It’s no secret that many people will have gone on diet again coming out of the holiday season. Often, this kind of thinking comes from a place of guilt or shame for overindulging over the December break. Although I often encourage moderation across all facets of personal development, I think we all deserve to cut ourselves some slack from time to time, especially so at the end of a long (pandemic) year. Instead of chasing after a “quick fix” (like tossing out all your sweet treats in one go this month), let’s try something a little different. Gentle changes to your diet are essential to making a sustainable change that can be carried with you well into the future too.
Skipping Drastic Changes For Good
Going cold turkey on anything is pretty much a bad idea no matter what you’re doing (except for when you’re removing a toxic person from your life). Sudden, drastic changes will usually shock the system in a way that will hinder your ability to create a healthy wellness routine. So let’s change our thinking around this. I’d like to introduce three ways to go about things differently, each of which will make a noticeable difference to your life in the long term.
Find Ways to Incorporate New Foods
Begin by exploring your current diet, and the aspects of it that could do with a bit of work. You may be overindulging in sugar, be used to going for seconds during every meal, or simply be eating too much of the same food (perhaps Mr. Delivery has visited your house a couple of times a week recently). Write a list of some of the new foods you want to introduce into your diet, and work these into your existing home cooked meals. Cast your net wide, and try as many new things as possible to see what you really enjoy.
Introduce Healthy Snack Substitutes
Aside from branching out in terms of different fruit and vegetables, you can also introduce healthy snack substitutes for those chocolate bars and fizzy drinks you may have been banking on a little too much in the last few weeks. Choose just one, and replace it with something healthy like a smoothie or berry bowl. A week later, do so with something else, and so on.
Aim For Progress, Not Perfection
Last but not least, it’s important to aim for progress, not perfection. This means not jumping straight into a fad diet and following it without any room for exploration. The transformation process rarely (if ever) happens on a straight line, and it will require self-compassion along the way. Any step forward is important, as is getting up and doing so when things go South from time to time. If you’d like to navigate these times a bit better, have a chat with me about setting goals for the year. I’m happy to give tips, as well as to point you in the direction of a health professional in case you need a bit of extra support. Here’s to a happy, healthy new year!