Trying to give up booze or sweets entirely? Just don't.
Trying to give up booze or sweets entirely for a month or longer? Take my advice, just don’t. Caity Hardy explains why going cold turkey is often never a good idea.
We’ve all been in the same scenario. After a big night out drinking or in the New Year, we think “hmm, I really should stop drinking for a month" or "I should completely cut sugar or fast food from my diet”. Sound familiar? If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, completely cutting something from your diet for a set amount of time isn’t going to work at all.
Personal trainer Kayley Cauvin from Code 5 Fitness in Brookvale explains that “cutting something out for a set amount of time isn’t really sustainable. It’s a short-term fix for a long-term problem, which inevitably causes a rebound into our old habits.”
Here are my top tips for living a healthier lifestyle (but still enjoying the odd glass of wine and a slice of pizza).
It’s all about balance – reduce, not restrict
The more we restrict and deprive ourselves of something, the more likely we want those things, hence we binge and create horrible relationships with food. Kayley's advice is “Make it really simple for yourself. Break down the problem and think, okay I’ll eat or drink this three times a week instead of five.”
When we have this mindset the less likely we are to binge and we’ll actually find that we don't really need those Saturday-night wines at all.
Everything takes time
If you do really want to cut something out completely, the best way to do so is progressively over time. As Kayley explains, “Make small changes that will develop into positive habits and allow flexibility to your lifestyle". But remember, don’t feel bad if you have a bad day, because tomorrow is a new day!
If one of your mates doesn’t want to drink at dinner or if they choose the healthier option, it’s important to respect their decisions and support them. Something I’ve noticed is that we are so quick to judge others and project our own insecurities onto them. At the end of the day it is someone's personal choice to do want they want with their bodies and their lifestyle, and it’s our responsibility to support and encourage that. You do you boo.
Swap it out
It’s so easy to swap naughty foods and drinks for the healthier option without cutting any enjoyment out! You’ll find that you won't mind the taste, and that there’s really no difference at all between the two. Try out one of the thousands of recipes with some friends and make a night out of it.
Caitlin (Caity) Hardy is a second year Communication student studying Journalism and a Diploma in Italian. She loves working out at the gym and swimming at her local beach in the Northern Beaches. She knows how to make a pretty damn good Aperol Spritz though and peanut butter in anything is her true weakness.