Happy New Year! With the start of 2013 comes the inevitable influx of articles about weight loss, New Year’s resolutions and vows to give up everything and anything that may give you any enjoyment. However here on Munch I’m not going to tell you to give up the things you love – January can be miserable enough without gruelling diets, exercise regimes and food cravings to deal with too.
Instead of cutting things out, why not focus on the things you can add into your diet that will help you to get healthier and maybe shed a few pounds without the feelings of deprivation?
Here are some of the most common health faux pas’ people make, and what you can do instead.
Many of us overindulge over the festive period, but you don’t have to go on a starvation diet to try and redeem yourself afterwards. Seriously slashing your calorie intake is not sustainable and is more likely to lead you to binge on junk food when you do reintroduce it. Who wants to live off Cabbage soup anyway?
Forget fad diets, extreme calorie restriction and cutting out entire food groups, it isn’t going to last. Instead focus on eating a diet that is natural and clean as possible; fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, essential fats and whole grains. It’s not difficult but will do a world of good for your health, not to mention your waistline.
Through the haze of a Christmas or New Year hangover, having an alcohol-free month does seem like a great idea, and if you’re raising money for charity, even better. However for many this can be difficult and lead to a big binge to toast the start of February.
If you’re not a big drinker then you don’t have to worry too much about going ‘dry’ for a month. Instead, you could cut out drinking mid week or make sure you have a few alcohol free days a week to allow your body to detoxify. Drink in moderation when you do have a tipple and there should be no real negligible effects on your health or your weight.
Cutting out all treats:
After eating your body weight in Roses, Quality Street and Celebrations over Christmas, it’s definitely a good idea to cut down on the chocolate and sugar, however going cold turkey can make that afternoon Mars bar seem even more appealing.
Instead of banning certain foods, focus on introducing alternative healthier foods into your diet to eat instead. Fruit, raw nuts, oatcakes, crudités and houmous all make good alternatives to processed foods. Check out my guide to healthy snacks for more ideas.
As you can see, you don’t have to resort to drastic measures to get the New Year off to a good start.
Eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep for health benefits that will last well beyond the end of January.