OH! Magazine - Australian Version December 2018 - Page 14

( NUTRITION ) SET YOURSELF UP FOR A HEALTHY NEW YEAR Dr Joanna shares her top tips for a healthy new year. new year is always a great time to think about getting healthier, but what should we be doing? It’s easy to get focused on the wrong thing with all the misinformation out there, or to ignore areas of your life that may, in fact, have considerable impact on your health and wellbeing. A Making vague resolutions to eat less sugar or do more exercise really won’t cut it. Getting more focused, setting proper goals will help you feel different next year. Here are five tips to set you on the path to a healthier 2019. 1. Embrace whole foods and cut the junk The essence of how to best feed us humans is well understood. It’s only the details we continue to debate, and research grows at a rapid pace to sort these intricacies out. Meantime here’s the deal – you need to eat a wide variety of whole foods, including plenty of plant foods, while minimising the junk. It really is that simple. 14 OH! MAGAZINE ( DECEMBER 2018 ) Focus therefore, on limiting your intake of fast food, ultra-processed food, foods loaded with added sugar, refined fats (e.g. vegetable oil) and refined carbs (e.g. biscuits, cakes, burger buns and pastries). Instead, enjoy meals and snacks based on veggies, fruit, wholegrains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh meat, seafood, dairy or dairy alternatives, and use unrefined oils such as extra virgin olive oil, which boasts proven health benefits. Do this and you’ll find it easier to control how much you eat because the food will be packed with nutrients. If you have weight loss goals, consider adding one or two fast days into your week, or follow the more conventional means of restricting your food intake by a little every day; cutting out snacks might be all you need to do. 2. Make water your principal drink We do not need fancy hydrating drinks, nor is your body designed to get a significant number of our kilojoules from fluids. Chewing solid foods is important to trigger appetite controls, so getting too many of them in fluid form messes with the system and makes it harder to turn down the cues to eat. We are designed to drink water and always have been, so aim to drink a glass of water on waking, and then at least one every hour – more when it’s hot and while exercising. You can, of course, drink too much. If you’re having to run to the loo every half hour then you are drinking too much! The goal is to generate pale straw-coloured urine – that’s your signal that you are well hydrated. 3. Move more and sit less Unfortunately, today’s world is more challenging on our brains than our body, at least for most of us. Unless you have an active job, you need to consciously build activity and movement into your day. Sitting for more than eight hours a day is highly detrimental to health and wellbeing, so think of ways to break up the time spent sitting, and build more