In our society the Christmas and New Year holiday binge is commonly teemed with regret and the ubiquitous: “I’ll eat healthier this year”, “I plan to lose weight and get fit”, “I will drink less alcohol” and yet it’s always the same outcome – by mid-January old habits resurface.
If I was given a pair of shoes every time someone broke their new year health resolution, I’d need to change my shoes every minute to prevent them collecting dust in the shoe storage mansion. New year resolutions could be compared to a Frisbee; they are tossed around without consideration for the next steps.
Removing lactose and gluten, quitting sugar, fasting two days a week and avoiding carbohydrates after 4pm with the intention of new year weight loss, will not result in long- term health and weight reduction. Adopting drastic and popular diets encourages overly restrictive and obsessive behaviours. They are not sustainable, commonly lead to failure and foster poor self-esteem.
Removing gluten from your diet if you are gluten sensitive, suffer with coeliac or IBS is crucial for optimal health. However any coeliac will gladly share the downsides of such a lifestyle. It is not a joy.
For some reason it is trendy to have food intolerances and allergies. It’s like being chosen for the popular sporting group at school: “Pick me”, “Pick me” they cried, and when little Jackson was chosen for the coeliac team, he knew he was in the cool group.
It has become glamorous to have food issues. Yet the irony is most gluten-free foods are highly processed. Many contain far more thickeners, texturisers and humectants than similar gluten food items.
But what do I know, I’m only a registered nutritionist with six years of university study dedicated to nutrition and food science, two nutrition degrees (one post grad) and 10 years in the industry.
I don’t write fictional stories about health and nutrition. My health and well-being is too important and so is yours!
Honesty is the best policy
Seek support and guidance where possible, but take responsibility for your own health and well-being. Be honest with yourself; if your lifestyle is less than virtuous, maybe those lingering five kilos are stubborn for a reason.
Keep it simple
Forget counting calories. Consume real food, increase your physical activity, eat far more vegetables than you think you need and drink water.
P.S. Eat fruit, it won’t make you fat. But that’s probably a story for another day.
The miracle pill to optimal well-being
The secret to optimal well-being, looking younger and living well is called “make healthy living a priority”.
There is no negotiation and no other option. There is also no room for the excuse: “I’m too busy”.
I appreciate our fast-paced, time-poor culture leaves little time for nurturing. But fast forward a few years to a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis and suddenly busy has a new meaning. Injecting insulin six times a day and taking blood sugar measurements 12 times a day is far more inconvenient than chopping carrots and cucumber for morning tea.
In case you’re wondering, I make a priority of my health and well-being. My fridge and pantry are always stocked with wholesome foods. I allocate time for making snacks and preparing meals. My exercise time is ranked highly. I live what I preach.