• These four New Year food resolutions are meaningful and have nothing to do with weight loss. (iStockphoto/Getty Images)Source: iStockphoto/Getty Images
It's time to move past the days of proclaiming resolutions about weight loss and into an era of food positivity. Here are four resolutions for the year ahead that promise to boost your relationship with food and your wonderful self.
Yasmin Noone

6 Jan 2022 - 11:11 PM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2022 - 6:04 AM

The calendar has clicked over into another year and it feels like the weight loss pitches from health food companies, gyms and social media influencers have gotten a little louder.

So loud, you may just want to cover your ears to drown out the ‘New Year, new weight loss plan, new you’ resolution noise.

It goes without saying that after experiencing a challenging 2021, many of us just want to enjoy a more fulfilling 2022 that’s free of calorie counting but decorated in food-focused positivity. 

“Purposely, set your attention and intention for food to be abundant..."

Here are four meaningful resolutions that dietary experts encourage you to adopt in 2022, so you can reap added joy and nutrition from food.

Set mindful food intentions

Accredited Practising Dietitian, Huda AlSultan asks you to embrace the many occasions that happen around this time of year – family dinners, holidays and parties – and give thanks for the abundance of food around you in 2022.

“Purposely, set your attention and intention for food to be abundant; so it won’t be the last time you’ll eat such a variety of dishes like you’re eating now,” AlSultan tells SBS.

AlSultan also encourages us to use the New Year as an opportunity to pursue the holistic goal of balanced eating: a target that she says involves our emotions and senses.

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The thought is that by relishing the moments you spend sharing food with loved ones and the multi-sensorial experience that comes from consuming a beautiful meal, you’re more likely to eat in a balanced way.  

“Balanced eating isn’t just about what you eat, but about how you think about what you eat,” she says. “Learn how to use your senses and savour one small bite at a time. Appreciate the aromas, flavours, appearance and textures of your favourite foods as you eat them.

“Enjoy the lights and decorations, music and conversations surrounding you as you eat. Doing this will help you to build a wonderful relationship with your surroundings and food.”

“You can also include vegetables at breakfast when possible. Add baby spinach to your smoothie or include cherry tomatoes or sautéed mushrooms on your toast.”

Eat more vegetables

Most Australians don’t eat enough vegetables. So, it could be a good idea to commit to eating more vegetables in 2022 and celebrating seasonal produce with vegetable-centred recipes.

“Rather than focusing on a number on the scale [to lose weight], you’re better off aiming to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables,” says Dr Anika Rouf, an Accredited Practising Dietitian and spokesperson for Dietitians Australia

“Each ‘coloured’ vegetable has a different array of nutrients to look after your health. Veggies also contain fibre, which means that it will keep you feeling full for longer (and you may end up eating less of other foods).”

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Dr Rouf says the best way to get more veggies is to spread your veggie intake across the day, rather than just eating them at dinner.

“Cut up carrot, celery, cucumber and capsicum and serve with dips like tzatziki, hummus or eggplant dip to snack on throughout the day. 

“You can also include vegetables at breakfast when possible. Add baby spinach to your smoothie or include cherry tomatoes or sautéed mushrooms on your toast.”

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Eat for the environment

Nutrition lecturer at Endeavour College of Natural Health, Sophie Scott, reminds us of another food-focused option that's increasing in popularity: environmental eating. This style of eating encourages you to remember where your food comes from and the impact of food production systems on the environment. 

One aspect of environmental eating, Scott explains, may involve eating less meat than 'usual'. On average, most Australians currently eat around 95 kilograms of meat per year – that’s three times the global average

“We suggest that people follow a Mediterranean-style diet which does not cut out meat, as meat contains really important vitamins and minerals for the body,” says the clinical nutritionist and former environmental scientist. “This style of eating actually involves reducing the amount of meat consumed to a more moderate level.”

Scott adds that reducing our intake of junk food is another way ‘to eat for the environment’, as it could lead to a reduction in carbon emissions.

More than a third of the energy in the average Aussie diet comes from junk foods and alcohol. Ready-made food and drinks might not create as much carbon as meat production, but because of the quantity we consume and all that packaging and processing, the climate impact adds up.”

“It’s easy to meet friends at restaurants, but I find that the quality of conversation is often better at my home as it’s more private than a noisy restaurant."

Entertain at home

Fertility and prenatal dietitian, Melanie McGrice, tells SBS she’s has decided to adopt a New Year resolution that celebrates the people in her life and home cooking.

“One foodie resolution I have is to get back to inviting more friends over for dinner,” McGrice says. 

“It’s easy to meet friends at restaurants, but I find that the quality of conversation is often better at my home as it’s more private than a noisy restaurant. It also gives me the motivation to cook some new dishes. 

“Lastly, I have a lot more control over the food that’s served when I’m cooking it myself.”

If you don’t feel confident cooking for other people, McGrice advises you to invite a mate over to cook with you. “By preparing the meal with a friend, you can always learn a few new skills together.”

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