After a holiday season filled with overindulgence, it can be tempting to do a diet 180 - but a healthy diet doesn't have to mean deprivation.
By Adrianna Szenthe
Resolutions related to diet and fitness are the most common out there – and the most frequently abandoned. Registered dietitian and Top 40 Under 40 alumna Lalitha Taylor takes us through a few tips and tricks to ensure you’re approaching your resolutions in the right way.
Look At The Overall Status Of Your Health
Even if you think your food choices must be to blame for your pants fitting a bit tightly after the holidays, take stock of other factors in your life as well. “It’s thinking about sleep, about stress, about every single facet of health and trying to figure out ‘what’s the area that I need to hone in on?’ because everything is connected,” Taylor says.
Don’t Purge Your Pantry Just Yet
A popular approach to getting a fresh start in the new year is to embark on some type of cleanse or diet that involves eliminating certain ingredients or food groups – but Taylor warns this is almost never a good idea in the long term. “It’s not sustainable because you deprive yourself of certain foods that you enjoy and you may become deficient in certain nutrients,” Taylor says. “If you come across something that sounds too good to be true, you’re paying a lot of money, there’s supplements you have to take – buyer beware. The best type of eating is choosing whole foods, eating in moderation, keeping it simplistic, cooking more at home, and just having that balance and normalization of food.”
Swore to yourself that you’d start eating more vegetables in 2018? That doesn’t mean you can never even look at a chocolate bar again. It’s all about the way you approach your treats. Taylor cautions against selecting the most calorific meals at a restaurant if you’re eating out twice a day. However, in moderation, you should be able to incorporate all treats into your diet – and Taylor admits she even tells clients to just enjoy themselves on their nights out if they’re only visiting restaurants once or twice a month.
Taylor’s favourite SMART Resolutions
1. The half-plate method – fill half your plate with vegetables to pack your diet with nutrients and help control your carbohydrates and proteins
2. Get back in the kitchen – there are plenty of tools and resources that will have you inspired to get cooking.
3. Snack more – overeating is often caused by heading into a meal feeling absolutely ravenous; snacking can help keep your metabolism firing. But, not everyone needs to snack. To determine the necessity of the snack, talk to your dietitian.
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