Dietician Laura Clark

I was amused to see the trend #buynothingday emerge via twitter on the now renowned #blackfriday at the time. As we are about to enter into another year I wondered if this was time to start the trend #nodietjanuary? In my opinion we need to be more holistic and realistic about our health and in particular our weight in 2017. Here are my top tips to create the right trend for you:

Start on Christmas Eve!

It is ultimately our thoughts that drive our behaviour – so if we think that getting into the Christmas Spirit gives us permission to eat and drink whatever we like for 2 weeks straight then we may be a little heavy hearted come Jan 2nd. I’m not saying don’t relax, enjoy and indulge but it is often the thought process of ‘well I’m bound to gain weight no matter what I do’ that makes us feel powerless, creating a ‘what the heck’ attitude.

You are not powerless! Savour each and every morsel of Christmas delights – but don’t use this festive season as an excuse to compete with your digestive system. Neither of you will win in the end.

Don’t say ‘It’s only me’

Frequently I see people, but especially parents who have placed themselves at the bottom of the ladder. Children, work, elderly parents, partners, the cat all have their needs met first. STOP! You are important – it’s not just ‘only you’ – you deserve to feel good and function well for optimal wellbeing – don’t give yourself sloppy seconds – get up that ladder and make the right choices for you alongside everyone else.

Chose books that inspire you, not depress you.

Everybody can achieve weight loss, but keeping that weight off in the long term is always more challenging. So we have to look at sustainability; eating has to fit in with the other parts of your life that are there for the long term – your job and family for example!

Dietary changes should be inclusive and not ostracise you. Keep meals simple, healthy, tasty and quick to cook. Steer clear of fad diets with big promises and a lack of food groups! There is no wonder ingredient that will solve it all and unbalanced, detox style diets will likely shoot your metabolism to pieces. Slow metabolic rates brought on by big calorie deficits and large weight losses quickly, are a sure fire way to regain more weight than you started with. Your body instead needs to burn fat and maintain muscle mass through small deficits, healthy eating and targeted activity.

Get scribbling!

Whilst hectic and full of entertaining, the holiday period does often give rise to some quiet times too. Get a pen and paper whilst watching that Christmas movie and jot down your day to day routine – a bit like a flow chart. Then with a sparkly red pen highlight any bits that directly relate to when and where you access food and drink. Now have a think… is there anything you could do differently? Or anything you could plan better for in advance? It is often our reactive lifestyles and the spontaneity of food choices that makes them far from ideal.

Look out for new science

I know the newspapers can seem depressing and contradictory but look beyond them to the real science behind the scenes – with over 60,000 nutrition research papers published every year it is exciting what the future holds.

With updates via the lecnutrition blog, expect to see more coming out about the role of bacteria in our guts, personalised nutrition and a deeper understanding of our genes, to name but a few topics. We know that one size does not fit all, that we all behave

Individually when it comes to metabolism and how nutrients are used within the body. We can now confidently say that our bacterial buddies – all 100 trillion of them have a profound impact on our health and weight management. We’re also decoding genes and understanding our potential to influence them. All in all in 2017 its time to get personal!

You can see Laura exploring some popular diet trends on BBC2’s Further Back in Time for Dinner in the New Year.

Keep up to date with Laura’s site, blog, FBTwitter and Instagram.

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