Are Your 2019 Goals Nutrition and Health Related?
Focus On Habit Change And You’ll Have More Success Than Ever Before.
I find most people make grand goals or resolutions, only to have them fall by the wayside within the first month. Make your nutrition and health changes small, habit-focused and implement them consistently, this is a scientifically proven method of achieving change.
If your goals are improved energy, better skin or weight loss check out these five easy dietary pattern changes to implement in the first month or two of 2019. Pick one or two, make them habit and then build from there.
Make Water Your Best Friend
Open your fridge now, remove anything that is not water or milk. This is one of the most effective and simplest ways to encourage results, both with your weight and your overall health. Of course you can still have your daily coffee (skip the added sugar though and keep it small), but any other liquid you hydrate with throughout the day needs to be water only. Aim to build to two litres per day and watch your skin improve over a few weeks and your energy levels soar!
How to implement: Try sipping on herbal teas throughout the day instead, or fresh lemon/lime and mint in your chilled still or sparkling water.
Make Vegetables The Hero.
All too often we feature carbohydrates (mmm pasta) as the base of our meals and over indulge in a protein (mmm beef fillet). Simply swapping your standard starchy carbohydrate serve within a meal will cut down your calorie intake hugely day to day whilst feeding your body with more vitamins and nutrients. Your body and skin will love you for it!
How to implement: Choose 2 of your favourite vegetables to feature in each dish, then add a small portion of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats around that. If you find breakfast difficult to include vegetables then make your snacks vegetable based.
Click here to get a downloadable portion chart to help build your understanding
Write It Down
Writing down what you eat each day in a food diary can totally reshape your food habits. Not only will it make you more accountable to what ACTUALLY goes in your mouth, it can identify food groups you’re not getting enough of each day. It can also allow you to identify your triggers that lead you to unhealthy eating or binges.
How to implement: Start by jotting down what you eat after all your meals. I recommend the Easy Diet Diary App to my clients as you can do it quickly and easily straight onto your phone. After just a week of tracking you’ll be able to pinpoint trends and areas for improvement.
Don’t Skip Meals. To Lose Weight
I am no different to any other nutritionist with this one. Skipping meals to lose weight will cause your energy levels to dive and likely result in binge eating behaviours later in the day that you are likely to feel regretful about. It also will result in nutrient deficiencies over time which impact any chances you have of making positive changes to your body’s health.
Ideally throughout a day you will eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with a snack or two if necessary. When you start eating in a day, when you have these meals and whether you need snacks should be based on understanding your hunger signals.
Understanding when you are truly hungry versus eating due to boredom or stress can make all the difference in how much you eat in a day.
How to implement: Download this hunger signals article, absorb the information and then keep a hunger diary for two weeks to understand what emotions are causing you to eat in a way that doesn’t serve you and your health goals well. Once you’ve identified an emotional eating habit, formulate a swap. For instance, you notice you inhale chocolate biscuits when you feel stressed by work or the act of mothering during school holidays – 1. Remove chocolate biscuits from the house 2. Swap chocolate biscuits for a square of dark chocolate (80 – 90%)
Plan For Your Treats
It’s what you do every-day that counts and creating a dietary pattern that allows you to maintain consistency is key to achieving any food based health goal. Cutting out all indulgent foods is just stupid and totally unrealistic and let’s be honest, will make your food life pretty damn boring day-to-day. Instead, plan for a small daily indulgence so you have something to look forward to and a larger weekly indulgence.
How To Implement: Learn to love dark chocolate! 2 squares of high quality dark chocolate (+80%) after lunch or dinner will keep you totally satisfied and become something you look forward to. Once a week, share a dessert or enjoy a scoop of the ice-cream you love. Work it into your weekly meal plan and enjoy it without guilt or second thought. If your thing is cheese, apply the same thinking (weekly treat and learn to love a savoury dip with crudités the rest of the time).
Good Luck in 2019 with your food-related health goals!