Has the re-containment and the holiday season without a gathering undermined your morale and strained your eating habits? Never mind, a return to routine and some pro tips will help you get back on track!
▶ My 10 tips
1. Establishrealistic goals
Do you want to improve your eating habits? Let’s go with realistic goals that will be easier to achieve. For example, if you want to increase your vegetable consumption, here is your path:
My objective : fill half of my plate with vegetables for a meal of the day, noon or evening (a single meal is more realistic to start than the two meals of the day).
Determine what will make it easier to reach your goal: I will buy enough vegetables, I will prepare them ahead of time, I will make vegetable soup on the weekend when I have more time.
List the obstacles that can hinder the achievement of the objective and immediately find how to get around them. For example :
– If the vegetables are expensive, I’ll turn to root and frozen vegetables.
– If my family doesn’t like vegetables, I’ll find new ways to cook them (sautéed with ginger, garnished with grilled almonds, au gratin, etc.)
– If I don’t have enough time to prepare them, I will involve the whole family in preparing raw vegetables or I will get some vegetables already ready to cook (soup mix, grated carrots, etc.)
2. Avoid overly radical approaches
Dietary approaches that eliminate foods or food groups are not recommended. If your approach cannot be followed by the whole family, if it prevents you from ordering a restaurant, it is because it is radical. We often sell diets as a way of life when we don’t. A lifestyle does not involve calculating the number of carbohydrates ingested daily. The Mediterranean diet is a way of life, the ketogenic diet is not!
3. Findhis real hunger
It’s never easy to find your real hunger signals again. Before eating, rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how hungry you feel. Try to reconnect with your physiological signals of hunger and satiety. Can you leave any leftovers on the plate?
4. Decreaseits consumptionadded sugar
Sugar is hiding in many foods, even those with a salty flavor. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting your intake of free sugars (added and sugars contained in fruit juice) to 50 g per day, or the equivalent of 12 tbsp. teaspoon per day. If that sounds like a lot, that number is easily exceeded. By limiting the consumption of processed foods and by cooking cookies and homemade muffins, we make sure to reduce our consumption (for recipes for less sweet homemade desserts, read my column of January 4).
5. Moderatehis alcohol consumption
The pandemic and the lockdown have had an effect on alcohol intake. A survey found that nearly a quarter of people who drink alcohol have increased their consumption. Get back to your pre-pandemic habits by drinking only a few evenings, on weekends for example.
6. Break the habitsnacking in the evening
It is not a problem to eat in the evening if your hunger is real, but it is clear that many eat in the evening out of habit rather than out of physiological hunger. Before you sit down to listen to your favorite show, ask yourself the question, am I really hungry for these chips or for these cookies or is it rather because this well-deserved moment of rest rhymes with snacking? Food, especially sugary and fatty foods, provides comfort and soothes. Instead, try to enjoy an apple cinnamon herbal tea or a glass of hot milk.
7. Eat variety
Variety is a guarantee of health. We often tend to cook the same recipes and eat the same fruits and vegetables. This year, make room for more variety. Try new foods, cook new recipes. Check out my menu planner with lots of recipes every week that meet rigorous nutritional criteria while providing the grocery list, adapted for the number of people in your household.
8. Keep a journalof his progress
It is very motivating to write down the progress you are making. For example, you walk 10 minutes a day, but over the weeks you increase to 20 and then to 30 minutes? It’s a big step forward and keeping a record of your improvements can go a long way in helping you stay motivated.
9. Move …for pleasure
A third of Quebecers reduced their practice of physical activity with the pandemic. However, the options for moving online are numerous. Find the activities you enjoy. Move for fun, not to burn calories. Discover the new Énergie Cardio virtual training platform.
10. Consult a nutritionist
Nutrition experts and nutritionists are an exceptional help in helping you achieve your goals. Studies show that getting support in your health approach facilitates lasting changes. By opting for a nutritionist, you are opting for expertise. Consult the Professional Order of Dietitians of Quebec (OPDQ) to find nutritionists who practice near you.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my [email protected] 1-800-268-7116