There’s something about the New Year that makes everyone want to be just that little bit healthier and New Year’s resolutions are often focused on nutritional tweaks to lead a healthier diet.
Everywhere you look there will be “healthy” offering everything from clearer skin, to a six pack, or a bikini body for the forthcoming summer. Don’t be sucked in these tactics and don’t fall for any of the following nutritional tricks:
1. Low Fat
Foods labelled “low-fat” can often seem too good to be true, offering the same taste but for reduced fat levels and fewer calories, and that’s because they are. When manufacturers reduce the level of fat in a food, this will often sacrifice taste which is why low-fat foods can be loaded with addictive’s, extra sugar and other nasty ingredients. Try eating smaller portions of full-fat foods and check out this article all about good fats and bad fats.
Ever since the Atkins diet burst onto the nutrition scene in 1972, there’s been an increasing appetite for diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates as a means for weight loss. However our bodies need all forms of macronutrient to function properly – carbohydrates are essential for providing our bodies with energy. As a rule you should never consider an eating plan which cuts out an entire food group. If you are really focused on your carbohydrate intake then the best advice we can give is to be food aware and do your research in to the best times to eat carbohydrates so your body can process them in the most efficient way possible.
While for some people avoiding gluten can be a matter of life and death, there’s a growing number of people are adopting a diet that avoids gluten as they believe it helps them to lose weight or be less bloated. From our research, at this point in time we can't find any scientific studies that back up this claim, so keep in mind that giving up gluten is not a fast track ticket to weight loss - some gluten free alternatives can in fact be higher in fat, sugar and calories to make up for the lack of gluten.
The number of people living a vegan lifestyle has increased a whopping 360% in the past 10 years. Of course there are obvious ethical and environmental benefits to going vegan, but being a vegan isn’t necessarily a one way ticket to healthsville. A lot of vegan processed food exist, so if going vegan is something you are interested in, make sure that you stick to whole and unprocessed foods.
If you’re still really keen on setting some resolutions this year, then why not make them less based on nutrition and diets and more about moving more and increasing your activity levels. Only ever embark on an eating plan that you believe you can sustain and remember that there is no such thing as a quick fix.