On January 1, 2016, millions of us made New Year’s resolutions. Last year in New Zealand, a healthier lifestyle was on our minds, as we promised to eat a better diet.
Number one on the list for Americans: lose weight.
In the UK, the top three resolutions included “lose weight” and “improve diet”.
So, how did that work out for us? Surveys consistently show that the odds are not in our favour depressingly, as few as 8 per cent of us will manage to achieve our goals.
At the end of December, the usual exercise and lifestyle gurus gave their advice on how to do better this year. Unexpectedly, some of the most sensible suggestions come from the founders of a Kiwi organic ice cream and blueberry company.
“We live where we work,” explains Matakana-based OOB co-owner Shannon Auton. “Being surrounded by healthy blueberries is definitely a bonus, but then the ice cream proves to be a constant temptation.” For 2017, her resolutions are simple: “Ride more” – she’s a keen horsewoman – “and weigh less!”
She also has some observations, gained from 12 years working with organic produce, on how to stick to your healthy eating resolution next year.
1. Eat a cup of blueberries (80 calories) four of five times a week. Scientists at Tufts University discovered that this superfood super-fruit, which is full of catechins, can help weight loss and reduce abdominal fat. Blueberries can also speed up muscle recovery after exercise.
2. Keep frozen blueberries in the freezer all year round. Enjoy them as a low-calorie, delicious snack whenever you feel a craving for something sweet. Also a great way to beat the 4pm energy slump.
3. Don’t deny yourself everything. Occasional treats are important. If you’re trying to lose weight, reducing your portions is simple yet effective. A 120ml snack-sized pottle of OOB organic ice cream will do the trick.
4. Keep your palate stimulated with good flavours and quality, natural ingredients. “There’s no comparison between ‘diet’ products, which are often quite artificial and lacking taste, and the creamy goodness of a 100% organic ice cream. When you’re watching what you eat, just a few mouthfuls of something wonderful can be a reward worth earning,” says Auton.
5. Team up with friends or colleagues to reach a common goal. The OOB staff got together at the start of January, all motivated to lose weight and become fitter. By encouraging and supporting each other, most of them have succeeded. Robert Auton, OOB’s MD, had smaller aspirations for 2016: walk his dogs more, and survive the year. “Achieved them both,” he confirms.