I’m currently refocusing on my diet and health, after letting things slide over the last few months for various reasons. However, note this is not one of those horrible new years resolutions! No, never, absolutely not!

I’m not planning to follow any particular diet. I’ve done that in the past and come away not any better for it. There is so much information out there, so many people advocating for one thing over another, so many seemingly compelling arguments to support the next great super food one week, only to have it dismissed the next, that it feels impossible to know what to do for the best.

So, to start with I’ve decided to distil it down to the basics:

  • Eat plenty of fruit and veg
  • Cut back on processed foods

These are the only guidelines I will be using, at least for the next few months. No rules about bread and carbs or anything like that.

So far so sensible, nothing outstanding here. So what’s the point of this post, I hear you say. Why are you adding to the noise with such nonsense? Well, my skeptical reader, I’m not without original thought when it comes to healthy eating (do note, I’m not claiming to be the only person in the world to have thought the following, it’s just I’ve never read it anywhere else).

So here comes my contribution, my number one rule which has stood the test of time, even as diets and best intentions fell apart around me. Basically, forget about what you shouldn’t eat, and focus instead on what you should eat.

Say what, now?

Let me give an example. Regardless of whatever else I choose to do, I always set a goal to eat my five portions of fruit and veg or whatever other healthy goodies I’ve identified. But I don’t do this at the expense of anything else. There’s no saying foods X, Y and Z are out of bounds, not to begin with anyway.

Note that this is not the end game, this is the foundation, the building block for better eating. No matter what you do, if you’re quaffing down several bags of crisps ever day, no amount of blueberries and kale is going to help. But restricting yourself requires willpower. A lot of it. Why jump in at the deep end by putting a stop to so many foods?

The thing is, most of the time this method does fill me up enough so that I’m not so inclined to reach for the cookie jar. And as the weeks go by, and I add more healthy foods, and I start to feel pretty good about this whole healthy eating lark, I’ll find myself not quite so eager to indulge in junk.

There is one other point though, not related to what I eat (or don’t eat) but how I eat. In other words, I mustn’t be a martyr to any of it. The occasional fast food meal shouldn’t represent a crippling defeat. Better to have a maintainable level of healthy eating, than one that crumbles at the first bite of a French fry.

Over the next few months I’ll hopefully have more to say on this subject as I rebuild my health and fitness routine, Six Million Dollar Man style. Stay tuned!