In January we are bombarded with suggestions for New Year Resolutions, we draw up lists of what we will do for the coming year. But how many of us actually succeed with that list?

There was a report in the newspaper last week about a new survey that showed September was the least stressful month of the year and, of course, January was the most stressful. Wouldn’t it make more sense to set resolutions now while we feel fitter, healthier and more positive after the summer holidays?

At my Damsels in Success Croydon meeting last week, we looked at doing just this. Starting to implement some lifestyle changes or develop new habits before we start to suffer from the ‘Winter Blues’ as the days get shorter and the temperature drops. Our bodies used to need to build up supplies of fat to get through the long cold winter of reduced food supplies, we no longer live in that kind of world, but our body functions haven’t got the message! Try some of these ideas:

• Start to have more vegetables with every meal- at least half of your plate2013-07-19 13.26.32
• Begin cutting down on sugar and investigate substitutes, look for under 3g/100g in processed food
• Try some alternatives to your usual carbs: oatmeal, quinoa, cauliflower ‘rice’, vegetable pasta
• Swap to healthy fats: Coconut, nuts, seeds, oily fish, avocado, cold pressed oils (but not for cooking), cook with coconut oil or goose/duck fat or ghee

I made a lot of changes to my diet following my Retreat in July and I don’t crave sugar, sweets, cakes or stodgy comfort food at all. Previously I was always tempted by the sweets at the petrol station checkout! I don’t feel like I am ‘on a diet’ and am feeling confident that I can carry this into winter. Friends have commented that they can see a real difference in the way I look. I certainly feel a lot better.