Brace yourself, as we enter into January, so do the latest diets, the next new fad, the restrictive eating! A sudden pressure that tends to surround us at this time of year to categorise foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and remove certain foods or food groups from our diet which we may both need and enjoy.
With this in mind, before signing up to the latest ‘clean eating’ FAD or dietary trend, remind yourself, diets don’t work.
Although they may have some effect short term, is it going to be sustainable?
A set way of eating designed for everyone is not effective, since our dietary needs are so individual and will change from day to day depending on our age, weight, activity levels, hormones and many other lifestyle factors. What works for one doesn’t work for another.
Of course, after taking a more relaxed approach to our diet and lifestyle choices throughout December, many of us look forward to the New Year as a fresh start. It can be a great opportunity to set some new goals and intentions which could be beneficial to our health and happiness.
However, if the challenges we set ourselves are unrealistic and/or lack compassion, unfortunately they are less likely to become sustainable.
So, I encourage you this year to take a different approach. Rather than thinking about what you need to remove, lose or restrict, challenge yourself to consider what you can add in or gain.
Think about what you can add to your diet to make it more nutritious, or try a new exercise / self care ritual which could be both enjoyable and beneficial.
What can you add into your diet to make it more nutritious?
- How many different plant sources can you include this week?
- How many different colours?
- Can you try a new recipe?
- Add in a Garden Juice…?
- Each time you go to the super market, can you add a new fruit or vegetable to the trolley?
How can you improve your health through new lifestyle choices?
- Prioritise movement that you enjoy and set realistic goals
- Consider establishing positive morning and evening routines
- Challenge yourself to something new e.g. journaling, breath-work, music / dancing, regular time in nature
As a society, we’re often looking for a quick fix; a way to reach our goals as fast as we possibly can.
Whatever they may be, try to see your wellness goals as a lifestyle rather than a finish line – that way they won’t feel like as much as a chore and are more likely to become habitual.
When considering resolutions for 2022, it’s important to take a self-compassionate approach. Rather than feeling the pressure to make a drastic change, let’s direct our attention toward feeling good as a whole, both physically and mentally. Consider promoting a non restrictive, balanced approach which focuses on prioritising sleep, managing stress and building positive relationships with food.
Remember, prioritising our health irrespective of our weight is always a good idea.
Holistic Health Coach – Anna Whyte