New Year is coming really soon. And what I’m hoping for the most is that 2021 won’t be as crappy as 2020 (very original, I know). But what I wanted to discuss here with you is… New Year resolutions! Personally I wrote a few last year but… it just didn’t happen. Partly because of Covid, partly because of anxiety because of Covid. In any case, this year was tough and it taught me to be kinder to others and even more importantly to myself. So this time I’ve decided to take it slow and stay more realistic.
Do you know what are two most common NY resolutions? To lose weight and exercise more! And I can bet that this year won’t be an exception. Weirdly enough, these two resolutions are the most often broken ones too. So let me say it as a dietitian: diets don’t work! Plus it’s important to realize that eating and drinking are the most common stress coping mechanisms. And oh boy did we need that this year. Food is comforting, and that’s ok. And, to be honest, I gained a few extra kilos myself this year. So, please scratch from your list any resolutions that look like lose 15 kilos, try a new diet or no sugar. To avoid extra frustration I suggest that we all make more attainable and take-it-slow NY resolutions. And here are some ideas:
1. Substitute one dessert per week with a fruit
We all eat different amounts of desserts per week. But just one dessert fewer per week does make a difference (don’t do it if you’re already down to one :D). The thing is that sometimes we need sugar, and cutting off all the desserts is just frustrating and not necessarily healthy. And there are moments when it is easier to say no. So pick one moment like that during the week and go for a fruit instead. If you are a fan of soda, go for one glass of water per week instead. If you are not a sweet tooth at all, go for a healthier version of your fat-dripping meal.
2. Have a crudite every day
Sometimes cutting off favorite foods is just too drastic. What you could do instead, is simply add some nutritious ingredients in your everyday diet. By a crudite I mean not only lettuce or spinach (plain salad can be so boring), but also any raw veggie like carrot, tomato, cucumber/ avocado/celery/cabbage/bell pepper/cauliflower/radishes etc. I’m sure you like at least one of those. If you are not a fan of crudite, go for an extra portion of cooked veggies. Have it as an appetizer, this way you’ll feel full earlier plus you are sure to get a portion of super healthy fiber. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!
3. Try cooking a new recipe every week
This can be a cool challenge since we often cook the same meals over and over. To diversify them we just need to try and find what works for us. You can follow any food blogger or check out my recipes to have some fresh ideas. Plus cooking with a partner, a friend or your kids can be some extra fun.
4. Get yourself a water bottle and take it with you everywhere
Most of us don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. There are multiple ways to calculate how much water you need per day but an average person needs around 1,5 liter a day. There are also multiple apps to remind you to drink. The solution I found for myself though is just taking my water bottle everywhere with me. When I see it, I drink more because it’s right there, no need to stop whatever I’m doing, go to the kitchen etc. Give it a try!
5. Do a physical activity of your choice per week
Doing more exercise is another big one. Exercise is vague, it can be jogging, swimming, boxing, yoga, HIIT, pilates, dance classes, horse riding, abs exercise, tennis and many many more! Getting a subscription to a gym actually rarely works. Plus some gyms are still closed! You can stick to your favorite home routine or try new ones and vary. On Youtube there are plenty of cool channels with lots of activities that don’t require equipment and that you can do from home. For home training I’m personally a fan of yoga with Adriene.
Here we go. You can pick a few of these ideas for your NY resolutions. But picking and sticking to just one will already be a huge achievement! Please remember, that slowing down in such unstable times can do you good. Because by going fast we often end up putting more pressure on ourselves, which results in even more anxiety, frustration and guilt. I believe that by doing small steps we can achieve big goals. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. And don’t forget to enjoy it!