Every new year, people talk about resolutions they will definitely stick to. However, how about forgetting these and just opting for a healthier lifestyle in 2019 instead? I am not talking about a spur-of-the-moment decision, but a commitment to an ongoing process; a lifestyle change and a plan that you can live by. Since it’s the beginning of a new year, what better time to kick off with some optimism and decisiveness?

Andy Daly Sugar Doctor

My 10-step action plan is a great lifestyle strategy to make you feel healthier, energised and promote longevity. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution but an undertaking to commit to a wholesome life from now onwards. It’s about small changes that can make a huge difference – choosing to live slightly differently and somewhat better so that in the end you feel contented and in good health.

Here’s how you can do it!

1. Cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates

Cutting out sugar and refined carbohydrates means eliminating processed foods, especially ultra-processed meals such as pizza, chicken nuggets, chips and other salty, sweet and savoury snacks, packaged baked goods, microwave-ready meals, instant soups and sauces. Recently, French researchers have warned that ultra-processed foods such as these can raise your risk of cancer; plus the more you eat, the greater your risk.

In addition, health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, liver damage, kidney disease, acid reflux and osteoporosis are linked to the consumption of these foods. When you consume them, your body increases the amount of dopamine it produces, which stimulates the pleasure centre of the brain making them addictive. This explains why many people find it hard to give them up. But it is possible to quit and you will feel much better for it.

2. Eat twice a day within a window of 8 hours

Restricting your eating in this way has many health benefits, including weight loss, balancing blood sugar levels, disease prevention, improving sleep and optimising energy production. Once you get used to it, you will feel energised and start to thrive. If you are  diabetic, hypoglycaemic  pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to do this under the guidance of a health professional.


3. Avoid unhealthy fats and oils

Transfats, which are also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, are fats that have been treated to make them easier to work with. They are cheap, malleable and help products seem fresher for longer and taste nicer. They are the least healthy of all fats because they are difficult for our bodies to process and are associated with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

Processed vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil or corn oil, are also unhealthy. The processing of them results in the destruction of all nutrients. When they are heated, their molecular structure changes, producing chemicals that may cause heart disease and cancer.

4. Eat more fibre

A high fibre diet may reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

5. Eat more fermented foods

Fermented foods contain high levels of beneficial bacteria (much higher than in a probiotic supplement) and are powerful detoxifiers, making them perfect for optimising your gut health. They produce nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2, plus help with mineral absorption.

6. Eat good quality protein

Whilst protein is essential for health, eating excessive amounts of it can be harmful. The right amount of protein for any one individual depends on many factors, including the person’s activity level, age, muscle mass, physique goals and current state of health.

Consult a health professional if you are unsure how much protein you should be consuming in a day.

7. Eat good quality fats

Avocado sliced in half

8. Get more sleep

Good sleep is vital to our health, wellbeing and performance. It plays a major role in weight management, ageing and mental health.

Sleep deprivation has the same effect on our immune system as physical illness or stress. Try these tips to improve your sleep starting first thing in the morning and continuing throughout the day.

9. Move

Most people spend nine to 10 hours a day sitting, which may seem natural but it is actually contrary to nature. Our bodies are designed to be active and important negative changes occur when we spend most of the day sedentary.

10. Meditate

Meditation and mindfulness are excellent for stress relief and relaxation.

Start today written on a notebook

Remember that once you make these lifestyle changes, they will become second nature to you and will become routine. Most of them are simple and go hand-in-hand, such as avoiding sugar and processed foods and eating real foods, eating healthy fats and avoiding harmful ones. I hope you are encouraged and inspired by this action plan to make some of these small changes in your life that may have a huge impact on your health and happiness.

Let me know @sugardoctoruk how you get along!

12 Responses

  1. Reading your article has greatly helped me, and I agree with you. But I still have some questions. Can you help me? I will pay attention to your answer. thank you.

  2. Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.

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