Happy new year everybody! I’m sure you have all been inundated with the “new year, new you” talk so I’m not going to do the same, but I do always believe start as you mean to go on. Just aim to get the basics right to start with. Fad diets don’t work, what works is doing what’s best for you and meeting your own body’s needs. Small alterations and substitutions make diet and lifestyle changes easier to maintain, which ultimately means better long-term health.
Think about your lifestyle and your macronutrient needs within it. Our diet these days is heavily reliant on carbohydrates but they are the only macronutrient that there is no requirement for. Carb intake should reflect lifestyle and activity level – use them or earn them i.e. prioritise them to pre- and post-activity windows. Don’t shy away from fat, it is essential in the diet and makes you more efficient at using fat as an energy source.
Another energy source is alcohol, something I will post more about later on. I think it is important for our health to have a number of alcohol-free days a week, you’ll be amazed at the difference a few less glasses of wine can make.
I’m not going to say things like swap a chocolate bar for a piece of fruit every day because I believe that you can eat what you like; just don’t overdo it and get plenty of exercise. Stick to your healthy decisions 90% of the time and eat what you like for the other 10%. You’ll find that making healthier choices is easier when you know you can have a treat later on. Eat real foods and stick to the seasons – it will be more nutritious and taste better. Use up leftovers and make them into other interesting dishes and stick them in a box for lunch. Even make more than you need so you can tuck in to your ‘not-strictly-leftovers’ rather than dashing out for a sandwich at lunch.
Plan ahead and don’t shop when you’re hungry. If you don’t buy unhealthy food, then you won’t have it in the cupboards and you won’t eat it – simple! But if you need some chocolate, just go and have it. Enjoy your treat meals and if you overindulge just make the next meal healthier, don’t give up for the day. A friend once told me that eating rubbish for the rest of the day just because you started off badly is like standing on your phone after you’ve dropped it – there’s no need to make it worse!
Enjoy your food and please get in touch if you need any help.