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Seven New Year's Resolution diet ideas for eating less and better

When the last cracker has been pulled, the last turkey sandwich eaten and the overindulgences of Christmas are finally over, many of us start thinking about New Year's Resolutions. 

If you’re thinking about setting yourself a resolution for 2022, we’ve got a few ideas to help you focus on what you eat to try and make sure that next year is hopefully good for you, for the environment and the animals.

New Year’s Resolution ideas
  1. Don’t skip meals (or snacks).
    If you’re trying to change your relationship with food, it’s important to eat regularly. Waiting too long between eating just makes you more hungry, so when you do eventually eat, you’re more likely to overeat. Ideally, you should be eating something every five hours. Healthy snacks between meals can ensure you only eat what you intend to. 

  2. Look after yourself.
    As we all know, being healthy is not just about what you eat, but about getting regular exercise too. Yes, joining Joe Wicks for a HIIT session is good but you don’t need to go that far every day. Why not challenge yourself to start each day with a brisk ten-minute walk to get your heart rate up and increase your step count?
    Staying well-hydrated is another important way to look after yourself, and while there’s lots of advice out there telling you to drink litres and litres of water every day, the most important thing is just to make sure you stay comfortably hydrated. Try carrying a water bottle with you and ensuring that you drink at least one bottle a day. 

  3. More cooking, less eating out and takeaways.
    Not only does cooking at home save money, but it means you have greater control over your food. Home-cooked meals are generally healthier as you can control exactly how much sugar and salt goes in. You can also make sure you know where the ingredients have come from. So why not set yourself a target for the number of meals out and takeaways you’ll buy each month. And if you’re looking for healthy dinner ideas, check out our recipes pages. 

  4. Save time by batch cooking.
    Some people find cooking a chore and get fed up with spending all their time planning or cooking. A great solution for this, and a great way to take the stress out of mealtimes is to plan out your meals and batch cook. This is also a great way to save money as you utilise all your ingredients and are less likely to have food waste. By cooking more than you need, you can put the rest in the freezer for another day. You’ll also have healthy, homemade food at hand when hunger strikes. Why not resolve to do some batch cooking a couple of times a month?

  5. Eat less, eat better.
    Maybe you are thinking of cutting out or cutting down the amount of animal protein you eat in the new year? People adopt reducetarian diets, where they reduce their meat, fish and dairy intakes, for a number of reasons. This could be for health, for the environment, or because of a concern for animals. You could challenge yourself to eat meat less frequently, but when you do, to look out for products that have come from farms that follow higher animal welfare standards. If this sounds like the resolution for you, you can download our Eat Less, Eat Better recipe book for some ideas. We also have more information about reducetarianism and the benefits of cutting down on your meat consumption. When you buy RSPCA Assured labelled products, you are not only supporting farmers dedicated to animal welfare and choosing products that have come from animals that have been treated with respect throughout their whole lives. You are also helping us to continue working to improve welfare standards. 

  6. Less processed foods.
    They may be quick and easy but processed foods like ready-meals generally contain more salt and additives. They also tend to include ingredients from lower welfare sources. By challenging yourself to buy more whole foods and fresh vegetables, you can be more confident about what you're putting into your pot and your stomach. Having fresh fruit and veg around is a great incentive to eat more healthily. It’s also a great way to support your local shops if you’re lucky enough to still have a greengrocer nearby. Doing smaller shopping trips more regularly should also help avoid food waste as you are less likely to over-buy.

  7. Lastly, be realistic.
    It’s far better to adopt a new eating strategy that you can stick to rather than an extreme diet or lifestyle change that you break on the 4th of January. You still need to enjoy your life, including the foods you eat, so remember to include those when planning out what you’re going to eat. 
Download our Eat Less, Eat Better recipe booklet

About the author

Jodie Adam

Jodie is RSPCA Assured's Digital Communications Manager. 

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