Unsurprisingly January has the highest rate of people who embark on some kind of endeavor to improve their overall health. Be it giving up smoking, vowing to eat healthier, joining a gym, whatever: a majority of people are filled with some kind of optimism to start their year with their best foot forward. Given the “let loose” spirit I seemed to have adopted over the holidays, I definitely fell in that category of individuals. Let’s just say I was more than ready to regain some sort of control.
I know I’m not alone when I say that one of the worst feelings is looking in the mirror and cringing at the reflection, as is that overall bloated feeling. Those alone were enough motivation to rein it in come January 1st. Fortunately February is going to be off to a much better start. Whoever said plenty can change in a month was surely on to something!
I’m genuinely feeling so much better both mentally and physically, and fortunately the thought of wearing jeans doesn’t fill me with dread anymore ! Rather than commit to drastic measures, I set some broad goals which seemed to have done the trick:
- 3 normal meals and 1-2 snacks in between: Check mate! Knowing that I had a snack/meal not too long after definitely helped me avoid overeating. As for snacks, almonds, raisins & fruit have been my go-to given their portability.
- Go back to the basics in terms of eating: Our bodies are smarter than we think and constantly strive for a balance of nutrients. My meals are generally pretty basic yet contain some source of carb, protein and fat. Eggs, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and avocado seem to be repeatedly making an appearance!
- Keeping my portions in check: There have been a few instances at restaurants when I know I went overboard but overall, I think I can say I’ve stuck to reasonable portions. I still weigh out my carbs like rice, quinoa, and oats as those are foods which I can easily go overboard with.
- Drink lots of H20: Multiple trips to the bathroom when I’m asleep…what do you think?
- Work out 5 times a week: I didn’t start training for a 10 km as planned but I have been consistent with my workouts thanks to Body for Life. Having some kind of structure was all the motivation I needed!
- Not use every meal out as an excuse to indulge in dessert: It was definitely hard for me to avoid tucking into bites when we’d order a dessert for the table to share. However I tried to keep those bites at a minimum if that counts for something !
- Limit my intake of processed/packaged foods: As many foods in Mumbai are freshly available, this is an easy one to stick to. The few packaged foods that I do regularly seem to eat are cereal and Finn Crisps.
- Try to eat less sugar: I mentioned that after giving up the final source of sweeteners in my diet i.e. Diet Coke, my sugar cravings have tamed. I also gave up chocolate in January so that alone must have lowered my sugar intake. My dentist would be proud !
And more than anything, January reiterated one thing to me: staying healthy is not an all or nothing approach. There were some days where I didn’t tick all the above boxes. There were other days where I knew portions had gone out of the window yet still proceeded onto dessert but at the end of the day, even doing one of the above is better than nothing at all.
Have you met any of the goals you set for January?