During the early stages of the new year, I have booked in many clients for a Dietitian consultation to get themselves on the right track following the holiday season. To be honest, Christmas is a time of overeating and relaxation, which can often bring us unstuck in our quest for a healthy lifestyle. However, the number one message that I tell my clients is, “It’s not what you eat between Christmas and new year’s, it’s what you eat between new year’s and Christmas.”
So the beginning of the year is a time to get back on track with your eating, and lose those extra kilograms gained over the Christmas period. Hopefully you are on track, and back into your routine of keeping fresh wholefoods in the house, so as to prepare highly nutritious meals.
With many peoples’ new year’s resolutions being to lose these extra kilos, below are some tips to help focus on tasks and behaviours to succeed in your weight loss goals.
By focusing on achievable tasks instead of the broader concept of weight loss, you are more inclined to develop behaviours that will support a lifestyle change. Weight loss is the goal, but it’s the actual behaviours that get us there !
The Christmas and January period is generally a relaxing time, with many of us taking holidays to spend with family. During my leave in January, I enjoyed a chance to relax and unwind. With this comes a relaxing of the structure in both our lives, and the meals we eat. Creating a supportive environment is essential for weight loss. This means planning. Spend 30 minutes each week writing a meal plan. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it does have to be responsible.
Let’s take the time to listen to our body’s natural instincts around hunger and satiety. I see peoples’ healthy eating fall apart every day through this comment, “I do so well until I get home from work.” What they are doing is starving themselves until they’re home from work – and that’s when they overeat. By eating regular meals including a good sized breakfast, we stop ourselves from becoming too hungry, and regain control over food choice.
Secondly, listen to your body when it says, “I’ve had enough.” Often our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Combined with the Australian cultural norm of finishing everything on your plate, this can be a ticket for regular over eating. Try leaving a few mouthfuls of food on your plate, and conquer the psychological battle to finish everything. Be a 7 out of 10, not a 10 out of 10. Use the hunger fullness scale above to see where you sit after each meal. Are you over eating without realising it?
Just two topics? Let’s not over complicate this too much. By focusing on these two aspects of your diet, you won’t become overwhelmed. When these two factors become a habitual part of your lifestyle, it’s time to build upon these successes.