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resolution DOs and DON'Ts

December 29 2017 by Jess

As 2018 creeps nearer our nutritionist Jess shares her top tips for making a successful new year's resolution.

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My approach for how to arrive into 2018 with health is simple: Focus on health, enjoyment and self-kindness, not on weight and deprivation.

Here are three resolutions that fit in with this idea, which you might like to adopt...

Jess, graze nutritionist
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Focus on health, not weight

Most people that come into my online nutrition clinic with a weight loss goal, want to drop a dress size or lose a certain number of kilograms. They want to do this by removing a lot of the foods and habits they really enjoy. While their intentions are good, focusing on an objective like obtaining a particular size, often doesn't result in long-term change.

My recommendation would be to switch your weight loss goal approach for something with a more specific result, such as increased energy or attending a dance/yoga class on a weekly basis. You need to pick something which you know you’re going to love and will give you that buzz and emotional lift, even when nights are dark and the weather is gloomy. Alternatively your approach might be resolving the gut issues you’ve been suffering from, or having a hard 'no work curfew' in the evenings so you have some down-time and quality sleep every night.

By doing this, losing weight will be an added bonus rather than the driving force, and you will make sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle, which will have far-reaching benefits.

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Move your body in a way you love

There are so many incredibly inventive and simple ways to move our bodies. We know regular movement is not only good for your mood, but it also decreases the risk of bone deficiencies, mental health issues and it improves glucose metabolism- keeping your energy levels even!

You’re more likely to commit to a style of movement you enjoy and love doing, so from paddle-boarding, yoga, walking, weights or swimming, whatever it is, pick one that excites you and is going to fit into your weekly routine.

Move regularly – it doesn’t have to be strenuous. Walking, stretching, gentle breathing, yoga or swimming are all great choices.

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Be kind to yourself

If you ever feel overwhelmed, there are a number of ways you can assist yourself in getting back to a calm and happy state. Your ability to cope and manage stress will certainly be improved if you practise great kindness towards yourself.

Being kind to yourself often means accepting your own vulnerabilities and understanding that you are human and you will make mistakes. You will evolve though, and every opportunity no matter how difficult it may feel at the time, offers you the opportunity to grow.

Nourish yourself with high quality food (mostly plants), ensuring you get some protein, unrefined carbohydrates and good fats with each meal. Eat breakfast and regularly throughout the day. Eating nourishing foods is one of the most basic ways you can demonstrate self-care.

Look at life/environmental situations which may be draining you. It may be a particular person who leaves you feeling worse for coming into contact with them, the hours you work, a situation at home or even a noisy and polluted street you walk along. Do an audit and take steps to make positive changes.

stress busting 101
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How to make your resolutions stick?

Let’s get one thing straight- when we deviate from a set diet/nutrition or wellness plan, despite our best intentions, the hard time we give ourselves is often more harmful than the deviation itself. Remember that you are human. New habits take time to sink in, and there is a reason- often unbeknown to you- why you de-railed on this one occasion.

This one slip can trigger a downward spiral and a feeling of "well I've blown it now, I may as well finish the whole packet”, which can go on to trigger feelings of guilt, disappointment or self-loathing.

Rather than picking ourselves up and treating the next meal or the next day like a new opportunity to get back on track, we justify why we’re not going to make the gym later on because we’ve already slipped up anyway. We carry on with the downward trend of eating badly because we’ve blown it for the day already, and by bedtime, feelings of helplessness and failure kick in.

This is not the best headspace to be in when making choices that support our health and wellness goals going forward.

But how do we bounce out of it?

Instead of judging yourself for eating in a way that doesn't best serve your health, switch to curiosity. Ask yourself "what led me to make that choice?" Getting to the heart of what caused the deviation is key to long-term success.

Being curious and having a problem solving attitude, allows you to tackle challenges face on. By working on those triggers as they come up, you can minimise the chances of them getting in your way in the future, which they inevitably will if left un-addressed.

everything you need to win at January
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By Jess, graze nutritionist.

Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to her website at jessntom.com for even more.

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