The new year is here. Now that schedules have resumed and life is back to normal, you may be doubting your resolutions. Feel like you’ve already fallen off the nutritional bandwagon? Are you overwhelmed or discouraged? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Eating healthier is not simple and doesn’t happen overnight. Creating a mindful practice around health and nutrition is the key to better health overall.
Add In vs. Take Out
You’ve probably had experience in trying to eliminate something from your diet. Maybe it’s sugar, alcohol, gluten or dairy. It’s not easy! Try re-structuring your thinking and instead of removing bad foods, think instead of adding in the good ones. Simple changes like eating more whole foods and drinking more water throughout the day will help you crowd out the junk, resulting in less cravings!
Don’t Crash Diet
At some point in our lives we all attempt to go cold turkey in order to shed some pounds fast. However, the reality is that crash dieting will never result in positive, lasting change. Changing up your diet shouldn’t result in added stress! Crash dieting can cause tremendous stress on the nervous and digestive system. When trying something new in your diet pay particular attention to your stress levels and mood. If a certain change is causing mood swings, anxiety, or just making you uneasy, it’s probably doing more harm than good to your overall well being and you should ditch it!
Write it Down
Keeping a food journal, just like tracking stress with your Spire, can be extremely beneficial in keeping food goals in check. Keep notes daily on what kept you full, what made you hungry and what time of day cravings are spiked. Note changes in when you eat and the way you feel when you’re eating. Are you stressed or anxious? Are you glued to the T.V. and not eating mindfully? Are you eating out everyday or cooking at home? When you look back on your week you’ll be better able to plan for the next week by eliminating the foods or habits that didn’t make you feel awesome.
Don’t Do it Alone
Making changes in your diet is not easy and you shouldn’t try to keep it a secret. It can be really hard to go out with family and friends and pretend to have a good time when in reality you’re dreading laying eyes on the spread you’re missing out on. Instead, fill your family and friends in on your goals and ask for their support. Saying your goals out loud is extremely helpful in keeping you on track and who knows, someone may even want to join you! Another great way to get support is by working with a health and nutrition coach. Do a google search to see if there is anyone in your area that can support you along the way, and give you valuable wisdom and advice on nutrition and health for your specific body and goals.
Finally, don’t beat yourself up! Realize that you’re human and may slip up at times, and that’s ok! Taking steps toward improving your health should be commended and you should appreciate yourself for trying and sticking to it, even if it’s not a perfectly straight line, because after all, nothing in life is!
Enjoy the new year, take it slow and always remember that small steps lead to big changes and you deserve credit for simply setting goals to improve your health! Keep up the good work and strive for health year round.