A new year, a new you?
January is the time of year when we are deluged with advice on how to transform ourselves into the perfect person you want to be for 2016, and failed to be in 2015.
Follow the plethora of advice and in a 24-hour period, you should be juicing, making smoothies, eating less sugar, consuming only raw food, steaming all food, eating berries and tropical seeds with unpronounceable names, only eating seasonal, locally sourced produce, becoming a vegan, increasing your intake of lean protein, cutting out carbs, re-introducing complex carbs, following the Paleo diet, detoxing, ditching every previous devised diet. Meanwhile, there is real, everyday life to get on with.
Simplicity is the key to success. Life is busy enough and if you are to succeed with any change to bring your weight and eating within healthy parameters, then it is essential that you keep them achievable and appropriate for you. Setting yourself unrealistic targets and embarking on faddish regimes will doom you to failure before you have even blanched your beetroots.
Detox diets are, in the main, money-making schemes preying on the conscience and made to make people feel guilty about their bad habits.
- Never let a smoothie maker/juicer do the work of your intestinal muscles. They need the exercise to stay in shape when breaking food down and moving it through your system. Plus, it’s easy to over-consume fruit and sugar.
- Be realistic and honest about what changes you need to make. A radically different way of cooking and eating may not be sustainable but small changes can make a big difference too.
- Always have breakfast and never skip any meals. Food is fuel and medicine for body and mind.
- Eat more vegetables and when you think you have included enough, add a few more. Replace fruit with vegetables.
- Make fizzy drinks, soft drinks, juices and cordials (including sugar free) a thing of the past. They are bad for your teeth, waist, weight and overall health, whereas water, tea and a moderate intake of coffee do wonders for you. If you only made this change to your diet, the health benefits would be huge.
- Get organised with your shopping and planning of meals. This is a key feature of being successful. Bad food choices are made when time and tiredness are against you.
- Don’t make food a chore or something you don’t look forward to or you will give up on your good intentions. Aim to be the ‘reformed you’ on 5 – 6 days a week. This will allow you to socialise and be relaxed around food and eating at the weekend or whenever it suits your lifestyle.