If you're anything like me then you've tried every diet out there - and believe me, I've tried every diet under the sun. Every January (or make that every Monday) a new diet plan is put in to action and there's you stuck in a perpetual dieting cycle.
Of course diets work, short term. But if you're looking for long term success then ditching the diet is the only way to go. We spend way too much time asking ourselves if it's ok to eat that slice of birthday cake or mentally totting up the calories in our salad. From fasting to Atkins, diet plans seem to be the crux of obsession and disordered eating.
So before you put yourself through the agony of yet another restrictive eating plan, here are just a few tips to help you be happier, healthier and slimmer in 2015...
Concentrate on health, not calories or carbs.
I know this is going to come as a shock to you if you're used to counting calories but not all calories are created equally. It's time to forget totting up the numbers and instead think about how the food you're eating is making you feel and what good it can do to your body.
Counting calories also doesn't give you the complete control over your nutrition as you may think it does. Let's take a microwave ready meal for example; YES you maybe ingesting 500 calories but you're also taking in GMOs, e-numbers and other nasties that would be avoided if you made that same meal yourself.
Think about the nutrition your body needs first and foremost then the rest will naturally follow.
Don't eat for at least two hours before bed.
I've always been a late eater. It drives my boyfriend absolutely berserk because he likes to have his dinner done and dusted by 6.30pm where as I like to drag out the meal process as long as possible. However, the end of last year I started to make a conscious effort to start eating my dinner before 8pm. Not because I believe the time you eat has any effect on what you weigh but because I learned about how vitally important it is to give your digestive system a break. By giving it a rest you're giving it time to digest what you've already eaten and get rid of any toxins and waste hanging about. This little trick will do wonders for you if you suffer from bloating.
Just eat real food.
It's time to quit the food like substances and start eating real food. Go back to the grass roots of eating. If you pick something up in a packet and it has more than five ingredients or ingredients that you don't know how to pronounce - chances are, it's not good for your health.
I KNOW... you're busy so grabbing something to shove in the oven is the easy option. Trust me, I do it too from time to time but it's time that we all started cooking again, sorry. At least by cooking your own food you know what goes in to it. Plus, when you start cooking things yourself you don't really have to quit anything, you just adapt it to your needs.
Create a meal plan.
I hate planning meals but it's just one of those things that we have to do - like paying the bills. By knowing what it is you're going to eat you don't run the risk of throwing a pizza in or ordering a Chinese. It's also handy if you want to cook your dishes ahead of time so you can just bung them in the oven (all the quickness of a ready meal but you get the smug feeling at the end of it). Plus, it is a great money saver, I've saved loads of money by having a plan of what I'm eating rather than just popping to the supermarket on a daily basis.
Start your day with a glass of water (and keep it up throughout the day).
Again this is something I've started doing religiously. When you wake up make sure that you drink a glass of water before you get out of bed. It gets your metabolism fired up, hydrates you, gets your brain functioning correctly and helps flush out toxins. But make sure you keep that habit up, drink at least 2ltrs of water throughout the day. If you struggle with drinking that much, split your water intake to 4 x 500ml bottles. Have one when you wake up, one before lunch, one on your way home from work and one before dinner. Thats your 2ltrs in four smaller servings.
And finally - and probably one of the most important...
QUIT LOW-FAT GOODS!
I hate packaged low fat goods. When you see the words 'low fat' on food items what you're reading is actually just 'chemicals over calories'. Because that's all low fat is. They take the fat out but they replace it with sugar.
What small changes have you made to your diet this year?