Diet culture can be especially toxic in January when everyone under the sun is trying to get healthier or lose weight in the new year. But nutritionist Jess Sepel says there are better resolutions out there to make.
The new year often means making resolutions to be healthier, fitter, stronger. I understand the anxiety that comes with it, having battled disordered eating and negative body image for 10 years. Diet culture can be especially toxic in January, as people scramble to ‘un-do’ a holiday season of drinking and eating.
But while many people believe this involves the need to fad diet or detoxing, it doesn’t. Dieting isn’t the key to having a healthier year ahead. In fact, it can lead to unhealthy relationships with food as well as nutritional deficiencies if the diet is focused on eliminating certain food groups (I’m looking at you, keto). And detoxing? Your liver and kidneys already do that, rather superbly I might add.
Instead, the new year is a great time to reassess your relationship with food and consider how you can improve on this. Here are some of my favourite ‘resolutions’ to take into the new year, and they’re so simple you should find them easy to achieve.
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Eat more whole foods
Focusing on foods rich in protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fibre and vitamins is so important in maintaining your health. Include plenty of leafy greens for their nutrient content, as well as fruits that are high in antioxidants. My go-to fruit for this is Australian Blueberries, as they’re an amazing superfood and something which I incorporate into my meal plan regularly. It’s also important to include whole grains, lean sources of protein, and fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds. These will fuel you to feel your best.
Try to cook more
Start small, with easy, quick meals and go from there! It doesn’t have to be a chore, think of cooking as a chance to fuel your body with nutritious, whole foods that you love.
Drink more water
Such a simple resolution, but so effective. Water is the key to a happy, healthy body! It supports so many critical functions of your body and staying hydrated will support your energy levels all day long.
Move your body gently
Moving your body shouldn’t be a punishment or a chore. Focus on finding a form of exercise you love and enjoy, whether it be walking, yoga, or high intensity training. And make sure to take rest days, they are just as important as exercising!
Jessica Sepel is a clinical nutritionist, best-selling author and founder of JSHealth. Find her on Instagram @jshealth.