January 3, 2024

New Year is a good time for many to reflect on the past year and plan for how the next 12 months will look. It will be different for all. 

We suggest you take some quiet time, sit down with a pen and paper, or digital if you prefer, and write down what you want to achieve and how you want to look and feel this time next year.

Just remember this is not a competition so be realistic in what you can and can’t do and achieve. This will take pressure off you. Do be bold and don’t be afraid to add some stretch.

A realistic goal is to be at the best weight you’ve been in the last 5 years.

Here’s our top 24 tips to eat, move and think your way to achieving your goals.

1.Prioritise protein in all meals and snacks. Ensure you have the fridge stocked with full fat dairy products (if you can tolerate), eggs, favourite meats and seafood, including left-over cold cuts. Protein will make you feel fuller for longer which helps with weight control.

2.Good fats are essential for skin, hair, nails, brain. Best sources include avocados, olive oil, coconut, ghee, fat on meat and fish. Small portions of nuts and seeds but only if you can control your portion size.

3.Avoid refined trans fats which are man-made (not from nature like olive oil) and are possibly linked to inflammation and heart disease. If you have any in your pantry the best favour you can do for your health is to throw them out and never allow them back into your home. When dining out, do not choose deep-fried or wok-fried meals. 

4.Eat fatty fish a few times per week to get a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids which helps reduce inflammation and is good for heart and brain health including dementia.

5.Stay away from empty calorie foods which are mainly highly processed foods. They often contain sugar, highly refined oil, salt, preservatives and artificial sweeteners, colours and flavours. These foods include baked goods, fast food, some frozen and pre-prepared meals, donuts, sauces, lollies and chips. 

6.Some people suffer from digestive problems, have just been ill or have struggled with their weight so the gut microbiota may be disrupted. To help your gut bacteria, foods including yoghurt and sauerkraut can help your gut repair.

7.Eating more low carb vegetables and fruits will top up fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs for general health. 

8.Add flavour with herbs and spices to your meals. Why not buy a different fresh herb every week and incorporate into your cooking? Add to egg meals, salads, roast vegetables, marinate meat and seafood and even add to jugs of chilled water.

9.Drink water to stay ahead of hydration and do your overall health a favour. It’s calorie free. Keep chilled water in the fridge and filled water bottles in your bag, car and on your desk.

10. Avoid sugary drinks like fruit juices, sweetened teas, flavoured coffees and milks. Water and sparkling water with ice and lemon or lime is the perfect refresher. A soda stream could become your best investment.

11.Black coffee is loaded with antioxidants so don’t be afraid to enjoy a couple of cups in the morning. If you don’t like it black then add some pure cream, tastes delicious and is very low carb.

12.Get good quality sleep to help with appetite control and making good food choices. Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and making poor food choices that are higher in fat, sugar and calories that just leads to weight gain.

13.Have more alcohol-free days (AFD) than days that you drink alcohol each week. Perhaps Monday to Thursday are AFD and allow for the weekend to have some alcohol. Weight loss is easier without alcohol. Include this when you write your goal plan.

14.Winding down in the evenings with soft lighting will help with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin to ensure a better night’s sleep. Blue light blocking glasses may also be helpful if you can’t reduce your night-time screen time. Alternatively, about an hour before going to bed, do something different than looking at a screen (TV, computer or mobile). Read a book is a great start.

15.A morning walk or run can boost your vitamin D levels and set your circadian rhythm to ensure a better night’s sleep. Walking with a friend will also tick the social engagement for the day. Perhaps you need a dog?

16.Mobility and balance become more important as we age. Try some gentle stretching, yoga practice, Pilates movements, tai chi and stair climbing.

17.Resistance exercise using machines, bands, weights or bodyweight will help strengthen muscles and improve body composition (lean to fat ratio). Resistance exercise leads to improvements in metabolic health and metabolic rate as well as improved insulin sensitivity which provide many benefits for weight management and health.

18.Track and measure what you eat and drink. It’s a great way to see what foods are working well for your weight and what foods aren’t. We tend to underestimate what we have eaten so by writing it down (everything) we make ourselves much more accountable.

19.Reducing stress in your life can improve your weight and health outcomes enormously. Stress can affect mental health, blood sugar levels, food choices, ill health, and fat burning. Find a way and time each day to spend meditating, reading quietly, breathe work and walking in nature. Switch off and clear your head and your thoughts.

20.Journaling is another way to clear your head. We talk to ourselves far more than we talk to others. Problem is that we are often very hard on ourselves. Talk to yourself as if you are talking to your best friend. Be kind. Be thankful. Writing down your thoughts allows you to go back and is also very helpful to help you move forward.

21.Humans are social animals so surround yourself with family and friends that bring you joy. Protect yourself from those who drag you down. Socialisation improves mental and emotional health, brain health, mood, self-esteem, trust in relationships and sense of belonging. 

22.Being grateful has the benefits of one big vitamin pill. Having gratitude thoughts helps improve sleep and mood and leads to reduced anxiety and stress. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on why you are grateful and who you are grateful for. Write it down.

23.Setting goals is a way to measure where you want to be and what you want to achieve. Having a vision of how you want to look, and feel is a powerful reminder to you. Be honest and realistic when you write down your vision statement. Display it in a prominent place where you can read it daily. 

24.Get a coach. If you think you may struggle with actioning some or all these steps and would be better off with someone to support you and hold you accountable, then our coaches, or a coaching program, can be a great investment. Think of your favourite sports person. Do they have a coach? 

Get in touch with us today and ensure that the year ahead will be full of health and happiness for you to be at your best.