After the fun and excess of the holiday season, many of us are thinking of changing our diet to kickstart a healthy new year. There are so many different choices and advice that it can be confusing and overwhelming.

Here are my simple steps to help you make 2016 a healthy one.

1. Fresh, seasonal, nutrient dense foods

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If your body feels nourished and is given the vitamins and minerals it requires for optimal health, it helps reduce tiredness, promote, better sleep and lose weight naturally. Go for seasonal vegetables which are more nutritious as they don’t have to travel as far and therefore retain the vitamins.

2. Balance your blood sugars

Follow these guidelines to balance your blood sugars, for more energy and reduce sugar cravings.

Eat regular meals and don’t accidently skip them: you need to give your body the fuel it needs for energy. Skipping meals is one of the main reasons my clients suffer with the mid-afternoon slump

Reduce refined carbohydrates: which send blood sugar levels shooting up and focus on wholegrains such as quinoa, buckwheat and millet, which will release energy slowly and keep you fuller for longer.

Have protein with every meal and snack: good sources include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and lentils.

Plenty of healthy fats: which are essential for hormone balance and boosting energy; olive and coconut oil, nuts and seeds, oily fish, avocado are good choices.

Increase fibre with plenty of fruits and vegetables: for a healthy digestive system and to help slow down the release of insulin which increase blood sugar levels and can cause sugar cravings and energy crashes.

3. Be organised

Plan your meals.

If you know what you are going to be eating you are much more likely to stick to the plan as it avoids the last minute decisions which lead to grabbing anything as you are so hungry and too tired to bother.

healthy new year_2Make sure you keep healthy foods in the house that you enjoy. If you feel deprived than you won’t stick to it in the long term.

Use online shopping to ensure you get all the ingredients you need for your meal plan and snacks and are not lured by the offers in the shops trying to get rid of all the junk post-Christmas.

4. Identify challenges

Consider the times when you know you may go off track and think what you could do to counteract that.

Eat when you’re bored? Read a book, watch a film, go for a bath. Reach for the chocolate when you feel emotional?

Phone a friend or family member, consider journaling or going for a walk instead. Knowing your triggers is a key part of making long term changes.

5. Don’t go overboard

Think long term, sustainable changes and not a quick fix. Most people go over the top with their New Year’s Resolutions and plan to go to the gym every day and never eat chocolate again.

Be realistic about what you can achieve and take it one step at a time.

6. Get accountable!

Whether that is telling people you know, having a buddy who is making the same changes or working with a professional. Having motivation, support and accountability makes you much more likely to stick to your goals.

Taking these simple steps will have you well on the way to a healthy new year!

Connect with Expert Rebecca Boulton

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