Food or fad? Frame healthy eating goals for 2020

Are you hoping to become healthier in the New Year? Check out what our nutritionist has to say about your diet and eating patterns

It is common to see our diets going a bit haywire at the end of the year, given the number of social occasions we need to attend. But as a new year begins, most of us are motivated to get back on track, improve our eating goals and become more focused on being healthy.

The start of a year brings with it, promise and hope for your life and one of the greatest ways that you can support yourself on the journey towards a greater vision for yourself, is with some structured frameworks for your diet and lifestyle.

Here are some healthy eating goals to keep in mind for 2020...

Be mindful

The first thing that you have to set out to do for yourself is to discover how unique an individual you are. It can be common to follow diet fads, but instead, ask yourself what you need for the year ahead. What are the symptoms that are troubling you?

Would you like to shed some of that extra weight that you accumulated at the end of last year? Would you like better skin, more energy, improved sleep, less pain or perhaps more attention and focus? Keeping your eye on the goal will help you to find your way forward.

It is important to respect the fact that you are unique. Let me give you an example. If you plan to follow an ‘anti-inflammatory’ diet, you might be told by a well-meaning friend to consume a mixture of coconut oil, turmeric and cinnamon. But coconut oil may bother someone with liver troubles, turmeric may not be the right starting point if you suffer from acidity, and cinnamon may create symptoms of fever if you are overly heated up.

The first thing that you should do is to listen to your body and not to the advice of even your closest friends. Discover what works for you by just being more mindful of the food you eat and tuning in to your own needs.

Eat food that improves your digestion

Choose the right foods to stay strong and healthy (Pic credit: Shutterstock)

Digestion is the biggest root of every symptom and condition out there. It is also the reason that you might be piling up weight in the belly. Begin the year by deciding to support your digestion in every way possible.

Sometimes, all you might need is better chewing. Just counting 25 chews per mouthful takes away the load from digestion later. Improve chemical digestion by having lemon water, ginger extract and apple cider vinegar.

Boiling cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds and drinking the extract after meals can help if you are struggling with bloating and gas after a heavy meal.

Eat foods that are easier to digest like soups, stews, vegetables, fish and healthy fats which are easier to digest like avocados. Improve the bacterial balance in your gut with some fermented food if you can tolerate it. If it triggers any kind of skin rash, you should stay away from it.

Forget calorie restriction

The best thing that you can do for yourself with eating, is to move away from calorie counting and restriction, as the approach is simply too outdated, stressful and complicated. If you eat real whole foods, which do not come from a package, and have balanced meals that contain healthy fats, adequate fibre, clean proteins and bright colours, you do not need to count calories.

Make sure that you eat balanced meals (Pic credit: Shutterstock)

Listen to your body. When your meal is balanced, you will have satiety with smaller quantities of food. You will not need to count calories anymore. Imagine a plate with broccoli, half an avocado and two eggs. Replace each with something else, but maintain the same nutritional balance. Eat real foods and be mindful of satiety.

Remove all allergens

When it comes to weight loss, calorie counting is not the only solution. There are many other many root causes that prevent weight loss and these include gut issues, chronic inflammation, poor detoxification, nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalance, blood sugar imbalance, poor sleep, high stress, lack of movement, toxic relationships and allergies.

Discover the foods that you are allergic to, and remove them for a period of four weeks. If you do not know what they are, remove the top inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and white sugar for four weeks. Go to bed before or closer to 10 pm.

Calorie counting is not the only solution for weight loss (Pic credit: Shutterstock)

Every hour of sleep before midnight is equal to three hours of sleep after midnight. If you have deficiencies such as Vitamin D that keep your immune system weak, address them. Improve detoxification with exercise and lots of fibre in your foods. Find a 10-minute meditation practice that will help you deal with stress.

Try this out for four weeks and you will find that your body is capable of improving in every way and will support you for the entire year ahead!

(All representational images credit: Shutterstock)


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