Thinking of starting a new healthy eating plan? If so, you may find embarking on a healthy eating journey can be daunting especially while many of us may have gained ‘lockdown pounds’ and wish to get back into shape or improve our health. Whatever your health goals are, whether you are hoping to slim down to fit into your wedding dress or reduce your risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease, here’s a few tips below to help you get started;
- Eat mindfully. Take into account all 5 senses when eating to enjoy and savour your food. Remember food is meant to be enjoyed. Guilt and restriction around food often leads to heightened cravings which can negatively affect our relationship with food.
- Plan and prepare. This could include writing a shopping list, avoiding shopping when hungry, and chopping and preparing fresh produce to save time when preparing meals. Having a plan in place is key to avoiding making unhealthy impulse choices e.g. last minute takeaways and junk food when you are feeling hungry.
- Be kind to yourself. Try not to get bogged down with the number on the scales or your BMI category. Whilst it is important to aim to maintain a healthy weight, so much more should be taken into consideration when embracing a healthier lifestyle. Managing stress, sleep, exercise, reducing or cutting down habits such as smoking for example all play a part in the bigger picture of health.
- Set goals. Hold yourself accountable for exactly what you want to achieve. Be very specific with what you want to do and set small realistic goals to make those changes. Then once you are clear on exactly what you are hoping to achieve, set a date and review your progress. Evaluation is key, whether you have achieved your goal or not, it is a good idea to look back and be honest with yourself about what can be done differently in order to make progress.
- Get support. Tell others about your goals, if you have loved ones who are willing to support you on your journey to becoming healthier, this can increase your chances of success.
Amy Tolofari, Public Health Nutritionist