Ask a nutritionist – Struggling to stick to New Year’s resolutions?

Our team of dietitians run both group and 1-1 nutritional advice services across the city. We frequently get asked questions about weight loss by our clients which may have been picked up in the media or passed on from friends. So we thought we would write a series of Q&A blogs to provide you with accurate and informed answers to some of your nutritional queries.

Should I totally avoid high fat and high sugar foods?
Chocolate chunksAlmost half of resolutions made on the 1st January are left by the wayside by the end of the second week. Often this is because the goals we set ourselves are unrealistic and unachievable. Losing weight is a favourite resolution, yet we know the reality is that it’s simply not that easy. Taking some time to think about the steps you need to put in place to achieve your goal (or get back on track with it) can be really helpful. You can’t lose weight overnight, without planning, so think about how you are going to acheive your goal. Couple it with setting yourself a realistic weight loss target and you’re far more likely to succeed.

Therefore, telling yourself you are never, ever going to eat chocolate or crisps or drink alcohol again isn’t realistic. In fact, by forbidding certain foods, they become more desirable so it’s more likely you’ll give in, eat more, feel guilty and give up altogether! An ‘all or nothing’ approach is unlikely to lead to long term success or a healthy, balanced diet.

Instead, include these foods but in healthy portion sizes. If you’re used to eating a bar of chocolate every day, begin by cutting down to just 2 or 3 squares. Or have a bar, but only once a week. That way you will really savour the taste and enjoy the treat. Eating mindfully – to stop and take time to focus on what you are eating, instead of just grazing in front of the TV can help with satiety and lead to eating less to feel satisified.

Additionally, put a few things in place to support your intentions. Minimise temptation by not keeping unhealthy snacks at home, and practice saying no to family and friends when they offer you something you don’t want. Give yourself permission to enjoy a treat from time to time and don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go according to plan. Many people who successfully lose and maintain a healthy weight do include crisps and chocolate in their diet, but stick to healthy portion sizes. Ultimately, a healthy balanced diet is a diet that you can maintain for the long term.

If you feel like you need a bit more support in achieving your goals, our nutrition team offer group programmes and 1-1 sessions. For more information give us a call on 01273 431703 or email healthyweight@bhfood.org.uk.

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