January – let’s not jump the gun!
Jumping the gun is a phrase we use to describe a decision we make sometimes too soon, without thinking carefully about it and this phrase can definitely be applied to decisions being made about that horrible ‘D’ word.
For many of us, going back to College/University is when January officially begins. Christmas is over, the weather is cold, the days are short and motivation can reach an all-time low. Some of us may just want to crawl into a ball and stay in our warm comfy beds, whilst some of you might think…. why not make a change? Its new year after all?! I’m sure you’ve all seen it in the magazines; that ‘New Year, NEW YOU’ front page, promoting that latest extreme or detox diet where celebs have survived by eating air and promising to change your life forever. Maybe your mum or dad have even tried it, claiming they’ve managed to lose 5lbs in a week… amazing huh?!
I’m not sure about you, but the words ‘’I’m going on a diet’’ have never really appealed to me! On the subject of that dreaded ‘D’ word, don’t do it. Think about losing that couple of pounds as a lifestyle change and not a diet. Try to ease yourself into something more balanced and sustainable. By sustainable, I mean you’re more likely to be able to stick with small changes in your diet and lifestyle as they’re realistic and balanced. Small steps, that’s all I’m saying!
Scientific research studies have shown that somewhere between 50-80% of dieters will put weight back on. Why? Because they’re too extreme or unrealistic; cutting out food groups is not going to be a healthy long-term alternative, nor is low-calorie intake, which can result in a lack of energy, tiredness, depression and ultimately opting out. I don’t know about you, but this has played out in many people I have seen who have tried to embark on the latest diet craze and left feeling worse off than they did to start with!
So where can I go to if I want advice?
Nutrition advice is literally everywhere and can be a minefield to work through, even when trying to understand the simplest concepts! When I speak to students, this is the vibe I get, which I can completely understand! Where on earth do you go to for the right information? My advice would be look to qualified Nutritionists or Dieticians. By qualified, I mean those who have studied Nutrition or Dietetics as a degree at University and not so called ‘’nutrition bloggers’’ as half of them do not have a nutrition background and their advice can be damaging. I have put a few links at the end of this blog to help you.
For now, a few hints and tips for a healthier and happier January;
- Don’t focus on what other people are doing, look at what is realistic and achievable for you (e.g. instead of watching that extra film on Tuesday night, go for a 30 minute jog around the playing field)
- Boost your mood with Vitamin D and Omega-3’s; Vitamin D is thought to be mood-boosting and lower levels of Omega-3 in the body are thought to contribute to low moods. Add foods like eggs, oily fish and some dairy products to your meals!
- When looking for comfort food, there’s plenty of winter warmer dishes out there that can be healthy and balanced – you don’t need to succumb to that burger king or KFC! BBC’s Good Food recipes are a great go-to for winter warmers and if your mum is cooking just keep an eye on those. portion sizes
- Eat your greens! Filling your plate with green leafy veg like spinach will provide you with those vitamins and minerals you will need to fight off that winter cold or flu!
- It’s all about the SMALL changes will lead to a SUSTAINABLE and SENSIBLE lifestyle in the long run.
Good luck! Grace