It’s that time of year again; the New Year has been well and truly rung in, the champagne has been popped and the cake has been eaten, and the results? One big food hangover. It’s time to ditch the mince pies and stuffing and make room for the fruit and vegetables. But how do we change those bad habits we so easily fall into over the festive season? The solution is to make some resolutions.
Resolutions don’t need to be outrageous statements that we have no intention of keeping. You know the ones we make every year like "I’m never going to eat another piece of chocolate every again" or "I’ll just have one take-away a year". They’re ridiculous announcements that will last for all of two hours, before the misery of realising you can never have chocolate again causes you to reach for the family size bag of M&M’s. Resolutions don’t need to be terrifying visions that make you break out in a sweat. Instead they can be small, painless changes, tiny swaps that have a massive result. All you have to do is swap the outrageous, bizarre resolutions of yester- year and replace them with bite-size, easy-peasy changes. Here’s how to do it….
Swap "I’m going to go to the gym every single day for 2 hours" For "I will aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days of the week"
By being a bit more realistic in your resolutions you will make sticking to them a little bit easier. If for example, if you’re not a gym fanatic promising to go everyday is not going to happen. Instead trying to fit some exercise into your daily activities might be more manageable. Going for a walk or jog in the evenings and perhaps pledging to go to the gym a few times a week would be a less daunting prospect.
Swap "I’m never eating a take-away ever again" For "I will cut down on the number of take-away I have and I will make healthier choices when I do have one"
Everyone enjoys a take-away, especially if it’s a social thing you do with friends. However, you can limit the amount you consume by suggesting friends come over to your house and you’ll cook a healthy meal instead. When you do order one, be more aware of what you’re ordering, a prawn chow mein will have far less calories than chicken in batter with curry sauce and fried rice.
Swap "I’m never eating junk food again" For "I will cut down on the number of treats I have and I will look for low-fat alternatives"
Chocolate, cakes, biscuits everyone’s guilty of eating them but it’s Ok so long as you remember that they are treats, something to be enjoyed occasionally in moderation. You should try looking for healthy, low-fat alternatives to your usual indulgences. For example, a small bag of baked crisps will have a lot less calories than a large bag of fried ones. If we see them as treats, not part of our daily diet, then it’s alright to indulge, every once in a while.
Resolutions are important; they help us think about our goals, but it can be disheartening if we fail to stick to them. By consciously making realistic ones, it will be easier for us to achieve them and more beneficial in the long term.