Are you the type of person who likes to make radical resolutions at the start of the new year? Well, know that drastic measures often lead to very little results and lots of frustration. Here are our tips on how to say goodbye to toxic resolutions and adopt a gentler approach to your overall wellness.
Time for some Introspection
It’s not always easy to adopt a balanced lifestyle. From an atypical schedule to a house full of young children, or a packed agenda, everyone has different obstacles to contend with. That’s why we suggest taking a moment to analyze your daily habits and identify the main challenges that might be getting in the way of you reaching your goals. Following this introspection, draw up a list of possible solutions that you can gently start to incorporate into your daily life.
Examples of constraints and their solutions:
- Lack of time for cooking: Adopt the “meal prep” concept. We recommend opting for recipes that freeze well, and to double them. This way you will quickly build an inventory of dishes ready to be enjoyed on busy weeknights. You can also resort to slow cooker or sheet-pan recipes. The goal is to save precious minutes, without sacrificing the nutritional side of it all!
- Newbie in the kitchen: Opt for recipes that are quick and easy to make. Many cookbooks specialize in dishes containing just 5 ingredients or less. You can also modify your favourite recipes to make them a little simpler and less time-consuming. For example, if some recipes require soaking legumes, use canned goods instead.
- Lack of time for sports: Try active transportation! Walking, running, or cycling . . . the important thing is to integrate physical activity into your daily life as often as possible.
- Lack of interest in cooking: For some, cooking can be a relaxing activity, while for others, it can feel like a chore. If the latter is your case, adopt the principle of batch cooking, or cooking in large quantities, by organizing a day of cooking with loved ones. Not only will you get to enjoy time spent with family and friends, but you’ll also have meals prepared for the whole week!
Tips and Tricks
Set achievable goals
Rome wasn’t built in a day! Instead of setting unrealistic goals, we suggest identifying a series of smaller goals to attain. This method will allow you to stay in control of your objectives and avoid getting discouraged along the way.
Forget about the scale!
We suggest you put aside that never-ending obsession with the scale. Forget about that dream number, and instead focus on improving your physical and mental wellbeing by gradually eliminating bad habits. For example, if you’re a soft drink fanatic, start by reducing your intake, replacing it every other time with carbonated or infused water. You’ll see that your cravings for such sugary drinks will subside over time, until eventually they disappear for good!
No more restrictions
When we talk about good diet resolutions, it’s clear we often associate them with restrictions. Don’t succumb to the temptation to restrict foods that are considered harmful. Instead, adopt the opposite strategy—add loads of fruits and vegetables to your favourite recipes. This process allows you to incorporate more vitamins and nutrients into your diet without feeling like you’re missing out. Do you like pizza? Put a ton of grilled vegetables on it. Same thing for an Asian stir-fry or a burger, for example. Most dishes lend themselves easily to this kind of modification.
As for your desserts, the principle applies just as much! Pour mountains of berries over your yogurt or ice cream.
Eat . . . strategically!
At breakfast, add more protein foods to the menu! This will allow you to stay full all morning and prevent a drop in energy or overeating at lunchtime. Aim for about 25 to 35 grams of protein at breakfast, incorporating cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, nuts, etc.
Remember that half your plate should be filled with vegetables! So that your taste buds don’t die of boredom, vary your veggies as much as possible, favouring vegetables of different colour and occasionally changing cooking methods. Do you tend to make a lot of steamed broccoli? Next time, roast it in the oven or sauté it in a pan.
If you tend to ignore the vegetables on your plate, why not eat them as a starter? By doing so, you’ll be less hungry for the rest of the meal and will avoid overconsuming other foods.
Whatever your goals, remember to remain lenient with yourself. There’s no need to strive for perfection; our advice is simply to try to make the best choices given your circumstances.