, biscuits and ice creams. Another increasingly common issue is the availability of these foods and people building increasing tolerance to sugar. We get enough natural sugars in our diet so added sugars hold no place in a healthy diet. It’s a hard habit to kick for many people so sometimes not keeping it in the house it the first step!
6. Reduce alcohol consumption
It’s easy to fall in to the habit of having a couple of drinks each night with dinner, a few drinks with friends and 4+ at social occasions on the weekend. This is a good habit to break in order to manage your weight and to decrease your risk of lifestyle related disease. Avoid binge drinking all together and keep your intake to a minimal amount.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
If you have questions about nutrition, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!