Planning ahead for the New Year’s diet
It's that magical time of the year again when we prepare to bid farewell to the old and welcome in the new.
We humans are naturally attracted to the idea of new beginnings – of turning over a fresh page in the book of our lives, putting old habits behind us, and moving forward with a more positive and impressive vision of the future.
So, let’s say that you’ve got plans for a complete diet overhaul in the New Year. What can you do in the final days of 2016 to help yourself dive into your resolution properly?
Well, here are a few ideas.
Give away your Christmas treats
They say that it’s better to give than to receive and that Christmas is a time of goodwill. So, why not follow the example of good old Scrooge after his Christmas miracle, and focus on gifts given rather than gifts received this Christmas?
Don’t worry; we’re not saying you have to give away all your gifts. How about just the chocolates, cakes, sweets and other assorted goodies you were planning to scoff down over the holiday season?
This is a good idea for two reasons: firstly, it’ll make some of the people close to you happy. Secondly, you’ll begin training yourself to resist sugary temptation before your resolution officially kicks in. Treat it as a dry run.
Ask for gifts that’ll help you stick to your diet
One of the best ways to motivate yourself to stick with a new habit is to take steps to prepare yourself for it and to create accountability beforehand.
By asking for gifts that relate to your diet and fitness goals for the new year, you’ll not only send a very clear message that you’re in this for real, but you’ll also make it harder to duck out of your diet when the going gets tough in 2017.
Think about it -- you’ll feel far worse telling your significant other, best friend or relatives, “I just couldn’t be bothered anymore” when you know that they’ve invested in your success.
And after all, having the right tools at hand when beginning a new diet just helps to make the whole thing easier and more fun.
We recommend throwing a diet-appropriate recipe book onto your Christmas list, thus keeping your taste buds happy on your new culinary journey. A blender, too, for quick and easy to prepare shakes during those moments when you’re feeling too tired or lazy to whip up a gourmet meal.
Sit down one evening and plan it all out, exceptions and all
Between decking the halls with boughs of holly and getting the Christmas shopping done, take a quiet evening before the festivities begin. You could actually plan out your diet in all its minute detail, including the occasions where it’ll be acceptable to fit in a cheeky cheat meal.
Even the best ideas often come to nothing if the work isn’t put in to turn them from vague notions to solid plans. You’ll find no there’s no better way of making sure that you hit the ground running with your diet resolution than by having an action plan to guide your way from day one.
Write the plan down in detail and keep it somewhere around the house where you can see it every day. It should cover the following:
- How many calories are you planning to eat each day?
- Which types of food are you allowing yourself to have, and which are you excluding? Is this a vegan, paleo, or ketogenic diet? Will you allow yourself a small daily sugar ration, or leave it out completely?
- When is it ok to have a “cheat day” from your diet? On special occasions like birthdays? One Sunday each month? What will you allow yourself to eat on your cheat meals than you’d normally avoid? Pizza? Ice cream?