“Many of us set New Year’s resolutions, but despite our best intentions, it’s thought that by 14th January – otherwise known as Quitters Day – most of us will have already given up on our healthy habits,” says Alex Glover, senior nutritionist at Holland & Barrett.
See his top tips below to push past the temptation of quitting and stick to your wellness goals throughout the year.
Find easy (and delicious) recipes
“In general, it’s important to plan your meals ahead of time. Being organised is key, so from breakfast through to dinner, if you plan your meals in advance, it’ll help avoid the temptation of getting a takeaway or eating ready meals.
“If you’re trying to add more plant-based meals to your diet, or if you’re going fully vegan, my number one tip is to plan ahead and find quick but nutritious vegan dishes to ease your way into your new lifestyle (it’s all too easy to switch back to old habits if a recipe takes too much time and effort to pull together).
“Most importantly though, make sure you enjoy the meals you have planned – this way, you will be much less likely to quit!”
Do your research
“Whether it’s committing to Veganuary, getting your workout routine down, or ditching junk food, the number of products on offer can make the whole process intimidating. My advice is to do your research and find products that are right for you, that fit within your budget.
“Think about what it is that you’re really looking to achieve. For instance, if you are trying to introduce more plant-based products into your lifestyle but you follow a keto diet, a personal favourite is the Keto Hana Granola – the perfect breakfast to kick-start your day.”
Don’t over-do it
“Make sure you are still getting your nutrients in and not pushing your body too hard with unrealistic goals. Failing to give our bodies enough rest and support between workouts can result in us becoming tired and demotivated, so being realistic will help to keep you on track with your New Year goals.
“If you want to eat healthier, make sure you’re still getting a balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in your diet to give your body the fuel it really needs. You don’t have to eat steamed kale with every meal (and you’ll likely turn to bad habits once you get bored of this!) – instead include a variety of colourful healthy foods to keep things interesting.”
Mix it up
“Having a workout routine, or any form of routine exercise is brilliant, however, switching it up could not only allow you to discover a newfound love for something, but it could also have many benefits for your health and wellbeing.
“Different workouts have different benefits. For example, cardio can help with overall stamina, fitness, strength, and even sleep, whilst yoga can improve our strength, flexibility and breathing.
“Introducing new physical activities is important for the mind and body, but make sure to schedule in your workouts for the week. If you don’t use a schedule, it can be harder to stay committed to achieving your fitness goals.”
Listen to your body
“Differentiate between cravings and hunger. Sometimes we confuse cravings with actual hunger, which can lead to excessive snacking on certain foods which may not be good for us. To avoid quitting, a good habit to get into is tuning in with your body to understand when we’re hungry, and when we’re just craving something.
“If so, you can learn to snack on nutritious, filling foods instead of empty calories.
“And if it is that you’re craving something on the unhealthy side, allow yourself a small portion of whatever it is to satisfy it.”