Many people start off the year with the right intention: to be healthy. Unfortunately, where most fall off the wagon is when they head back to work and are tempted to fall back into their old eating or exercise habits.
Weight loss, being healthy, quitting smoking and spending more time with family and friends are the four most common New Year’s resolutions Australians make each year. However, only eight per cent of people actually stick with their resolution, highlighting how easy it is to come unstuck when it comes to achieving these goals.
Our data shows that Australians are progressively moving towards healthier eating all-year round, with orders for salads, wraps and fruit rising from 15 per cent in 2016 to 20 per cent in 2017. However, January and February are clearly the pinnacle months for health-conscious habits, with one of our health-focused suppliers seeing a 500 per cent increase in orders last February compared to any other month. From March however, when people are back at work and their regular routine, this number dramatically decreases.
To help people stick to their New Year’s health-related resolutions when they return to work, here are 10 tips:
1. Cut back on portion sizes
The easiest way to lose weight is to just eat a bit less of it. Don’t go back for seconds. Don’t eat your partner’s leftovers, instead use them for the next day’s lunch.
2. Eat more often
It sounds like a contradiction to the previous point, but eating light, frequent meals can curb your appetite, maintain your energy levels throughout the day and improve your mood.
3. Don’t forget breakfast (and don’t skip meals)
Skipping breakfast (or any other meal) will only give you hunger pangs that will have you reaching for that packet of chips, chocolates or soft drink.
4. Make everyone join you
If you get tempted by what your colleagues are eating, endeavour to get others on board by ordering fresh catering for the office. Services like Order-In offer delicious and healthy catering for corporate breakfasts, morning and afternoon teas and working lunches.
5. Munch on veggies
Vegetables have long been recognised as a way to protect against obesity. Sneak them into your pasta or potato dishes. Add herbs or fresh veggies into your sandwich for extra flavour, crunch and colour.
6. Snack on nuts
Nuts are a great source of fibre and can help stabilise blood sugar levels, aids digestion and keeps us feeling full when 3pm-itis rolls around.
7. Get familiar with local suppliers who offer delicious healthy alternatives
Especially if you’re someone who often buys lunch, finding local suppliers or companies who deliver, who have fresh, healthy and cost-effective options is a great way to stay on track. THR1VE and Snack Proud are a few national companies who offer this, as well as Poke’d in Melbourne and Transform Health Kitchen and Bruce Leaves in Sydney.
8. Eat protein
Kick your sluggish post-Christmas metabolism back into life by eating protein. For breakfast, have an egg on toast or Greek yoghurt with honey, berries and nuts. Snack on cottage cheese with carrot and celery sticks or munch on a handful almonds. For your working lunch or dinner, eat lean beef, chicken, salmon or tuna. Salmon is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. They can also play a role in reducing obesity and metabolic disease.
9. Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help boost your metabolism and flush out those harmful toxins. It also keeps you hydrated so you don’t mistake it for hunger and end up grabbing a packet of chips.
10. Go easy on the alcohol… and the soft drinks
Your favourite alcoholic drink could exceed 240 calories (or 1,000 kilojoules) each! Soft drinks are just as bad. They’re high in calories and have no nutritional value whatsoever. They contribute to obesity, tooth decay and diabetes. It has also been linked to the depletion of calcium and magnesium from your body – all essential nutrients needed for healthy weight loss.
Jonathan Rowley is the managing director of corporate catering service Order-In, which takes the fuss out of ordering food for the office and giving businesses easy, online access to a variety of the best local and quality caterers.