Mid-Year Food Resolutions
Feeling the mid-year slump? You’re not the first and you won’t be the last. It’s common to feel a lack of energy for your normal routine. Sometimes we need to mix things up, refocus and choose the foods that will keep us energised and feeling good throughout the day.
New Year is not the only time to make resolutions; you can make them at any time of the year! There are so many simple changes that you can make to your food and eating habits that will drastically help you avoid the slump and, most importantly, improve your health.
It is much better to make smaller, more manageable changes that will keep you motivated and reshape the way that you approach food. Here are some top tips.
Eat more Dark Greens
Let’s start with an easy one. Eating more dark greens isn’t something that will drastically alter what you’re eating – just add them to what you’re already having. For example, swap your iceberg lettuce for spinach or add kale as a side dish to your grilled chicken. Easy!
A popular trend these days is to swap pasta for ‘courgettie’. You can still cook your favourite pasta dish, but with one difference – there’s no actual pasta. It is thought to still satisfy your need for carbs in the sense that it still makes you feel full. You can just avoid all the calories that come with pasta.
For inspiration check out our Courgettie with Creamy Avocado recipe.
Avoid Trans fats and Saturated Fats
This is a very important tip to avoid feeling sluggish and managing your cholesterol levels. Wherever possible avoid trans fats and saturated fats.
Foods are high in saturated fats – bacon, meat, lard, oils, sour cream, butter, cream, coconut, dairy products.
Foods are high in trans fats – packaged foods, fast food, baked goods (like doughnuts), crisps and breakfast cereals.
Look for the more helpful monounsaturated fats found in canola oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. These are much healthier options for you!
Eat more Yoghurt
Enjoy the sound of the ice cream van? Well, instead of a heavy and fatty ice cream why don’t you opt for frozen yoghurt instead? It is lower in calories and full of natural probiotics, making it a much healthier option. Great for breakfast too with berries (the darker the better as they contain more antioxidants) or even as a snack, especially if you get the sweat cravings mid-afternoon.
Plan your Meals
It’s time to get organised! Plan your meals. Write out a menu for several days at a time, and then get excited about it! Put this plan on the fridge door and enjoy the process of knowing dinner is sorted. If you know you are going to be busy one evening then make double off a healthy meal and freeze it so there’s no stress (and no excuses)!
Consider your drinks a bit more carefully
Who’s a sucker for a strawberry Ribena? Aren’t we all! What you choose to drink can make a surprising difference to the calories you’re consuming. It can also affect your hydration level – which is intrinsically linked to energy levels. Even by just swapping a few of your sugary drinks for a glass of water you will be cutting your sugar intake down and upping your hydration.
Enjoy a Good Breakfast
Some people just aren’t ‘breakfast people’ but it is so essential for your energy levels and for boosting your metabolism. By rejigging your morning routine you can learn to prioritise breakfast. Setting your alarm for just ten minutes earlier than normal could mean fitting in a healthy breakfast to start the day. Slow releasing carbs like oats or wholemeal toast with a source of protein like eggs is the ideal way to start the day.
Swap White for Wholemeal
Wholemeal is what we call whole grains that have been ground down to flour. So, replacing white bread and pasta with whole-grain versions is perfect. When we consume white carbs they give us a quick burst of energy and then what is not used ends up being stored as fat. However, when we consume wholegrain carbohydrates they are released much slower and therefore give us longer-lasting fuel. Whole grains are also packed with fibre.
Think more about the QUALITY of the calories you’re consuming
We are hoping that it won’t come as too much of a shock to you when we say that 2,000 calories worth of chocolate cake won’t fuel your body in the same way as 2,000 calories of meat, vegetables and fruit would. Your body digests certain types of nutrients differently, using them for all sorts of bodily functions: building muscle, transporting nutrients, fuelling various organs or muscles, or storing energy as fat for later use.
So if you’re wanting to reboot your workouts and get back on track with those fitness goals, think clearly about HOW you’re fuelling your body.
Alcohol in Moderation
Decreasing the amount of alcohol that you drink will do wonders for your health and make you feel a lot better and a lot less sluggish!
Whether we like it or not, alcohol is a toxin and has no nutritional value at all. Anything beyond the recommended daily allowance (3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women) can have harmful effects. Lower your intake and see your energy levels fly!
Good luck with your resolutions!
You don’t have to take on all of these points. However, they are all good ideas to get you thinking more about what you are eating and avoid that mid-year SLUMP! By changing some of your eating habits you will be contributing more towards a healthy lifestyle.