Eating more healthily is a jolly good New Year’s Resolution for 2019 (and any year). Eating better and eating well has a positive impact on your all round health and well-being. It’s not about losing weight (that’s a different resolution altogether). It’s about getting the best nutritional value from your food and giving your body what it needs. If you want to eat better in 2019 here’s what you can do:
1. Begin Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast
The right breakfast kick starts your metabolism and keeps you fuller for longer. And, according to recent studies, eating a healthy breakfast that includes plenty of protein and is high in fiber helps people to sustain weight loss and manage their weight far better than NOT eating breakfast at all.
2. Understand and Make Balanced Plates
Eating healthily isn’t just about eating the right foods. It’s about eating them in the correct proportion. If you eat a balanced diet you will get all the nutrition your body needs and you won’t need vitamin pills or supplements. Learn how to build a balanced plate (foodafactoflife.org.uk) and learn your portion sizes (i.dailymail.co.uk)
3. Make Use of the Buddy System
Seek out like-minded individuals so you can help each other to reach your healthy-eating aspirations. Peer pressure helps you to stay on track, especially on days when stress or upset sends you rushing to the fridge for a comfort-food binge. Have a look online for inspiration on healthy eating choices and if you can't find anyone among your family or friends to be your nutrition-buddy, there's always the option of finding a community online.
4. All Things in Moderation
Don't deprive yourself of every culinary joy in your life or cut out every favorite treat for eternity. If you're aiming to eat nutritious food that's good for your health at least 80 percent of the time, you can treat yourself to stuff that's yummy but has little nutritional value around 20 percent of the time.
5. A Little Bit of What You Fancy
Instead of sticking to 3 meals a day and suffering hunger pangs in between, allow yourself healthy snacks between meals to tide you over. Irrespective if you've got a sweet tooth or a savory one, there are so many healthy snack options you'll be able to find something that's healthy and filling at the same time. Advantage of snacking: if you eat main meals slowly, because you're no longer totally famished, you will notice your body's "satisfied" signals and stop overeating.
6. Eat Fresh Food That's in Season for 12 Months of the Year
Eating food that is seasonal means eating it at its freshest and tastiest. You're also helping the environment because you are likely to eat home-grown produce rather than stuff with thousands of air miles attached to it. Look out for farmers markets, where you can buy organic food. It may be a little more expensive, but tastes far better and is better for you.
7. Treat Yourself to Smart Sugar Bonuses
A sweet guilty pleasure doesn't have to drip in calories, sugar and saturated fat. Dip a handful of strawberries or a banana in heated chocolate - with an emphasis on more fruit, less choco - and you have a delicious treat that isn't rich in sugar content.
8. Discover when You're Eating Emotionally
Every time you want to binge-eat, make a note of your emotional state. What triggers these urges? Once you know the trigger, be it sadness, boredom, stress or anger, you can formulate a plan to combat overeating and choose alternatives when trying to deal with your emotions.
9. Be Relaxed and Mindful at Meal Times
Instead of wolfing down your meal in front of the TV, when you're on the phone or reading a book, make a point of enjoying every mouthful of food without distractions. Chewing slowing and eating until you're full, but not beyond, and heeding your body's "satiety" signals will allow you to manage weight control quite easily.
10. Don't Let Your Mind Stray towards Food
The more we allow ourselves to think about food, the more likely we are to justify an eating binge. Know what triggers your food thoughts and eating habits. Learn to do other things that will occupy your mind, hands and gob in a healthy, calorie-free way. Take up a new hobby: join a debating team, learn how to canoe, climb or knit - just don't let your gut make decisions for you!
Have you got healthy eating in your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions?