While we believe that any time is a good time to start living a healthier life, a new year is often seen as a time to make a fresh start. If you’re wanting to relook your eating habits and create a healthier lifestyle and eating plan, we have great tips to set you up for sustainable success.
These 10 tips to help you kick-start your new healthy eating routine are small changes that anyone can make.
- Set realistic goals
Don’t start off by setting yourself up for failure. We recommend focusing on small, sustainable changes that will lead to long-term healthy eating and living habits.
- Take a mindful approach
When it comes to how you meal plan, what you purchase at the supermarket, how you fill your plate and even how you approach eating as a practice, be mindful.
- Shop Smart
Choose whole unprocessed foods as far as possible. Opt for whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats and nutrient-dense foods. Choose a variety of coloured vegetables and fruit for a range of nutrients and vitamins. And read the labels on packaging to check for hidden sugars and excess salts.
- Limit sugar and salt intake
Approach your new healthy eating plan with an audit of the amount of sugar and salt you have in your diet. There are many hidden salts and sugars in pre-made and packaged foods. Try seasoning your foods with herbs, citrus and spices instead of salt. If you’re used to reaching for chocolate bars, try a piece of fruit instead. A dietician can realy help create a tailored plan for you.
- Create a balanced plate
Each meal should contain a mix of macros: proteins, carbs and fat, with a large portion of your plate filled with vegetables.
- Check your portions
It might be especially hard coming off the festive season, but try to dish a smaller portion and enjoy your plate of food mindfully and then wait a period before seeing if you really need more.
- Drink enough plain water
Have a big glass of water before each meal and drink enough throughout the day to ensure you’re properly hydrated. Water is also essential for digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Meal plan like a pro
Set yourself up for success – especially during the week – by meal planning. This wil help you avoid last minute unhealthy food choices.
- Snack smart
Make sure that you have healthy snacks available in your fridge, pantry, desk drawer, handbag etc – wherever you may need them! Fruit, nuts, vegetables and hummus, yoghurts etc.
- Practise patience
Acknowledge that seeing sustainable results takes time. Be patient and kind with yourself on this journey. Don’t get discouraged by “slip-ups” – they will happen and they don’t mean that it’s “the end”. Focus on progress not perfection.
We recommend speaking to your medical doctor or a dietician before making any major changes to your diet and lifestyle. A dietician can also help tailor-make a meal plan that’s not only sustainable, but that really supports your individual needs.