No prizes for guessing the UK’s most popular New Year’s resolution. Yep, you’ve got it – losing weight.

It’s not much of a surprise then that most of us have fallen by the wayside come February.

The fact is that vague and overambitious resolutions are doomed to failure. Instead, the experts recommend we aim to make small positive changes. That way you get all the fulfilment, with none of the crushing disappointment. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

So here are a few achievable resolutions for a happier and healthier 2017.

Eat Less Sugar

sugar

We’re not encouraging you to go cold turkey on the white (or brown) stuff. Especially not straight after Christmas – the season of joy and sugary treats. Instead, try to make small changes to your diet. It might mean taking your coffee without sugar, or cutting out the foods that trigger out-of-control eating. Whichever route you choose, make sure you do it gradually.

Get Mindful

mindfulness

Not all resolutions have to involve losing weight or getting fit. In fact, aiming to improve your mental health is just as important. And mindfulness is a great first step.

Described by psychologist Dr Marsha Lucas as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” mindfulness is all about being conscious of the present. Even if it’s just paying attention as you brush your teeth, take a shower or eat breakfast, adopting a more mindful attitude can do you a world of good.

Touch Your Toes

fitness_active

Vowing to run a marathon is an admirable resolution, but it’s not always realistic. So instead of setting overly ambitious fitness goals, start small. If you’re planning on integrating more exercises like yoga or pilates into your fitness regime, the simple aim of touching your toes can help you track how far you’ve come. Before you know it you’ll be mastering the One Handed Tree Pose. Promise.

Pile On The Veggies

kale

Eating more greens is easy, as long as you change your outlook. Rather than seeing vegetables as an added extra, try making them the star of the show in every meal. Whether it’s cauliflower or carrots, picking a different ‘hero vegetable’ each day will ensure you get all the vitamins and nutrients you need.

And don’t forget about breakfast. Whether it’s in a smoothie or alongside a poached egg, there’s nothing stopping you from getting your veggie hit at the beginning of the day.

Cut Back On Refined Carbs

chicken_paella

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. There are good carbs (fresh fruit, legumes, whole grains) and there are refined carbs (white flour, sugar, white rice.) The big difference: refined carbs are digested so quickly they can cause blood sugar spikes, weight gain, as well as a host of other health problems.

So why not cut back on refined carbs this year? Instead of loading up on pasta and bread, try experimenting with alternatives like quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice. Not convinced? Give our chicken and quinoa paella a go.

Mindful Chef recipe boxes are a great way to stick to the resolutions above. We make healthy eating easy by delivering all the ingredients you need to create delicious, gluten-free recipes with no refined carbs.

With Mindful Chef, healthy eating isn’t just for January - we want to help you stick to your resolutions this year.