Everything in moderation

Health and fitness is about balance and harmony

Happy New Year! For many of us, it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions.

Among the most popular New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, getting fit and eating healthy. However, people generally fall at the first hurdle because they forget to achieve one you must not neglect the others. Health and fitness is about balance and harmony – everything in moderation.

So before you go out and join the gym or attempt a marathon on your first day jogging, it is perhaps more sensible to start with a trip to the local supermarket. 

Many weight loss experts recommend making 80% of the calories you consume healthy and nutritious and saving the remaining 20% for not-so-healthy-foods. This strategy makes changing your eating habits a lot more manageable because if you cut out all of your favourite foods, you’ll feel deprived and end up binging on them later.


Eliminating indulgences totally may initially help you lose weight, but it’s not a realistic, long-term solution. If you eat well the majority of the time, a few treats here and there won’t hurt your overall weight loss efforts and your diet will feel a lot more balanced, so you’re able to stick to it.

So when the time comes to re-stock the fridge after Christmas, the trick is to keep it simple.


At the supermarket fill your trolley with lots of leafy greens, and throw in some fruit for colour. Eating vegetables provides health benefits – people who eat more vegetables and fruits are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables also provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.

Then head for the meats – plenty of lean cuts with some chicken and fish for good measure. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein, and it is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

Carbohydrates have been almost criminalised by many modern diets. Rather than cutting them out, try switching to healthier alternatives. Swap that slice of toast for a bowl of porridge, replace the pasta with wholegrain rice and switch spaghetti for a wholesome Irish spud.

Fat has also got a bad rap in recent years. However, it’s important to remember that dietary fat does not equate to bodily fat if eaten as part of a healthy and balanced diet. So, stock up on plenty of avocados, nuts and extra virgin olive oil while you’re there.

One good rule of thumb is to avoid processed foods. Some tinned and packaged goods are ok, but nowhere near as nutritionally dense as fresh whole foods.

Ultimately, remember that nobody is perfect. So if you fall off the bandwagon and binge on occasion, don’t dwell on it too much.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and give it another shot.

Next week we take a look at how to tackle the New Year fitness challenges.