It is quite natural after a few weeks of gluttonous indulgence that we are ready to commit to a long list of well-intended resolutions. January is the one month of the year that almost every adult at least thinks about getting healthier and fitter in the coming year. Most of us make a start but unfortunately very few fulfil the self-made contract to see lasting positive changes in diet and lifestyle choices. To be healthier, fitter and slimmer are the most common resolutions made by Irish adults. The fact that they remain the most common resolutions year after year demonstrates the high failure rate of such resolutions. We could debate all the probable, and indeed the improbable reasons why we find it so difficult to see out our resolutions but at the end of the day it does not change the outcome. If those great intentions of being healthy and fit last year became a reality we could move onto to some more exciting adventures this year! Instead, many of us are yet again looking for a new super diet or the latest gadget to get into shape once and for all!
There has never been so much choice of diets and opinion available yet as a nation our weight problems are bursting out of control! Every week we hear the statistics on rising obesity levels, more children being overweight and the impact it will have on our health. You would think that the constant barrage of health statistics would motivate us to adapt a healthier lifestyle yet despite all the talk and discussion, we have never been as fat and unhealthy as we are today.
If you are one of the thousands planning to lose weight this year stay away from fad dieting, quick fixes and glorified testimonials. Dieting is big business and it suits many within the diet industry that people lose just enough weight to keep them coming back as soon as it piles on again. To avoid this yo-yo dieting rollercoaster, the desire to be healthy and to feel truly alive must be the motivation and not just the results on the weighing scales. Try not to focus only on weight loss as a marker for success, but to include feeling happier, less stressed and more connected with your inner self, your community and your surroundings as major goals this year. Resolve to take one healthy step, then another and another, all in the right direction. Let your 2018 resolutions be based on self-care and loving yourself enough to embrace a healthier existence. The ripple effect of real self-care is felt by those closest to you, then spreads to your community and your environment, a win-win result for you and all around you! Losing excess weight will be part of the journey, not the destination, yet you will experience the benefits of true nourishment, increased vitality and a better quality of living both physically and emotionally.
A great place to start your health journey for 2018 is in the kitchen. To cook and eat a meal for yourself or to share is one of the most fundamental acts of self-care, yet hugely underestimated. To connect with Nature through whole, unrefined ingredients is both satisfying to the body and mind. The single most destructive factor in our poor health status is our dependence on fake foods for sustenance. Chemically made by engineers and scientists, processed food is designed, not to nourish or satisfy but to keep us consuming more. Sedentary lifestyles have made matters worse but for most, obesity is mainly due to the consistent consumption of processed and refined frankenfoods. The diseases that are killing us - heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes are a result of an inadequate diet and exposure to toxic living practices - lacking in vital nutrients, fibre, vitamins, minerals and quality sleep that the body needs to repair, protect and sustain life. In 2018, resolve to choose food prepared in the kitchen rather than in the laboratory! More aprons, less whitecoats!
The seasons throughout the year offer the best guide for buying and preparing your food this year. Seasonal food brings vitality to the table and provides us with a varied, colorful menu that continues to be appealing throughout the year. A common factor in many fad diets, is that the food gets boring after a while and appetites are left lacking! Resolve to reconnect with each season and keep your menu interesting by adapting the flavour and textures of seasonal vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices in your weekly shopping.
While it's true that money does not grow on trees - food does, and in the ground, off the land and in the sea. If you are serious about your health for 2018 the best recipe for realistic weight loss success, increased vitality and disease prevention is in your kitchen - and if it's not, let that be your resolution!
Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year!
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