Happy New Year, I wish you all the best in 2022!
You’ve probably written down your health goals for 2022, and since you’re a reader of this website, I’m almost sure that improving your diet and fitness is on your list.
And that’s wonderful!
I don’t want to dampen your spirit, but statistics show that while over 50% of people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and improve diet and fitness, over 80% give up on these goals by February.
This happens for several reasons, including being too ambitious and having no clear plan or deep attachment to the goal. If you’ve been unsuccessful in the past, don’t worry!
Here are five simple tips to help you eat a healthy diet in 2022.
1 | Change Your Mindset
Making any type of change starts with your mind. If your mindset is not geared towards success, a.ka., committed and dedicated, you will give up as soon as challenges arise or once you become uncomfortable.
Improving your diet involves eating more whole foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, poultry, fish, meat etc.), drinking more water and eating less ultra-processed foods. If your diet has included plenty of ultra-processed foods, reducing the amount you eat will be challenging. And if your mind is not set up favourably, you will feel deprived and eventually give up on your goals.
Instead of allowing feelings of sadness and deprivation to control you because you can’t indulge in the quantity of ultra-processed foods and habits you are used to, celebrate being able to eat a variety of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, legumes, poultry, fish, and meat that will nourish and keep your body functioning optimally.
2 | Make Small, Realistic Changes
The cold turkey approach, a.k.a. throwing out the food in your kitchen cupboards, refrigerator and freezer and resolving to ‘eating clean’ 100% of the time, is a recipe for disaster for most people. And that’s because this approach subconsciously puts you in a restrictive diet mentality, which you know causes failure.
Instead of attempting to never eat your favourite snacks, consider reducing your portions and eating them only a few times per week. Instead of trying to lose ten pounds every month, consider losing one pound a week. Instead of planning to go for a one-hour walk daily, consider a 15-minute brisk walk.
The more achievable and realistic your changes are, the greater the odds you will do them consistently. Once you become consistent, you will naturally build on them. So, a one-hour walk that might have been unrealistic at the beginning of the year will be a no-brainer by the end of the year.
3 | Create a Conducive Environment
While you needn’t throw out all the food in your kitchen, keep foods around you that make it easier to pick healthy choices. If you keep a plethora of ready-made foods and ultra-processed foods at home, you’re more likely to eat those foods when cravings hit. However, keeping fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts in your kitchen encourage you to eat these foods.
Make a list of all the produce, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, poultry, legumes, and fish you enjoy eating. Each week decide on the meals and snacks you’d like to eat and stock your kitchen with all the ingredients you need to make them.
If you want to enjoy ultra-processed foods occasionally, you could remove them from your home and only buy single-serve portions when you’re out. Alternatively, decide how many portions you’d like to have during the week and buy only that quantity.
The fewer decisions you need to make about food, the better your chances of sticking to your plan.
4 | Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress with a wellness journal is a fantastic tool for your diet and fitness journey. It makes you more aware of your food choices and eating patterns and could help you detect food intolerances.
As you change your diet, you will discover strategies that work for you, the foods you enjoy and how they make you feel. Tracking creates accountability, boosts your morale, and will help you maintain your momentum.
Our wellness journal allows you to track your food, drinks, mood, fitness, and sleep. It also contains daily affirmations that build mental strength and positivity and encourage you to stay the course.
5 | Seek Professional Help
When you feel unwell, you instinctively go to your doctor, so why shy away from nutritionists and dietitians when your diet needs fixing? There’s no shame in seeking support if you’ve tried changing your diet many times without success.
Working with a registered nutritionist or dietitian can help you discover diet pitfalls that keep you stuck. You will also learn how to eat a healthy diet tailored to your needs and behavioural change techniques that help you cope with challenging/stressful situations and sustain healthy habits indefinitely instead of constant relapses.
Will you achieve your diet goals in 2022?
The ball is in your court!
You now have five simple tips to help you crush your diet goals in 2022.
It doesn’t matter which step you take first. Just decide and commit to eating, feeling, and looking your best, and everything else will fall into place.
Now, go smash those goals. You can do it!