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Top Tips for Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Posted 6 years ago by Brendan

With January fast approaching, once again it’s the season for resolutions. If like most people your new year’s resolutions are often distant memories come February, here are 6 top tips for helping you turn a resolution to get healthy, eat well, avoid bloating or lose weight, into habits that will continue long past 2013. 

1. One at a time 

We can get a little carried away this time of year and vow to make a number of significant resolutions. Often this is only setting yourself up to fail on all accounts. Can you really go to the gym more, while you’re working towards a promotion, preparing all your food from scratch and giving up coffee, all at the same time? Good luck. You’re better off picking one main resolution and focusing all your efforts there. The great thing about deciding 2013 will be the year you take control of your diet, is every aspect of your life is going to benefit. Digestive complaints like bloating, flatulence and indigestion will be a thing of the past, you’ll look, feel and sleep better and enjoy more energy. Not to mention eating well is the best way to ensure good health, so you get the chance to see in as many new years as possible.

2. Think first 

Just deciding you’re going to “eat healthy” isn’t really a practical resolution. To be successful, you’re going to have to really think about how your diet could improve and more importantly, what are any obstacles that might stand in your way. To get an accurate picture so you know where to focus your efforts, keeping a food diary where you record exactly when and what you eat for at least two weeks, can really help. Take it a step further and also keep track of when you experience any complaints like bloating or indigestion, when you get cravings for sweets or coffee, when your energy fades or how your stools change from day to day (for more read this post about how much a visit to the loo can tell you about how your insides are working). Seeing what your eating on paper can really help you objectively look at what your doing and how it affects you, so you can start to make changes that really address your needs, rather than spending a fortune on healthy groceries that you never get around to eating. If you’re not sure how to improve, do lots of research or talk to a professional. 

3. Break it down 

Radical change is never easy, especially when it comes to something as routine as your diet. Instead of a total overhaul that will have you thinking of meal times as punishment, commit yourself to gradual changes. If you know bread makes you bloated but the thought of going without is overwhelming, break down going without into manageable stages. Perhaps you’ll commit to eating half as much as you normal would for a few weeks, before limiting yourself to one serve every other day for the next few weeks. Before long you’ll be ready to go without all together. Check out What Causes Bloating for more on bread and bloating. Having your goals clearly written down and keeping these in view - on the fridge, your computer screen, in the car or next to your tooth brush, will help you stay motivated. 

4. Focus on the positives 

Rather than all of a sudden, expecting yourself to go without anything not so healthy, perhaps you’ll start off the year making sure you don’t go to bed without having had at least five serves of vegetables, drinking at least two liters of water or taking your supplements each day. Read Do you get Five a Day? and Top 10 Healthy Foods for more. Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily mean having to go without! When you do commit to passing by the take away or saying no to that piece of cake, remind yourself of why you’ve chosen to do so and focus on the benefits of eating well. Is that greasy burger really worth the bloating, indigestion and extra time you’ll have to exercise to work it off?  

5. Don’t beat yourself up 

Perfection is unattainable. Minor slip ups along the way are inevitable when working towards your goals so don’t let one moment of weakness or indulgence ruin all your hard work. If you fall off the horse, enjoy it then get back on track as quickly as possible. You might even find allowing yourself one day or meal each week where you have whatever you want is enough to keep you motivated the rest of the time. Chances are once you’re in the swing of eating well, the bloating and sluggishness that follows an indulgent meal will be motivation enough to keep blow outs to a minimum. 

6. Make it a team effort 

Share your resolution with those around you. You’ll be less likely to slip up if it isn’t just you you’ll disappoint if you come home with a pizza each night. Those close to you will also be less likely to tempt your willpower leaving junk food around if they know you’ve made a solid commitment you’re working towards. Sharing your struggles and successes makes the transition to a healthier you much much easier, so if you haven’t got family or friends who share your entheuasim, find people who do. Even if they’re in books, online, on TV or a professional. 

The new year should be a time to reflect on past behaviour and think about the future. Not a pressure for unrealistic changes in character and lifestyle. If you regularly experience digestive health complaints like bloating, chances are your diet could do with some changes. By recognising this and gradually working towards a healthier you, your far more likely to incorporate changes into your everyday routine that will last.

Are you planning on beating the bloat or taking control of your diet in 2013? Tell us about it! 

About Brendan O'Loughlin

Brendan is a integrative naturopath, nutritionist and yoga teacher. He has completed training in Naturopathy, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Yoga, Iridology and Live Blood Analysis.

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