As we embrace the New Year, it's an opportune time for reflection and recalibration. Yet, this period often inundates us with a deluge of diet trends and information, which can feel overwhelming, restrictive, or simply unsustainable.
To navigate this influx of advice, here are my top tips for finding a balanced approach:
Retain Your Authority: While social media brims with inspiring nutrition ideas, not all advice comes from qualified sources. Be cautious of trends excluding essential food groups, promising rapid results, or requiring hefty investments in supplements. The best "diet" isn’t a temporary fix - it's a lifestyle that nourishes, energises, and brings joy. You are the CEO of your life; draw inspiration but trust your instincts about what truly works for you.
Focus on Additions Over Subtractions: Rather than concentrating on restrictions, shift your focus to the wealth of beneficial additions you can make to your lifestyle. Concentrate on integrating foods and practices that enhance your well-being. Consider prioritising just a couple of these changes to start your journey:
· Colourful fruits and vegetables
· Fibre-rich foods
· Healthy fats (such as avocado and cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil)
· Mixed nuts and seeds
· Fermented foods
· Whole grains
· Herbs and spices
· Adequate hydration
· Lean proteins
· Better digestive habits like taking time over meals and not rushing
· Meal planning and batch cooking
· Movement we enjoy
· Prioritising self-care and compassion
· Adopting a long-term approach to well-being
· Fad diets
By prioritising just a few of these additions, you're opening the door to a wealth of positive changes. Starting small can pave the way for lasting, impactful transformations without feeling overwhelmed by an extensive list of 'to do's'.
Set Specific, Achievable Goals: Make your objectives measurable and manageable. Instead of vague targets like 'lose weight,' consider specific steps like swapping sugary drinks for enjoyable alternatives – you can find some nice ideas here: https://www.thecancerdietitian.com/post/exploring-diet-fizzy-drinks-making-informed-choices. If your aim is to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, think about practical ways to make it happen. Committing to roasting a batch of vegetables every weekend, ready for weekday meals or lunches, can be a manageable step. Alternatively, consider adding a handful of salad leaves or slices of tomatoes to your lunch time sandwich.
The journey to improved health is about progress, not perfection. Start where you're comfortable and allow these changes to naturally integrate into your lifestyle.
If nutrition feels overwhelming, it's more than okay to step back. Focus on other avenues to bolster well-being, such as spending time in nature, incorporating breathing exercises, or exploring meditation apps. Remember, balance is key - in nutrition and in life.
Happy New Year, everyone!