Achieve a Healthier You this New Year with these Simple Steps

It’s true what they say…you get out what you put in. This is especially important when it comes to what you eat.

Coming out of the silly season and into the new year a common resolution is to make a fresh start and focus on health and wellbeing. Sound familiar?

But did you know that what you eat has a much greater impact on your body composition than how much you exercise? Nutrition or what goes into your mouth is responsible for 80% and the other 20% comes down to exercise.

So what steps can you make nutritionally to help achieve your best self this year?

1. Clean out the Kitchen

If you keep good food in your house, you will eat good food. Start 2016 on the right foot by making healthy food accessible. This could be fresh fruit and vegetables in a fruit bowl on the kitchen bench, chopped and portion controlled snacks on hand like vegetable sticks with hummus or natural yoghurt or a small 30g container of unsalted nuts.

2. Eat Breakfast

They say it’s the most important meal of the day for a reason. Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism after fasting at night. Breakfast eaters have a healthier weight and more nutritious diets than people who skip breakfast. Skipping this meal also makes you more likely to snack on unhealthy options throughout the day. So make time to enjoy breakfast, your body will thank-you.

3. Preparation is Key

Planning your meals helps you to have fresh ingredients and healthy meals on hand throughout the week. This means you are less likely to reach for the takeaway menu because there is no food in the house.

Before you do your grocery shopping have a look at what ingredients you have leftover in the fridge and make use of them in your next meal. After you have planned the week’s meals, write a shopping list with all the ingredients you will need, plus snacks throughout the week. When you go to the shops stick to the items on your list. You may even find your grocery bill is cheaper as you may not be making impulse buys.

4. Reduce the Liquid Calories

 Drinks like soft drink, coffee and alcohol shouldn’t replace food. These drinks can be very energy dense and contribute to weight gain. Try downsizing your regular coffee to a small, replacing soft drinks with water, reducing alcohol intake and having 2 alcohol free days a week. Did you know a bottle of white wine contains around 500 calories or 2000 kilojoules, this is equivalent to a main meal or 2 cheeseburgers on top of what you are already eating?

5. Get Back to Wholefoods

Wholefoods are foods in their natural state, without any processing. If you look at the healthiest diets and regions in the world they all eat minimally processed wholefoods. Aim to include 5 serves of vegetables throughout the day (as a guide ½ your plate should be made up of vegetables) and 2 serves of fruits, switch white bread for grainy varieties – the darker and more seeds the better, and white rice for low GI brown rice.

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