New Year diet resolution success!
New Year is a time when many of us decide to make improvements to our health and diets. But with most resolutions being broken before the end of January, the odds are stacked against us. Changes to diet can be especially difficult at this time of year, with the lack of daylight causing a drop in vitamin D and serotonin levels which can lead to winter depression. Getting outside in the natural light each day is important, alongside eating a good diet of wholesome fresh foods rather than reaching for processed comfort foods.
If you have failed at resolutions in the past, the tips below will help to make 2018 your year of success!
1. Choose only one resolution
If you focus your attention on one thing that is important to you, you are more likely to succeed than by trying to stick to a long list of good intentions.
2. Be realistic
Think of your New Year plan as a long term eating strategy. There is little point choosing a resolution that you will be unable to stick to.
3. Make sure your resolution is something you want to do
not something you feel you ought to.
4. Prepare yourself properly
gather anything you need in the days before so there are no excuses when it’s time to start.
5. Don’t feel pressurised to start on January 1st
It’s especially hard to change your eating if you have been celebrating the night before. Choose a date that suits you and stick to it.
6. Focus on foods you want to eat, rather than foods to avoid
Listing the foods that you want to eat more of means you will have lots of options to choose from, and you are less likely to notice the foods that are ‘missing’. Aim for a list of 100 healthy foods, divided into categories such as meat and fish, grains, pulses, fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, eggs and dairy or milk replacements etc.
7. Be specific
So it is easier to know if you have been successful. Rather than saying ‘I’m going to eat less meat’ you could say ‘I am not going to eat meat on Mondays and Wednesdays’.
8. Make a different resolution for each month
If you tend to break your resolutions because you get bored, try committing to something for one month at a time. The advantage of this is that you will be working good habits into your routine without having to make big changes all at once. And if you do break a resolution one month you can start again with something new the next.
If you need some inspiration, here are a few ideas to get you started; but remember, only choose something which works for you.
- Have an organic vegetable box delivered each week and use everything before the next delivery
- Make soup on Sunday afternoon and freeze in batches for lunch during the week
- Stop buying squash and fizzy drinks containing artificial sweeteners
- Grow herbs on the windowsill, and use some each day either in cooking or herbal teas
- Eat oily fish twice each week
- Drink a cup of green or ginger tea each morning
- Buy a bag of 6 apples each week and eat them all before the next shop
- Clear the fridge of commercial salad dressings and use olive oil, herbs and vinegar instead
- Make pasta sauce from scratch (no jars!)
If you need further guidance, or want to make more radical changes, book a consultation with a Nutritional Therapist and commit to at least two follow up sessions so that they can monitor your progress and make adjustments if necessary.