Three New Year resolutions worth keeping
- Credit: citizenside.com
How many of you make New Year food resolutions that only last a couple of weeks?
In the UK, nearly half of our New Year's resolutions focus on food, health and fitness, but the vast majority of us don't stick to our new eating regimes.
In fact, most of our resolutions only last for about a month!
As a nutritional therapist, I see far too many people going through intense detoxes in the new year, in an attempt to lose weight and feel better in their bodies.
But most of them fall off the wagon with a huge bump and end up bingeing on all the wrong foods they were craving.
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It's far better to focus on your long-term health, and choose simple-to- follow eating strategies that empower optimal wellness year on year.
Here are my three New Year food resolutions that I'm going to stick to most of the time, for a lifetime of good health.
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1. Avoid sugar when you're hungry
In our fast-paced world packed with convenience foods, it's all too easy to grab the first thing you see and shove it in your mouth when you're hungry.
Whether it's a chocolate bar, piece of cake or a pastry, these items shouldn't be seen as foods.
Avoid them when you're hungry and instead pick nourishing foods that are going to fuel you for several hours, not just promote your next sugar crash.
Once you get your sugar cravings under control, you'll be able to focus on foods that make you feel great.
This might include protein-rich foods when you're hungry, such as a handful of nuts or small pot of plain yoghurt, or avoiding snacking all together and focusing on three nourishing meals that provide everything your body needs.
Then you'll be able to enjoy a little bit of what you fancy every now and again – which might be a small piece of your favourite chocolate, a slice of cake or a pastry – but eaten mindfully and after a good meal.
2. Add vegetables or fruit to every meal and snack
People who eat more fruit and vegetables live longer.
In fact, eating at least seven portions of fruit and veg per day may cut your risk of death from all causes by over 40pc.
That's quite an astounding figure, but if you're not much of a fruit or veg eater, this may sound daunting.
Get into the habit of finding ways to add fruit and veg to every meal eat.
How about some frozen berries in your porridge, extra salad in your sandwich for lunch and half a tin of chickpeas in your spag bol?
Already that's three more!
3. Don't forget to breathe!
Less focus here on food, but more on our lifestyle.
Our lives are super busy, and we just don't have the downtime we used to.
Stress is one of the leading causes of disease in the body, and we're seeing more and more stress-related illnesses in our modern world, in children as well as adults.
If you want to maintain optimal health, it's so vital to find moments out when you can properly breathe and focus inwards.
What's the first thing you do in the morning?
For so many it's checking social media or your email.
How about sitting up, putting your feet flat on the floor, stretching up and taking three deep breaths.
Everyone can make time to do this, and it's amazing how this small moment of mindfulness can make you feel so much more grounded.
Catherine is a nutritional therapist based in Norfolk - find out more here.