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by Gael Myers, Accredited Practising Dietitian

To celebrate the start of the new year we've put together our top tips to help kick start your way to a healthier you.

Pick your favourite tip or aim to do all 5! The most important thing is to make changes that are achievable and consistent with your lifestyle – this will help you stick to them in the long term.

1. Cook up a storm

Cook up a storm

Preparing more meals at home is a great first step for anyone wanting to eat better. When you cook from scratch you have more control over what goes into your food, particularly the amount of sugar, salt and fat.

Cooking a healthy meal doesn’t have to mean slogging away for hours in the kitchen – we’ve got you covered with lots of quick and tasty recipes that are on the table in 30 minutes or less!

2. Mind how we eat

Mind how you eat

When life is busy, eating can seem like another task to get out the way and we can get into the habit of scoffing down food without a second thought. Inattentive eating can mean eating more than your body needs to feel full, potentially leading to weight gain.

To start to eat more mindfully, take your time when eating your food, noticing the delicious aromas, pleasing presentation and satisfying taste. It’s also important to tune in to your hunger and fullness signals – this will help you regulate the amount you have.

3. Break away from alcohol

Break away from booze

Alcohol not only packs a kilojoule punch, it can also mess with your sleep patterns, leaving you feeling groggy and lethargic the next day – yuck! Swap alcoholic drinks for still or sparkling water, tea or coffee. If you're looking for something a little more special, we've got some fancier (and low sugar) drink recipes over here! 

When it comes to cancer risk, there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The more you drink, the higher your cancer risk. If you do drink, we recommend sticking to national guidelines  and have no more than 10 standard drinks a week, and no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion. For more tips to reduce your drinking check out Alcohol. Think Again.

4. Ditch sugary drinks

Ditch sugary drinks

Sugary drinks include soft drinks, sports drinks, slushies, flavoured milks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, flavoured water and store bought iced tea. These drinks are loaded with sugar, putting you at an increased risk of weight gain and dental decay.

The World Health Organization recommends sticking to less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar – how does your beverage of choice stack up?


Serve size

Teaspoons of sugar

Sports drink



Bottle of cola



Can of lemonade



Mega size slushee



Choc milk



Iced coffee



Large can of energy drink



Bottle of fruit drink



Flavoured water



Iced tea




5. Less junk, more whole foods

Food cents trolley

Filling your belly with healthy foods is not only good for your health, it’s good for your wallet too.

Our advice is to stick to the 60-30-10 rule:

  • Spend 60% of your food budget on plant foods like vegetables, legumes, fruit, wholegrains and cereal foods.
  • Spend 30% of your food budget on protein foods like fish, lean meat, chicken, dairy, nuts and eggs 
  • If you plan to buy junk foods, try to limit spending to 10% of your food budget

For more tips and tricks to help you eat well on a budget download our Shop Smart booklet. 

We'd love to hear which tip you're trying this year! Want more? We've got loads more information on new year's resolutions and goal setting. 

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