The holidays are over, and you’ve made resolutions. Again. Deep down you know there’s a risk that despite your best intentions, come February you may be far from your intended goal.
First, take a deep breath. This may take some time, but it can be done. It’s a journey, and you can learn a lot about food and your own habits along the way.
Make a plan
What is your target? To become fit and healthier or simply to lose weight? These goals are related, but weight that is lost too quickly or as a result of an unbalanced diet can come back with a vengeance. Focusing on health is more likely to help you achieve long-term results.
Plan your physical activity. How much exercise can you realistically build into your schedule? If you can run or go the gym, excellent. If that’s a challenge, remember that any additional movement is good. Walk or bike whenever you can, and plan that extra time into your schedule.
Plan your meals. Do you usually eat out at lunch time? You could try to prepare packed lunches over the weekend to have full control over some meals.
Be kind to yourself
You cannot always control what you eat, and you probably don’t want to either. Being spontaneous is a joy, and unless you live like a hermit, you will often be tempted by foods that don’t help you meet your targets. Accept that your journey may not be a straight bee-line toward success, but may contain some zigzags.
But be honest with yourself
One of the biggest challenges about changing our food habits is to build awareness of what we eat. Our mind tells us all sorts of stories. “I was good today, I had a salad for lunch, so I can have cake tonight.” Yes, but didn’t the salad come with a rich dressing, a hefty slice of bread and a large glass of delicious but calorific fruit juice?
No food is “good” or “bad”, but gaining a better understanding of what and how you eat is helpful. Focus on mindful eating. Pay attention when you eat, and only finish that bag of chips if it truly gives you pleasure, making a mental note to balance it out with a light dinner later. A sweet drink is comforting, but it’s also food. So quench your thirst with water when you can. Are you really hungry for that last piece of pie? Even if it’s very small, you can enjoy it even more tomorrow. Wrap it and store it in the fridge. The future you thanks you in more ways than one.
Knowledge is power
There are many ways to build awareness about our eating and exercising habits. From calorie-counting apps to wearable activity trackers and connected scales, all sorts of technology is available to give you the data you need to understand how you function. Low-tech options include keeping a journal of what you eat and how much you exercise, as well as micro-meditating before meals to help you eat mindfully.
To support you in making choices that meet your targets, Cookidoo® recipes come with basic nutritional information about energy and macro-nutrients in each portion. Choose recipes according to the nutrition they deliver. Or adjust your portions knowingly. But keep in mind that keeping track of nutritional data is only part of the story. Our recipes provide something invaluable in your quest to get back into shape: real food, made by you, from natural ingredients, with delicious flavours. Cook more of your own food and you’re well on your way to a healthier self.