The week between Christmas and New Year is always a bit strange. It’s the lull between two big celebrations although that is somewhat curtailed right now. This is a good time to focus on you and prepare yourself for the New Year. Yesterday, I wrote about Recharging and today, I want to talk about Nourish. Nourish and Recharge are two of the four elements that underpin my philosophy for helping my clients achieve their goals, along with Active and Focus. I’ll talk about them in due course.
If you’re thinking about going on a diet or signing up for one of the various challenges on social media, try the tips below. I believe cutting out the ‘bad’ things in our diet is a bit like trying a different tissue to blow your nose in order to treat a cold. How you feel is not necessarily down to the ‘bad’ things in your diet, more an absence of the things that will energise you and make you feel lighter again.
How will you feel if you could still eat chocolate, biscuits or crisps but only have them on rare occasions and enjoy them or choose not to have them at all because you no longer feel you need them? Sounds good? Read on.
What is Nourish?
Nourish is about giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly, feel energised all day long and help you get to where you want to be. When I think of Nourish, I think of three things:
- HOW you eat
- WHAT you eat
HOW you eat
Our natural reaction when we want to change our diets is to cut out all the rubbish we’ve been eating, sometimes try to cut out entire food groups or sign up to the latest trendy diets or challenges on social media. The problem with these is that the focus is too much on following a set of rules and that you won’t learn anything and tend to revert back to ‘normal’ when it’s finished. Even if you have achieved great results from it.
You can actually make a big difference to your diet by changing HOW you eat as much as WHAT you eat. Doing things like sitting away from your work station, chewing each mouthful of food at least 10 times before swallowing and taking a sip of water will make you feel fuller quicker. Chewing your food more and stopping eating when you begin to feel full will naturally reduce your portion size.
We’re programmed to finish what’s on our plates but if we stop sooner, and put the rest in a tub to have later, we’ll reduce how much we put on our plates in the first place. Waiting 10 minutes after finishing each meal will also stop you from overeating. We eat way too fast and often reach for something else as our brain hasn’t got the signal yet from the stomach to say that it’s full.
WHAT you eat
We automatically want to cut out the wrong things we’ve been eating but that usually results in us craving them even more. Instead of cutting things out, what if we added the things in that are missing? That can often reap the greatest rewards.
I don’t want to delve too much into what to eat right now as we all have different tastes and requirements and I’d rather do that with you if we work together. Things like adding in vegetables, getting the right amount of protein and aiming to get nutrients from as many natural sources as you can rather than processed are good places to start and will make a huge difference.
How many of these do you have a day? There is no definitive amount of water we should drink and it seems there’s no actual scientific evidence behind drinking 2 litres. Current government recommendations are to have between 6 and 8 glasses of fluid per day, including coffee and tea. Drink a little too much water then it’s likely you’ll end up running to the toilet more often. Not bad exercise really!
A sensible approach is to drink when you feel thirsty although the problem I’ve seen with that is we often misread the signals and reach for a sugary snack where some water would suffice.
Perhaps a useful approach is to have a glass of water at your desk and take regular sips throughout the day to help maintain focus.