How to stick to your New Year resolution on healthy eating

Saman Haziq
Filed on January 5, 2020 | Last updated on January 5, 2020 at 01.16 pm
New Year, resolution, healthy eating, habits, clinical dietitian, cultural food habits
An inclusive diet containing all the food groups will last longer alongside your health goals.- Alamy Image

A sustainable diet is undoubtedly a diet which you can follow on weekends too.

Changing your habits - especially food-related ones - is hard, but the new year is an opportunity to recommit to your health and well-being, dieticians have said. Talking about the concept of having a sustainable diet, Prachi Telang, a clinical dietitian at Prime Medical Centre, explained that such a diet has a low environmental impact that contributes to food and nutritional security and to healthy lives for present and future generations.

"A sustainable diet is undoubtedly a diet which you can follow on weekends too. You don't have to feel guilty about you not being able to follow your diet on weekends. Diets like balanced diet or Mediterranean diet are more sustainable in the longer run as compared to any extreme diet. An inclusive diet containing all the food groups will last longer alongside your health goals," she said.

Telang said she always encourages her patients to share their cultural food habits which makes the diet plan very easy to comprehend and also more likely to last longer.

Offering her mantra to get best result out of a sustainable diet, Telang said: "I always ask people to keep their goals SMART which expands to simple, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Set up your own personal SMART goals - long-term and short-term - and monitor it every month. For example, one smart goal could be to include two different colours of fruits every day."

For all weight and health management goals for 2020, Telang pointed out: "Having a goal is important. Choosing the right goal is even more important."

Lovely Ranganath, a DHA licensed senior nutritionist in Dubai, said everyone has the right to choose the path they wish to follow when it comes to nutrition. "There are no good and bad foods but more and less nutrient-dense and more/less Kcal-dense foods. How much of each you eat is up to you so long as you understand the consequences of those actions. As long as you realise that swapping 500Kcal of fruit for 500Kcal of jelly beans isn't optimal for health. The sum of your choices is more important. Look around and you will understand that you can be vegan and healthy, vegan and unhealthy, omnivore and healthy or omnivore and unhealthy."

Health buff and businesswoman Mariah Siddiqui contended that happiness and peace of mind can translate into having a good diet for oneself. "This is something I have tried and tested: when I am happy from within, I'll automatically take care of my body and opt for healthy options. The more stressed out and cluttered your mind is, it affects your cognitive powers to make decisions and makes us indulge in unhealthy food. So my sustainable diet plan of 2020 is having a positive mindset and warding off negativity as good thoughts lead to a healthy diet as your thoughts determine what you eat."

Also, Siddiqui averred that one shouldn't snub his or her cravings to extreme levels as it leads to disastrous results at times and can mentally disturb or stress you and you may end up binge eating. "Listen to your body. Just don't go on extreme diets."

A balanced intake

Tips from a nutritionist 

>Prioritising lean protein at every meal will fill you up and keep you full for longer, so you will be less likely to overeat or get too hungry in between meals.

>Limit liquid calories like sodas, sweetened teas, juices, fancy coffees and alcohol.

>Mindless snacking and extra bites, licks and tastes might seem innocent but they can add up the calories quickly. If you must snack then opt for fresh fruit, veggies, proteins instead of high calories hyperpalatable foods like chips, cakes, cookies, etc.

>Dressings and sauces are big on calories. An easy way to save calories is to order them on the side.

>Switch up your cooking methods. Roast, bake, grill, steam, air fry as much as possible.

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