10 New Year’s Nutrition Goals You Will Actually Want to Keep
You know what? Making resolutions can really suck the life out of living well; quite frankly, I have stopped making them. I used to beat myself to a resolution pulp every January and then I realized that the best time to change is, well…now. Don’t wait to change; don’t dream up elaborate schemes for change, just…change. One foot in front of the other!
The desire to resolve comes naturally after a month of excess and leisure but I think the key to a successful change is both the motivation behind the change and the scope of the change proposed. When we approach resolutions from a place of dissatisfaction or feeling that our current states are somehow lacking, resolutions become the penance we pay in the hopes of getting better. They are often huge and out of sync with how we actually live our lives, meaning that achieving them is going to be a hugely upstream paddle. But what if resolutions came from a place of celebrating how kick ass you really are and wanting to be good to yourself? To treat your body, your mind and your belly the way it deserves to be treated? That might be a bit more life-affirming.
So, in case you are looking for some nutritional TLC this New Year, here are my suggestions for goals you might actually want to keep.
- Toss your bathroom scale
Your health goals should not be focused on weight. Instead, focus on building positive healthy habits that will lead to a healthy weight over time. Focus on weight, health (and usually weight) suffers. Focus on health…win-win.
- Eat more…green veggies
Love to eat? Find a way to feast on green veggies daily. They are full of the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phyto-chemicals you need to defend against the aggressors of modern life: too much stress, too few fresh foods, exercise and sleep. Try to eat at least 1 cup of green vegetables a day in a meal, a smoothie or a fresh juice. It will seriously change your life.
- Don’t count calories
Whatever you do, don’t count calories. Or fat grams for that matter. Instead, focus on making healthier food choices. More whole, fresh plant foods. Fewer packaged and hyper-processed snack foods…no matter how many calories they are. Better food means a healthier, more resilient body. And choosing real food comes with a natural built in overeating fail safe because you will get full more quickly than with junk.
- Eat dessert
If you love sweets, eat dessert. Make it the best quality you can make or buy, have a small amount and savour it. Denying yourself the things you love will lead you to overeat.
- Downsize your plate
Want to eat less? Watch your container size. Eat on side plates, never eat out of a food container and never drink extra large coffee drinks. You will finish what is put in front of you. Fool your eyes by filling a smaller container and finishing it.
- Treat yourself to a new healthy cookbook
Surround yourself with inspiration for healthy living. A new healthy cookbook, with beautiful food photographs will make healthy eating appealing and exciting. Same goes for gorgeous new sneakers or a fancy new superfood to experiment with. Living well should be fun…or why bother?
- Don’t eat in front of a screen
Distracted eating is terrible for your digestion and will lead to overeating. ALWAYS eat away from a screen, even if just for 5 minutes. Focus on the food so your body can actually realize that it is eating and enjoy the process.
- Enjoy that morning cup of coffee
Coffee isn’t actually bad for you…those caffeinated cheesecake-in-a-venti cups are! In fact, the research shows that daily coffee consumption might improve your risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even obesity. If you love coffee, stick to 2-3 small cups each day. Buy good coffee that you don’t have to mask with sugary syrups. Grind and brew your brew at home; invest in a really good insulated thermos to tote it to work and it will save you money.
- A glass of wine every now and then will do just fine.
If you drink, drink modestly and moderately and it will actually be good for you. Up to 1 glass of photo-chemical rich red wine a day for women or 1-2 for men is the definition of moderation. It can soothe your heart and your soul.
- Know that getting healthier starts with accepting yourself.
No matter what your current health state, release shame, guilt and general self-annoyance. You will never truly commit to being well unless you believe you are worth it. You are, by the way…in case you needed someone to confirm it.