At the beginning of January, all the gyms are packed and diets are running full steam ahead, but once things get back to the regular grind, it is all too easy to slip into old habits. So how do you change that? With all the options out there, how do you make positive eating habits that will stick with you all through 2016? How do you find something that actually works?
You keep it simple, and you keep it real.
1. Stop Snacking
This is an incredibly tricky thing to do, but put your heart and soul into it, and fight for it with everything you’ve got. When you’re making dinner and you’re tempted to snack—even on veggies—don’t. When you’re bored in the middle of the afternoon and want to grab a snack from the kitchen, don’t. When you see the Christmas treats still spread out over the dining room table, and you have the urge to grab and gobble before lunch time arrives, don’t.
This will not be easy. This will be just as hard as it ever was. A new year or a new resolution does not magically take the challenge away. But you can do it. You just need to want to. Realize how important this is, how much of your food success depends on it. Realize that this is not just another rule for you to follow blindly, robbing you of enjoyment and pleasure. Rather, this is a crucial tool which will allow you to enjoy your food more, to make it more valued and precious. This will prevent food abuse, and it will bring you happiness. So stop snacking, and start living.
2. Start Listening to Yourself
Your body knows what it needs. It always has, but recently you may not have had the time or patience to listen to it. You may find yourself being influenced by outside factors such as delicious tasting food or tempting desserts, and the groans of your already full stomach go unheeded. But this only leads to pain, misery and abuse. So don’t do it. You can read all of the health books you want, go on all the diets you can find, but nothing will work until you learn to listen to yourself, until you start to respect your body and become friends with it. Find out what makes it comfortable and happy, and then do that.
This will be difficult at first. Your body may not be used to having its voice heard, and it may be very quiet to begin with. So listen carefully. When you reach the point in your meal where you could keep going, but you could also stop, put down your fork and ask yourself, how do I feel? What does my body need right now? What is it telling me? Choose less over more, because less is more. It will leave you feeling energized and proud of yourself and pumped for the future. Listen to your body, and it will love you forever. And you will start to love yourself.
As we begin this New Year, this new adventure, go ahead and try out these Golden Rules. These two simple changes can drastically alter your entire outlook on yourself and food, however, they are by no means easy to attain. They will take an enormous amount of devotion and desire, slip-ups and retries, all the while loving yourself both gently and determinedly. If you want to succeed, you will have to really want it. But once you do succeed (and if you put your mind to it, nothing in the world can stop you), it will be a world of difference. And your New Year will never be the same.