“I’m starting Monday”.
Three fatal words uttered by so many vowing to commit to a New Year regime. But here’s the thing, how ever your first month of 2014 pans out, don’t, whatever you do, go on a diet in January – or any other month for that matter.
Stop now, before you start it.
Some key points to consider:
- The diet industry is worth millions. Trillions, probably. Have you ever thought about why?
- If marketing $£€ has to be thrown at a campaign to convince you something is healthy or good for you, chances are it isn’t
- Nearly everyone knows someone that’s lost a significant amount of weight in their life following a <<insert name of commercial diet plan here>>, right? How many of those people have actually kept the weight off?
Don’t be a slave to the dieting scales. Opt for awesome instead
But what if weight loss, better health and an all round feeling of awesomeness became a bi-product of committing not to 28 day plans or 12 week regimes but from vowing to eat real, whole foods all of the time?
Nothing more, nothing less.
A commitment to be your happiest and healthiest not just for the 31 days following the Christmas splurge, but forever.
Rest assured I’m no purist and I’ve most definitely played my part in embracing the elasticated wonder that is the waistband a girl finds on M&S jeggings this festive season. But as good as Yule Log tastes (my annual nemesis) it honestly doesn’t compare with how epic I feel after a mountain of greens, a side of avocado and the crispiest skin-on roast chicken breast.
So my Monday is about guaranteeing that feeling of “yes, I want to attack life head on today”.
Here’s Let Her Eat Clean’s top five tips for allowing you to do the same and ditch the diet once and for all:
1. Eat Clean
That is, eat real, whole foods. Ask yourself where the food you’re eating has come from, what it’s made of and whether it’ll make you feel sufficiently awesome. If it won’t, don’t bother eating it. Consider it a lifestyle, not a diet.
Definitions of clean eating vary. You’ll find my interpretation here.
My January will be one of lean white meat, tonnes of fish and leafy greens, a little good fat and minimal carbs – at least until my jegging waistband is stretching a little less…
2. Protein at breakfast
You know that Special K with skimmed milk? It’s totally got to go. Protein at brekkie is synonymous with satiety, weight loss and razor sharp neurotransmitters. It’s about thinking outside the cereal box to start the day the best possible way. It takes a little more organising but the protein brekkie is the choice of champs.
Smoked salmon, boiled egg, leaves, black coffee
3. Move more
And you don’t need to become a gym rat to do that. I’m someone that loves the endorphin rush of a darn good workout, the goal of training for a marathon and small CrossFit skills accomplishments. But the fact is, in our daily lives, we could move so much more than we actually do and burn more energy in the process.
Beware the overcrowded gym of January
Vow to make 2014 the year you use the manual, not automatic option whenever presented with both choices. So take the stairs; pull a door, push it; stand for short bus journeys; park as far away from the supermarket as you possibly can when doing your weekly shop.
4. Get to bed earlier
You may need to tinker with your optimum bedtime but for me, a 10pm strict lights out policy has me waking at 6am each day refreshed and raring to go. Leave your mobile outside your bedroom, avoid setting an alarm if you can, adopt a little routine that has you nice and relaxed and ready to drift off nicely not long after your head hits the pillow. Well slept folk are happy, healthy folk. Research has also tied too little sleep directly to obesity.
5. Enjoy it
Here’s the thing: we easily eat 21 meals a week – if not more in some instances. That’s a lot of potential for appreciating and enjoying every last mouthful. The whole foods repertoire is thankfully an extensive one. If you don’t like something, don’t force yourself to eat it. But you may surprise yourself by starting to try things that are good for you that you thought you didn’t like. Keep your food varied and new recipes exciting but straightforward. There’s no need to overcomplicate things.
Above all, vow to make this the best year you’ve lived yet.
So, have I convinced you NOT to go on a diet yet…?