This New Year, make these simple lifestyle changes for healthy living

Clinical nutritionist Dr Nupur Krishnan says detoxifying yourself not just on level of body and mind, but also behaviour and lifestyle can make a huge difference

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food,” advised Hippocrates more than 2,000 years ago. Since food is source of all components that make up human body, his words will always find resonance in every era.

With our fast-paced and stressed lifestyle, fatigue and even exhaustion have become a norm.

It is true that the best solution is getting more sleep.

However, right diet can also help fuel your body and keep your energy levels from fluctuating throughout the day.

Dr Nupur Krishnan

After partying, eating, and drinking throughout the year, especially during festivals in last few months, New Year is a good time to begin flushing out toxins which are built up in your system.

Your body is bombarded with toxins each day – thanks to unbalanced diet, toxic chemicals, stress, and environmental pollutants. Sedentary lifestyle will make you feel drained out and so, beginning the year with a detox programme is suggested.

Nutrition in adult years focuses on maintaining health by using right combination of foods, particularly plant-based foods and their constituents, to optimise functions of digestive and liver detoxification as well as other organs, including immune system.

With right kind of nutrition, adults can maintain and promote health productivity while preventing diseases.

So, whenever you feel extremely drowsy, nausea, dizzy, stressed and lethargic then it is time to detox. Also, if there is water retention (oedema), lack of sleep and energy, then too, detox is necessary. Detox is also advised immediately after a party.

So, this New Year, take up the resolution to detox yourself not just on the level of body and mind, but also your behaviour and lifestyle.

Behaviour Modification Strategies:

  • Share gifted sweets and chocolates
  • Eat slowly and savour each mouthful
  • Put down the fork between bites
  • Delay eating for 2 to 3 minutes and converse with others
  • Postpone a desired snack for 10 minutes
  • Serve food on a small plate
  • Leave 1 or 2 bites of food on the plate
  • Divide portions in half Instead of loading your plate with sweets
  • Read labels carefully
  • Use extreme caution when eating in restaurant or as a guest at someone’s house
  • Discuss menu and ask about a recipe’s ingredients. Avoid processed foods

Lifestyle Modification Strategies:

  • Exercise regularly. Avoid exercising before bedtime, it may delay sleep. Walk briskly for 30-40 minutes regularly
  • Avoid any other activity while eating, like reading or watching television. Avoid sweets after dinner
  • Do not put big bowls of food on table and leave the table once eating is done
  • At a restaurant, limit intake from bread basket with no or little butter
  • Negotiate with family on eating healthier foods. Stock them at home
  • Shop for groceries from a list after eating a full meal
  • Plan meals and snacks. Plan for special events, parties, and dinners
  • Ask others to monitor eating patterns and provide positive feedback
  • Substitute other activities for snacking. Snack on fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Listen to your favourite music. Sit quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes every day

The author is a Mumbai-based Clinical Nutritionist and Director, Bio-Logics Nutrition Clinic