Each January we see a round of diets and exercise programs aimed at those of us who have indulged over the festive season. The New Year is a great time to think about changes we can make, but rather than opting for crazy diets, try to introduce simple changes that will help you to lead a healthy lifestyle.
To help you get started, we've put together our top five tips for a fresh start to 2019!
1. Clean out your pantry
Take everything off the shelves and count how many tins of tomatoes or jars of olives you have ‘just in case' and decide if you'll actually use them. If not, consider donating any extras to a food aid organisation, like Foodbank, so they can be put to good use. This is also the perfect time to check use-by dates and any open packets for weevils or pantry moths. Give everything a wipe down and a re-shuffle.
A clean, organised pantry helps you instantly see what you have and makes meal planning and shopping much easier.
2. Clear your mind by moving
Consider setting up a weekly walking date with a friend, joining a social sporting club or trying out local yoga or pilates classes. Exercise is one of the first things we drop when life gets busy. But if you find an enjoyable way to move your body, it becomes easier to squeeze it in.
Moving more is also great for your mental health, particularly if ‘me' time is in short supply.
3. Declutter your social media accounts
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat...they're all fun and it's hard to imagine life without them. But they can also be a time vacuum. You don't need to cancel your accounts but look at who you're following. Do you feel good or bad after reading their posts? Unfollow or remove yourself from groups that don't bring you joy.
Follow accounts on social media that leave you feeling inspired and informed.
4. Refresh your food supply
Look out for local food suppliers - nothing beats the big supermarkets for convenience but if you have some extra time, visit your local butcher or fruit and veg retailer. Markets are also a great place to source locally produced food as well as connect with growers and retailers. Check with your council for what's on in the area.
Eating local and seasonal produce (where possible) can be cheaper, and helps build relationships within your community.
5. Re-focus on your food
Instead of changing WHAT you eat, try changing HOW you eat. Mindfulness is a hot topic right now and it's easy to make it part of how you eat. Turn eating a meal into an event instead of something you fit in between tasks. Switch the TV off or move from your desk. Put your phone away or eat with a friend.
When you focus on just the eating, you enjoy and appreciate your food and are less likely to ignore your body's signs of fullness.
The start of a new year doesn't have to be about guilt and best intentions. Try making just one of these changes and give yourself the best possible start to 2019!
Want more health and wellbeing tips?
We deliver the LiveLighter program, which aims to encourage Australian adults to lead healthier lifestyles - to make changes to what they eat and drink, and to be more active.
You can find lots of great tips, resources and information at livelighter.com.au!