We’re three days into the New Year, and many of us are trying everything in our power to stick to the resolutions we’ve made for 2019. Lifestyle shifts, like hitting the gym every day, doing a cleanse or starting a new fad diet, are high on most lists. And how could they not be? We’re unstoppable in the New Year – or at least for a few weeks, right?
But what happens come February? Diets don’t work, motivation fades and willpower is limited.
According to Tribole and Resch, founders of Intuitive Eating (2012), diets have shown to cause biological damage. Chronic dieting …
– Teaches the body to retain more fat
– Slows the rate of weight loss
– Decreases metabolism
– Increases binges and cravings
– Causes satiety cues to atrophy
– Causes body shape to change
As you may have guessed, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I am, however, a big fan of sustainable behaviour change.
Rather than continuing the cycle of yo-yo dieting, use your new found motivation to make change for good by rethinking your approach to food and nutrition.
A great place to start is by looking at what and how you eat. But before we change what you eat let's take a look at how you eat.
You may be wondering why that matters. Or how it could ever take precedence over what you eat.
But trust me – it’s more important than you may think.
Your body’s ability to digest and metabolize food goes beyond the nutritional breakdown of the food itself; the way you eat impacts your digestion, energy level, weight and productivity.
So instead of going on a diet and restricting your intake, let's take a look at your relationship with food – let’s take a look at how you eat.
Give it a try. At least for a week.
Week one focus – HOW you eat
- Be aware of your meal. Relax and take some time with it. Use your senses to see, taste and smell what you’re eating. Finding satisfaction and pleasure in food is okay. Tip: remove yourself from your desk and take a deep breath at the start of your meal.
- Share a meal to slow your pace. Conversing with co-workers, friends and loved ones will naturally slow the rate at which you eat, helping you to be more present with your meal and in tune with your hunger cues.
- Take a look at your eating frequency. Ideally, you’re eating eat every 3-4 hours. Small frequent meals help control ghrelin (your hunger hormone), which influences how you eat – mindfully or in a chaotic frenzy. If you want to have control over how you eat you need to control your ghrelin level. The simplest way to do that is by monitoring your eating frequency. Tip: it may help to set an alarm throughout the day until your hunger cues strengthen and eventually become your reminder.
Week two focus – WHAT you eat
When you’re ready, let the focus widen to incorporate what you eat.
This is where you can begin to evaluate and adjust:
– Calories + macronutrient profile
– Where you source your food (dining out, prepared, packaged, raw)
– Cooking method used
We’ll dive into what you eat in a future post, but remember, health is a daily practice, not a January reset.
About the Author
Kelly Powers, MA, RD is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Food Studies. She takes a holistic approach to nutrition and health, helping her clients implement sustainable behaviour change to improve their life and relationship with food. Kelly is a recipe developer with a food blog which highlights real food, simple recipes and her life in Rome.
Learn more about Kelly and her services here –
Facebook: Kelly Powers – Registered Dietitian