Updated: May 24
We all know 2020 was a bit of a gut punch, and 2021...eh, maybe not a whole lot better.
And if you have a goal of wanting to incorporate healthier habits this new year,
the last thing you want is to make difficult or stressful changes which are likely to start 2022 off on the wrong foot.
Instead, let's do healthy New Year's Resolutions — but let's make them painless.
1. Ditch Fad Diets and Instead Focus on YOUR Diet
Fad diets, whatever the title, method, or "science" behind them may be, typically share one commonality: focusing on a caloric deficit (consuming fewer calories than your body expends). But what if weight loss isn’t the goal? Oftentimes, many just desire a change to feel better.
Additionally, fad diets often have a tendency of taking measures to an extreme, such as cutting out entire food groups, encouraging calorie restriction, or overall just persuading you to eat in a way that's difficult or unenjoyable for you.
YOUR diet on the other hand, is bioindividual to you and your needs. It's eating in a way that comes naturally to you, appeals to your personal liking, and is easily maintained for the long haul. Following what feels best for you and your body is a huge accomplishment in itself, and welcoming gradual changes can help make YOUR diet one that serves you that much more.
These could include small improvements such as: adding a fruit or veggie to each meal, working on increasing your protein intake, or switching to a high-quality sea salt (such as Redmond Real Salt).
Improvements don’t have to be big to be effective, they only have to be realistic and sustainable for YOU.
2. Try the 80/10% Guideline
Consuming the majority of your calories from nourishing, high-quality foods can help you receive the most "bang for your buck" when getting in essential nutrients at meals.
However, depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy often leads to increased cravings, eating to the point of discomfort, or even unnecessary feelings of guilt when you do decide to indulge. To help prevent this vicious cycle from occurring, freely give yourself permission to include these foods in your regular diet! After all, you're more likely to adhere to a healthier lifestyle long-term when you include the things you love!
A simple approach which works well for many (me included) is:
Treat 80% of the food you eat an as opportunity to give your body the nourishment it needs. Treat the other 20% as an opportunity to give your soul the food it enjoys!
3. Add in “Dedicated Decompression” Time
“Dedicated Decompression” is a practice which involves specifically scheduling de-stress/decompression time into your day. It entails committing at least 10-30 minutes per day to total relaxation and realignment. This can be done first thing in the morning, right before bed, or any time which makes the most sense for you.
This can include things such as meditation, gratitude journaling, stretching, yin yoga, napping, breathing exercises, mental imagery, binaural beats, ASMR videos, or anything else which help you decompress!
4. Quit the “All-or-Nothing” Approach
Making lifestyle changes can seem scary, but what’s scarier than change itself is tricking your mind into thinking you have to do things perfectly in order to see results. With a goal of flawless execution often comes the “All or Nothing” mentality: the feeling that “you have to follow through perfectly in order to get results.”
While it's sometimes hard not to strive for perfection when eager to make a change, setting unrealistic goals likely won't help get you there any faster. So whatever your plan of action is this 2022, give yourself the wiggle room to make mistakes and then keep going. Remember that successful plans are flexible plans!
5. STAY HYDRATED, MY FRIENDS.
It likely goes without saying, because I know you know. But incase you could use a reminder on why staying hydrated is so important, let’s recall some functions of water in the body:
transporting nutrients and oxygen to cells
helping dissolve nutrients and minerals for optimal absorption
aiding with proper digestion
regulating body temperature
acting as a cushion and lubricant for joints
moistening sensitive tissues such the eyes, mouth, and nose
regulating blood pressure
maintaining electrolyte balance
eliminating wastes, bacteria, and toxins from the body
As you can see, water is essential for life. So please do yourself and favor and fill up your glass, jug, or bottle of choice and get to sippin'. I promise your body will thank you for it!
There you have it, friends!
Whether you're an avid "resolutioner" or hate the idea all together, remember that showing kindness + support to those inspired to make a change can go a long way in their success!
Cheers to 2022 and may it be good to you!