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Registered Associate Nutritionist

Registered Associate Nutritionist

Happy New Year - Welcome 2023!

 Let me start off and wishing you all a Happy New Year! I hope this year brings joy and good things to you all. 

This would bring a great opportunity to share with you a few hints and tips to start the New Year off, and your journey to a healthy lifestyle. 

  • Leave it in the past- Whenever we are embarking on a new journey we have to leave the past behind, meaning we all need to start somewhere. So maybe you have found out that the weight or the waist measurement you are currently at is disappointing, but remember that a change is happening, and that number will change. Keep staying focused and do not let numbers put you off on your journey. During the Covid- 19 Pandemic I put on alot of weight, but then when we eventually came out of that (still high covid cases in the UK currently) I had to start my lifestyle journey from scratch, which took six months. I will link my previous post on my journey here: consistency is key 

  • Keep a Food Diary- keep a diary or a log of all the foods that has been consumed for the day, how you felt, and the size of the portion of the food. You will see over time looking back , you can be able to analyse and evaluate everything, oh and this also includes fluids too (and alcohol) I do have a collection of food diaries lying around. They are great to have, especially to stay focused on that important goal, and being within that frame of mind. Keeping a food diary would also influence us to make various changes, and explore options into we can make those changes.  

  • Moving- Exercise and healthy eating compliments each other really well. We cannot achieve one without the other. So this advice is to try and get some exercise in. This can be as easy as going for a daily walk. It is recommended that we should do a form of an activity for at least 30 minutes , five days a week. Exercise provides a range of health benefits including improved joints, living longer, more energy, and of course keeping the heart healthy. 

  • Portion Control- I do not believe that nothing is banned, however I do believe that certain foods should be consumed in moderation. Moderation is important, especially for foods that have high amounts of fat, salt and sugar. If these are consumed in large amounts it can cause problems for the body. This includes high blood pressure, cholesterol and increased risk of having coronary heart disease. The Eatwell Guide is a great starting place for eating well, and looking at proportions of certain food, I did cover this further on a previous blog post here: Eatwell Guide

  • Shopping list- I strongly believe that we should keep a list when we buy things, and food is no exception. It keeps us focused and does not allow us to digress and become distracted. When we do not have a list handy we end up buying things that we do not need, and then consume this, which can be a little bit of a setback. I use my food diary as a shopping list so that I can look back at my recent purchases, and make changes if needed. 

  • Cooking- With the cost of living crisis making a bite within our finances, this would be a great time to start making batch meals, and keeping them in the freezer. This can not only be more economical, more nutritious, but also we know exactly what is going into our food. However if the festivities are continuing into the New Year,  and there are plans to be eating out, be aware to go for meals which contains plenty of vegetables, and more of a tomato base within this, and do try to limit the amount of alcohol consumed. 

  • Dry January/Veganary- Every 1st January is usually Dry January and Veganary. The interpretation of this can mean different things to different people. My view is that Dry January means no alcohol at all for a whole 30 days. I have done dry January a few years ago, and it was great, it really does challenge you especially when there is that temptation around, but knowing your goals, aims and objectives can put you in a better place to get the most out of dry January, plus your liver will thank you for it! Veganary is no animal intake for 30 days, I have yet to do this, but this is definitely beneficial for the body, as you are really having to evaluate other alternatives, and look at food labels more to have a healthier option. Which leads on to my next  tip

  • Food labels- To make healthy choices we need to be looking at the back of the food label to find out what is in there. Look at the ingredients section, and have a look at the first five to six ingredients, as these mostly contain those items. If any of these contains sugar then you know that item mainly contains sugar in there, and should be avoided. Go for items which has plenty of vegetables, carbohydrates, within the ingredients. Also look at the traffic light label at the front, or if this is not there look at the back for the nutritional label. You need to be looking at the salt, saturated fat, sugar. Try to go for the lowest amounts of these per 100 grams. I would also try to look for the fibre content, and go for the highest amount you can within this. As Fibre is great for lowering cholesterol, and helps to keep the bowels regular.  

  • Have Fun- Food and Nutrition is not something that is boring or repetitive (it should not be the case really!) I love the way that Food and Nutrition changes over time, whether it is the way that foods are labelled, or the way we are ordering food on delivery apps, or us taking a conscious effort to protect our planet and eating less animal products. See this as a way to make this fun and exciting, as that way the healthy eating journey will be a breeze and not a chore! This could be purchasing a new cookbook, or a new air fryer, or even a set of pots and pans, anything that will motivate us to start our journey will definitely help us. 

So to summarise 2023 is a time to start our journey again, so there will be times where we may slip up, but that is ok, learn from this, find out what happened and move on. As the saying goes Rome was not built in a day, and this should be the case when it comes to nutrition. Keep going, you will get there. 



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