The New Year is always a challenging time for everyone.
We’ve just spent the last month saying ‘bon appetite’ to a frankly impressive amount of desserts, booze and cherries, and saying ‘au revoir’ to all self-control, the gym and healthy choices.
Now is the time to make changes. And we don’t mean write full page-long list of New Year’s resolutions. It’s about committing to a healthy lifestyle, not a fad diet or unachievable exercise routine.
“Christmas and New Year’s are a time for slowing down, catching up with friends and family, overindulging and setting good intentions for the New Year,” nutritionist Fiona Tuck told The Huffington Post Australia.
“While it’s easy to let our health judgement deteriorate completely, sticking to a few good habits every day will make it so much easier to get back on the wagon.”
Surround yourself with a positive network of friends and colleagues. A positive environment will help lift you and strive to be the best version of yourself.
“A major reason, I believe, a lot of people fall off the bandwagon during the festive season is that they do not have a plan in place to tackle situations or environments where they are presented the opportunity to over indulge,” Clark said.
All the more reason to follow these 12 wrealistic healthy eating tips to help get you back (and stay) on track all year long.
1. Set achievable goals
“Firstly, the best thing you can do is acknowledge the fact you have not been as disciplined with your health as you could be. This acknowledgement then acts as a catalyst for change,” Clark told HuffPost Australia.
“Before jumping back on the wagon, make sure you have set short term and long term health goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have a time frame attached to them.”
By setting specific and achievable goals, not only will you actually reach them, but the feeling you get from doing so will inspire and encourage you to keep going. On the other hand, if you make goals ‘look like Gigi Hadid by February’, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
“Once these goals are in place, you will have a much clearer picture of what it is you need to do to achieve your health goals.”
Not sure what a realistic goal is?
“Exercising 3-4 times a week, cutting out refined sugar and decreasing alcohol are all small, achievable goals that will benefit you slowly, but are easier to maintain than trying to commit to exercise every morning at 6am, or banning yourself from carbs or alcohol,” Tuck said.
“Having an event to get ready for is a great motivator.”
It helps to write these goals down — even put them on your fridge or wall so you can see them every day and work towards them.
2. Be kind to yourself
After a time of indulging, many of us fall into a spiral of guilt and self hate. But these are not helpful to a healthy lifestyle — in fact, not all the green juices in the world can teach us self love and body acceptance.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. The more rules and restrictions, the more likely you’ll give up,” Tuck said.
“If you’ve really overindulged, punishing yourself with a strict diet and exercise regime is not always the best way to get back on the health wagon as you will fatigue and burn out quickly.
“Start slowly by adding in gentle exercise and decreasing portions, or cutting out sugar by swapping to healthier alternatives, rather than completely denying yourself. This will lead to long term benefits and mean you’re more likely to stay on track.
“Start gentle exercise of 30 minutes a day, especially if you have been very sedentary. Simply walking is a great place to start, and then as your fitness improves you can start to increase time and intensity.”
3. Start with a healthy breakfast
You’ve probably noticed that if you have an unhealthy breakfast (looking at you, Egg McMuffin), you’re more likely to eat unhealthy food for the rest of the day. Starting your day with a healthy brekkie, however, will make you feel more inclined to keep the day going well.
“Start every day with a healthy, nutrient packed breakfast, such as a protein smoothie with berries for antioxidants and fibre, ground flaxseed for fibre, protein to fill you up, cinnamon for blood sugar stabilisation and coconut water for electrolytes,” Tuck said.
“Add in veg such as spinach and celery, and take a quality multi-vitamin and probiotic.
“Starting your day with a health kick will not only give you a good dose of nutrients for the day, but may also help curb your appetite and naughty habits later on in the day by reducing cravings.”
etition in a team sport is an excellent way to keep you motivated
See you on our next post. ..