Most Belfast Times readers will have been on a health kick since January, but with the short days and cold nights, it can be difficult to stay motivated beyond the first few weeks of the new year.
Here, Jen Curran, co-founder of wellness-focused restaurant, Tony & Jen’s, shares her top tips to help keep us on the right track for a healthier and happier 2017.
New Year’s resolutions often focus on getting fit and eating healthier. Sales of spiralisers went through the roof in January, new gym memberships dramatically increased, and everyone knows just how Delicious Ella is! The difficulty with resolutions is that we kick them off with so much motivation and enthusiasm – Saturday nights at home with a stir fry aren’t a problem when everyone else is doing dry January.
However, as we move into the next few months, that sense of motivation can very easily start to wane. Routine gets dull and eating healthy becomes sad and time consuming. At Tony & Jen’s, bland and boring are barred, but outside of the restaurant, Tony and I have come up with a few simple tips to help each other stay on a healthy path, and anyone can implement them. Happy, healthy February y’all!
Keep it simple
The more habits you try to change at once, the more likely you’ll fall at the first hurdle. Instead, stick to one substantial change e.g three gym visits per week. One habit change at a time yields an 85% success rate compared to only a 5% success rate trying three changes at once. Small habit changes become ever lasting and may have a domino affect towards other desired goals like fat loss or participation in a sporting challenge.
We keep each other in check. Find someone who can help you stay on course and bounce off one another. Tony ensures that I go to the gym when I think I can’t find the time and I pull him away from the junk food section in the supermarket when he is ‘wrecked’ and gets an attack of the munchies.
Chew your food more
It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to register the calories you’ve consumed. Slow down and you might just realise how many calories you’re eating at once.
Make it sociable
Challenge your mates to a healthy cook off or set up a healthy dinner party date. These kinds of things can happen mid week or at the weekend and it’s definitely cooler to try to stay on the healthy band wagon these days than picking up a kebab on the way home from town at 2am.
The gym isn’t the only place to burn excess calories, get fit and let off some steam. Go for a power walk along the Lagan while catching up with a pal or take a hike up Cave Hill and take in the beautiful views at the top. You’ll be surprised how good you feel and you won’t even want to reach for a packet of hobnobs afterwards. Promise!
Tony & Jen’s is a thriving restaurant based on the Lisburn Road that is built on the ethos that food has the power to make us look and feel awesome, inside and out. For more information visit www.tonyandjens.co.uk or follow the team on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @tonyandjens.