Every January it seems to be the same story: New Year, New You. But following the comedown from merriments of festive season and the dreaded return to work, it can be quite the challenge to stick to healthy New Year Resolutions.
So what needs to be done to make resolutions a reality? According to research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes an average of two months – and in some cases more – to form a habit, and so to be in with a fighting chance to achieve your 2019 goals it’s time to start your health kick in December.
To help you along the way, Spoon Guru nutritionist Louise Payne (MSc, RNutr) has pulled together 10 great tips to help start your health kick before the clock strikes 12 on December 31st!
1. Avoid fad diets
There is no magic product that will make your healthier. Some of the diets promoted by celebrities and influencers are unsustainable, and can impact your day to day life. Save your time and enjoy a healthy balanced diet that includes a nice variety of foods!
Most of us need to eat more fibre. In fact, we should be eating 30g a day as part of a healthy diet, but most of us are only managing 18g. A diet rich in fibre is associated with many benefits such as a healthy gut, and helps us feel fuller for longer.
3. Keep hydrated
On average we should be aiming for 6 - 8 glasses of fluid a day. Water is a healthy and cheap option however if it’s not your thing, then try infusing with fruit or herbs to add flavour. Sugar free squash, tea, and coffee all count. Avoid drinking too many sugary drinks, including juices and smoothies!
4. Fruit and vegetables
We should be eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, however, most of us aren’t reaching this. Currently in season are parsnips, Brussel sprouts and apples. A top tip is to eat the rainbow, to get a good variety of fruit and vegetables!
5. Reduce fat and sugar
It’s no secret that Christmas is a time for over indulgence but most people are eating too much fat and sugar, so reducing foods high in these can make us healthier. Look out for hidden fat and sugar in the food you buy ahead of the festive period. You could even try making your own gravy this year rather than using a shop bought option to reduce your salt intake.
6. Omega 3
Omega-3 is good for heart health. It’s recommended to include at least two portions of fish a week in your diet, especially oily fish, which is really high in the essential fatty acid. Good plant-based sources include flaxseeds, walnuts, and soya-based foods, like tofu.
7. Plant based foods
Try eating a more plant-based diet by eating vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruits. A great way to increase vitamin and mineral intake!
8. Eat mindfully
Mindful eating is about ditching the diet rules to reconnect with your innate hunger and satisfaction signals. Go back to basics and learn to eat for pleasure and energy.
9. Be prepared
Plan you meals for the week so you have complete control over the ingredients, and you can manage your portions. This is much cheaper than buying food on the go!
10. Get outdoors!
With the days getting darker quicker in winter, why not challenge yourself to catch the winter sun by heading out early to meet your daily Vitamin D intake. But if the comfort of your cosy home keeps you indoors then be sure to invest in a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of the vitamin while the sun isn’t out.
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