By Ernesta Stripeikaite
Nutritional Therapist

We might be getting excited about or weary of the New Year’s resolutions, but regardless a new year always brings the possibility of a new start, and who doesn’t want to feel and look better?

However, the New Year’s resolutions have a reputation of being unsustainable, and it is time to change this. Take a fresh new look at the resolutions in 2016 by simplifying your approach and being gentle to yourself. 

Be realistic

Everyone has heard the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra, but let’s be honest – nothing changes overnight. Just because the calendar shows 2016, we do not instantly turn into new versions of ourselves. Setting goals is great and essential for success, but they need to be realistic. It takes work and commitment to become healthier and fitter, so it is best not to get too fired up about this as you can then burn out quickly. Instead, keep your approach balanced by acknowledging your current health/fitness situation and focusing on small steps towards your goals.

Make it a lifestyle

The only way to have long-term sustainable health and fitness changes is to make it your lifestyle. Short fixes, diets and fads simply do not work. Once you give a healthy lifestyle a try and start looking and feeling better, more energized, clear minded, with glowing skin and shiny hair - you will never want to go back! You might get funny looks from friends when you refuse another drink and get a glass of water, but it all will be worth it when people start asking what you do to look and feel amazing.

Keep it balanced

You don’t have to start going to the gym 5 times a week, cook all your meals from scratch and make a green juice every day. All that might sound great, but how long is this going to last? Some people do well going ‘cold-turkey’, but for the majority of us this is likely not very sustainable. Instead try balancing gym sessions with relaxing walks in nature or nights in with a book, make a couple of green juices every week, but enjoy a glass of good quality wine now and then. Finding the balance will make you feel happier and look better over time too.

Keep it simple

Balance and simplicity go hand in hand. Truly, you do not need the latest slimming shake or the most popular juice recipe. You might not even need a gym membership! To sustain your health goals throughout the year, the simplest changes can have the most profound effects. Focus on wholesome single ingredients for healthy meals, load up your plate with vegetables and make sure to have a good quality source of protein and fat at every meal – that is the basic formula for healthy eating. As for exercise, incorporating just a bit more movement into your day, like getting off the bus a few stops earlier, will increase your circulation and oxygenation of the brain, and eventually you will want to take it to the next level to feel even better.