Welcome 2018! With the dawning of the New Year there is one tradition that we can all expect: New Year’s Resolutions. We have all made them… and we have all not stuck to them. The problem with resolutions is that they have become so closely linked with failure and of not of not following through, that it seems like we are just setting ourselves up for the inevitable. According to Forbes Magazine, just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. With those kind of numbers its easy to say why bother, right? Wrong. Think why we make Resolutions in the first place? It is usually because we see a missed opportunity in our life that we want to change or improve. In that view the spirit of resolution making is great, so lets keep the spirit and ditch the term. Instead lets look at three simple HABITS we can start now to help attain our 2018 health goals.
2018 New Year HABITS
The first thing I ask anyone who comes to me with a nutritional issue is: are you drinking enough water? I really cannot stress the importance of drinking water. Every single cell in your body requires water to function. Water is needed for proper digestion, regulating body temperature, preventing fatigue, mental alertness and distribution and dissolution of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in the body. Just to name a few. So if you want to lose that few extra pounds of fat and gain extra muscle, you MUST drink your water.
Tip: Start every morning with lemon water – this will kick start your digestion for the day.
Studies have shown that we are more likely to over eat sitting in front of the T.V than eating at the table with no distractions. The philosophy behind mindful eating is simple, be aware of what you put in your mouth, chew slowly, chew well and take time between bites. We are living in a fast pace world, however we have yet to develop fast paced digestive systems. Your body is truly a remarkable thing, it starts the digestion process the moment you see and smell your food. When your mouth starts to water it is actually your body starting to prime the whole system. So if your body is working so hard we can do simple things to help it, the best way you can do this is by really chewing your food, turn off the screens and sit down at the table, look at what you are eating, take deep breaths between your bites, put your fork down between mouthfuls. This all seems very simple but it can have some serious results.
Eat Whole Food
I call this The One Ingredient Food Philosophy. It is not at all complicated, if there is an ingredient list on the box then it is not one ingredient. Egg- one ingredient, tomato – one ingredient, red peppers – one ingredient. This is not to say you have to eat them all separately, add them all together and make an omelet, but they must start out whole. The idea is to start moving away from processed foods and to eat more whole foods. Boxed or canned meals can be ever so convenient, especially when we lead busier and busier lives, however there are so many hidden unwanted ingredient that are added to boost flavour and increase shelf life. So we may think that can of chicken and vegetable soup is just like your grandmother made it, except she probably did not add your daily dose of sodium to each bowl. We are going to back to basics here and starting to eat real food again.
Start the New Year with these three simple new habits and you are already on your way to a healthier 2018!
Happy New Year!